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The U.S. Department of Transportation is spending $3.5 million to set up a rail transportation and engineering center at the University of Illinois.

The university said Tuesday in a news release that the the NURail Center will focus in particular on problems involved in using rail corridors for both high-speed passenger trains and freight trains.

Other universities will be involved, too. They include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee and others.

University of Illinois professor Christopher P.L. Barkan will lead the new center.

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