Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Claire McCaskill of Missouri are lobbying for a high-speed rail corridor between St. Louis and Chicago.
The Democratic lawmakers were to meet privately Friday in St. Louis with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman and officials with Union Pacific railroad and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Initially, regional transportation offices will compete for the $8 billion included in the $787 billion economic stimulus spending package for high-speed rail.
The $8 billion is part of $64 billion in the stimulus package for roads, bridges, rail and transit.
Durbin says the money will be awarded on a competitive basis, and Friday's meeting will focus on the corridor's funding needs and how officials can lure stimulus money for the project.