Work Continues to Develop 2 Illinois Routes

Negotiations between the Illinois Department of Transportation and Canadian National may lead to Amtrak service between Chicago and Rockford, Ill., in late 2015.

The two parties are discussing an infrastructure improvement plan and budget for the former Illinois Central route that once hosted Amtrak’s Black Hawk between Chicago and East Dubuque, Ill.

IDOT hopes to extend the service to Dubuque shortly after the service begins serving Rockford.

The state is also working to launch service between Chicago and the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa.

Construction is set to begin in early 2014 on a connection at Wyanet, Ill., that will link BNSF’s former Chicago Burlington & Quincy main line between Chicago and Galesburg and Iowa Interstate’s former Rock Island line to the Quad Cities.

The Chicago-Quad Cities service is expected to start in December 2015.
The train will serve a  multi-modal station in Moline, Ill., that will cost $16.7 million.

The facility will be funded with $10 million from a federal TIGER II grant and $5 million from IDOT.

Moline’s depot will be housed in a former Sears warehouse at 12th Street and 4th Avenue. The second through sixth floors will serve as an extended-stay hotel with at least 80 rooms. The building will also include 5,000 square feet of retail space for coffee shops, restaurants, and stores, as well as a public waiting area, ticket counters, and restrooms.

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