Moline Route Track Work to Begin This Summer

Construction work to pave the way for the launch of Amtrak service between Chicago and the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa is expected to begin this summer, says the Illinois Department of Transportation.

IDOT expected the train to begin operating in 2015.
The preliminary engineering phase is almost complete. The next step would be the final design phase.

The project will have three parts: Chicago to Wyanet (where the amount of work is not as significant); construction of the Wyanet connection between the BNSF and Iowa Interstate main lines; and Wyanet to Moline, where many track, signal and safety upgrades are needed on Iowa Interstate’s former Rock Island main line.

There will also be yard improvements in Eola and Silvis, Ill., with a second mainline built between the yards in Rock Island and Silvis.

The route east of Wyanet is currently used by Amtrak’s California Zephyr, Southwest Chief¸ Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr.

There will be two round-trips daily between Moline and Chicago, with an estimated one-way travel time of just longer than three hours.

The train’s western terminus will be in Moline, which has not seen rail passenger service in more than 30 years since the end of the Quad Cities Rocket by the former Rock Island Railroad.

Illinois is expanding rail passenger service with the help of a $177 million federal grant and $78 million from the state. The state originally planned to spend $45 million but recently increased the amount by $33 million because of increased construction costs between Wyanet and Moline.

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