Executive Order Halts Work on Illinois Rail Routes

An executive order signed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner last Saturday has put on hold work on upgrading the Chicago-St. Louis Corridor for higher speed rail passenger service.

The order prohibits state agencies from awarding contracts without the administration’s approval.

This also will affect plans by the Illinois Department of Transportation to implement Amtrak service between Chicago and Rockford over Union Pacific tracks.

The order is effective until July 1. News media reports indicated that the governor’s office is undertaking a review of all state spending.

Illinois has spent $3 million on engineering items related to the Rockford rail service. Local media reported that Huntley, Ill., local officials have committed $50,000 to an engineering study that was to lead to establishment of an Amtrak station for the Rockford service.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn had sought to expedite service to Huntley and other northwest Illinois communities.

His administration identified $60 million for re-establishing Amtrak service between Chicago and Rockford. That service had been projected to begin by late this year.

 

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