Group Seeks Study to Restore Service to Dubuque

A group based in Dubuque, Iowa, is hoping to return Amtrak service to their city by piggybacking onto a proposed new service between Chicago and Rockford, Illinois.

Amtrak’s Black Hawk ran between Chicago and Dubuque in the late 1970s and early 1980s before being discontinued in 1981 during a State of Illinois budget crunch.

A committee of Dubuque government and economic officials along with officials in three Illinois counties are undertaking the study.

Their hope is to come up with a proposal that would extend the Rockford service to Dubuque.

The group is seeking a consultant to conduct the study, which is expected to take 14 months.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has been working for the past several years on reviving service to Rockford.

IDOT hired a manager for the project earlier this year. The state allocated $275 million in the fiscal year 2020 budget to pay for planning work for the project.

The Iowa-Illinois group’s study would examine such matters as a route, station locations, infrastructure needs, and costs and revenue potential.

Proposals are expected to be received in December and a contract awarded in January.

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