Amtrak

T.J. Carson

Two projects are underway to help transportation in Galesburg.

T.J. Carson

The City Council this week approved a project to enclose the north and south porch areas at the Amtrak station.

  Amtrak ridership in Illinois has risen in recent years; it's up almost 85 percent from 2006 through last year. That trend developed after the rail service added routes. The train service could grow more in the future.

In 2006, lines branching out from Chicago that went to Carbondale, Quincy and St. Louis added trips.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

A free book rack at the Macomb Amtrak station has been providing reading material to travelers for 10 years.

Tom Carper

Tom and Gayle Carper of Macomb have more than 1,000 photos from the years when Tom owned bars in town.  They decided the pictures should be shared and started posting them to Flickr and Facebook.

Rich Egger

During winter weather, it’s common for flights to be canceled and roads to be closed.  Usually the trains still run without incident. 

Jonathan Ahl

More than 100,000 people ride the Illinois Zephyr train line from Quincy to Chicago each year.  

The next few days will be extremely busy in Burlington as the city plays host to two related events.

East-West Passenger Rail Proposed for Illinois

May 23, 2013
Rich Egger

A group of Illinois lawmakers is encouraging the state to study the feasibility of an east-west passenger rail corridor.

The route -- by bus at first, with the hope to eventually move to trains – would run from the Quad Cities to Danville. It would include stops in Galesburg, Peoria, Bloomington, and Champaign.

Rich Egger

Community leaders on the Amtrak line that runs through western Illinois hope to convince people to use the train for excursions within the region. They want to promote day trips and overnight stays along the line between Quincy and Princeton.

The hurdle that Fort Madison must clear to bring passenger rail service to Riverview Park is getting shorter.

Tom Carper of Macomb has completed his four-year term as chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors.

Carper feels Amtrak enjoyed success during that period, though sometimes it was frustrating because the federal government has no dedicated source of funding for passenger rail service.

“So every year, we’re in the budget. So every year, people who don’t like passenger rail or whatever can take a whack at Amtrak. That’s frustrating,” Carper said.

Rich Egger

Politicians in western Illinois want to make sure those in Washington DC know support for Amtrak reaches across the aisle and across the miles.

Republican State Representatives Norine Hammond and Don Moffitt, Democratic State Senator John Sullivan, and the mayors of four western Illinois communities (Galesburg, Monmouth, Macomb, and Quincy) gathered at the Galesburg train depot to urge Congress to continue funding for passenger rail.

Rich Egger

The head of the Amtrak Board of Directors said the service has benefited from funding stability in recent years.

Chairman Tom Carper, who is a former mayor of Macomb, said it's been crucial to Amtrak's planning to have the threat of cuts removed.

“We've had stability in the last three years, and lo and behold, what's happened? We're building railroads in the Midwest,” Carper said.

He also pointed out ridership is up.

Rich Egger

Illinois will acquire new rail cars for all of the in-state Amtrak routes. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said the new cars will address the increase in ridership experienced by the service for the past five or six years.

“They're going to be bi-level cars,” Schneider said. “It allows us to transport more passengers on the same footprint. So it makes it more efficient and it gives us opportunity to expand service without having to add train sets.”

All of the seating on current cars is on the same level.