passenger rail

Jonathan Ahl

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

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

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

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.