Over the past eight years, the Quad Cities delegation that travels to Washington D.C. has identified freight and passenger rail service improvements between Chicago and the Quad Cities as a high priority.

Recently, the Illinois DOT commissioned Amtrak to conduct a preliminary engineering study to determine the costs of needed improvements to implement passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities. In 2001, the Illinois Department of Transportation had developed initial preliminary engineering figures for a rail connection in Wyanet, Illinois and for Iowa Interstate Railroad improvements between Wyanet and the Quad Cities. Costs related to this route have been updated as well as the costs of an alternative route through Joliet. In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation has requested cost estimates for upgrades to railroad lines between the Quad Cities and Iowa City.

Following is a summary of the information provided in the study:

  • Comparative Route Lines
  • Comparative Running Time
  • Comparative Annual Ridership Revenue
  • Comparative Annual Expense
  • Comparative Annual Subsidy

The study has been completed. Immediate implementation will be requested.
A copy of the executive summary of the study is available on the Illinois DOT website.

1. Goto http://www.dot.state.il.us/amtrak/amtrak.asp
2. Under Illinois Amtrak Information the study is listed as: Full Report Feasibility Report and Proposed AMTRAK Service Quad Cities - Chicago.

The federal budget, currently under consideration includes funding for Amtrak and the creation of a matching grant program to assist states in improving rail infrastructure. It is hoped this as well as other funding resources will be available to implement the project. For further technical information on this project contact Denise Bulat or Gena McCullough at (309) 793-6300.

Business and travel opportunities throughout the Midwest will be improved with passenger rail service, while relieving congestion on Interstate 80. Linkages to Chicago and Iowa City will positively impact quality of life through the provision of access to increased educational and cultural opportunities in these communities.  To join a coalition to support passenger rail service to the Quad Cities please visit: http://www.qcrail.com