Amtrak route for area on target for late 2014, early 2015

George Weber, who heads the passenger rail division of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, says passenger train service between Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa, stopping at South Elgin, Rockford, Freeport and Galena, with a possible whistle stop in Lena, is on target to start in late 2014 or 2015.

Speaking at a meeting of the Tri State Alliance, a regional transport coalition among governments and chambers of commerce in eastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, Weber said the Canadian National Railway will have its cost analysis study done in August, about six months later than it was supposed to be done. The state has set aside $60 million to improve the freight-only line to a 79 mph speed limit. Weber said it’s important that the train be speed-competitive with the automobile.


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