Posts Tagged ‘Burlington Northern’

Kansas application for federal funds would go toward renovating Santa Fe Depot


Florida’s loss may be Lawrence’s gain.

When Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail project in his state, federal officials put the money up for grabs for other states.

Kansas was one of 24 states, along with Amtrak, to submit an application for a portion of the funding.

The Kansas application would be for $1.1 million and would go toward renovation and restoration of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe depot.

The application was made by the Kansas Department of Transportation and would include a match of $283,786 from the city of Lawrence.


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High-speed rail study begins


The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration recently began a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement to study the impacts of potential additional improvements along the Chicago to St. Louis high-speed rail corridor.

In 2010, Illinois received $1.25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to complete the environmental study. The purpose of this project is to expand the frequency of high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis, which includes the full build-out additional second track and other improvements. The current corridor operates on a single track shared by both traditional freight and passenger rail service.

The project includes work from Dwight to Pontiac. Streator City Manager Paul Nicholson said while it is purely a conceptual idea now, Streator hopes in the future to possibly acquire the Burlington Northern Santa Fe station and use it as a shuttle hub to Dwight for people wanting to access the train.

“I know that’s a little long-range, but that’s how we view it conceptually,” Nicholson previously said. “Obviously I view it from a positive perspective.”

“The study provides Illinois with a great opportunity to examine additional enhancement possibilities on

the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said in a press release. “We hope Illinoisans also will take the opportunity to attend these public information meetings and help us by taking part in the process.”

IDOT is hosting five open house meetings to seek public input regarding the rail project. The public is invited to stop by anytime between 4 and 7 p.m. to learn more about the project and provide feedback at the following meetings:

  • Joliet: Tuesday, March 1, Jacob Henry Mansion/Victorian Ballroom, 20 South Eastern Ave.
  • Bloomington: Wednesday, March 2, Double Tree Hotel/Brickyard 1 & 2, 10 Brickyard Drive.
  • Springfield: Thursday, March 3, Prairie Capitol Convention Center Room B11, 1 Convention Center Plaza.
  • Carlinville: Tuesday, March 8, Blackburn College Demuzio Campus Center, 700 College Ave.
  • Alton: Wednesday, March 9, Holiday Inn Ballroom, 3800 Homer Adams Parkway.

The meetings will be accessible to people with disabilities. Anyone needing special assistance should contact Paula Hughes of Vector Communications Corporation at 314-621-5566. People planning to attend who will need a sign language interpreter or other similar accommodations should notify TTY/TTD number 800-526-0844 or 711; TTY users (Spanish) 800-501-0864 or 711; and for Telebraille dial 877-526-6670 at least five days prior to the meeting.

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State provides $32M for Joliet transportation hub

Trib Local

Standing at Union Station this afternoon, Gov. Pat Quinn announced a $32 million grant for a multi-modal facility that would help make downtown Joliet a transportation hub.

The grant will allow for the construction of a new facility, immediately south of the existing Union Station, which serves as a hub for everything from high speed rail to local bus service.

“We can get all these folks under one location,” said Jim Haller, Joliet’s director for community and economic development. “You can walk downtown and take a bus to an airport or take the train to downtown Chicago and points beyond.  It really does open up Joliet to make it more accessible to the world.”

The $41.7 million project will be funded through the state grant, another $7.5 million from Joliet, and $2.2 million from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The new facility is expected to create 650 construction jobs.

“This project will revitalize downtown Joliet and improve safety for the 800,000 passengers who use the city’s Union Station every year,” Quinn said in a prepared statement.

Last year, Joliet officials submitted a grant request for federal funds to build the new facility, but the project was not selected. Last week, the city’s efforts to secure federal funding for the project also met the same fate.

Haller said it had appeared the city would need to secure smaller grants through various agencies to make the project a reality – a process that would have taken 10 years or more, Haller said. The state grant will make the project a reality within two years.

“This is what happens when economic development, business and government work together to get things done,” Will County Executive Larry Walsh said. “I am proud of what this will do for the county seat of Will County.”

Haller said the city will begin working on drawing up plans for the project, which includes a new platform for train passengers, a turnaround for bus traffic and a new building to house a waiting and ticketing area for the various transportation services.

Quinn and Joliet officials touted the project as a boom for the downtown district pointing to the number of jobs it would create and the businesses a new transportation facility would draw.

While Quinn’s announcement – which also drew Congresswoman Debbie Halverson and Illinois State Senator AJ Wilhelmi – comes just days before the Nov. 2 election, city officials noted they first began talking about the project two years ago and have been working to secure funding for the project.

“The need was identified a long time ago and the desire on the part of the state to try to help us was identified a long time ago,” Haller said.

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Governor Quinn Announces $32 Million for Joliet Multi-Modal Transportation Center

New Station Will Improve Rail Reliability, Increase Safety, Create 650 Jobs

JOLIET – October 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $32 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to construct a multi-modal transportation station in downtown Joliet. The new transportation center is expected to create 650 jobs, laying the groundwork for future transit-oriented development in downtown Joliet.

 “This project will revitalize downtown Joliet and improve safety for the 800,000 passengers who use the city’s Union Station every year,” said Governor Quinn. “Investment in passenger rail supports our state’s continued economic recovery by creating jobs and stimulating development throughout the region.”

The new station will separate passenger and freight rail traffic, eliminating the ongoing problem of passengers crossing working freight tracks. All passenger platform and waiting areas will be moved east of the existing three-way intersection of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Rock Island District Line tracks. The project also includes pedestrian tunnels that connect to Pace bus service, inter-city bus service and other forms of ground transportation, and a new 500-space parking lot.

“This new transportation center will improve Metra and Amtrak service reliability, provide better connections between residents and jobs, and ease freight congestion in one of northeastern Illinois’ most crowded areas,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig, who joined Governor Quinn for today’s announcement.

The $42 million project also includes $7.5 million in funding from the City of Joliet and $2.2 million from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The Regional Transit Authority, Pace, Metra, Amtrak, Will County and Union Pacific all served as key partners in the development of this project.

Today’s announcement is a part of the overall plan to develop high speed rail service between Chicago and St. Louis. Last month, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois was the first state to begin high-speed rail construction. Earlier this week Governor Quinn announced $230 million in federal funds to build passenger rail service between Iowa City, Moline and Chicago. 

In addition to the new intermodal center, Governor Quinn recently announced the reconstruction of Interstate 55 at Arsenal Road, which will support nearly 900 jobs and help attract businesses to the Joliet area. Earlier this year, Governor Quinn signed the Intermodal Facilities Promotion Act to encourage business development along the freight rail systems of Illinois. CenterPoint Properties projects 7,000 permanent new jobs being brought to Illinois through an intermodal facility in Joliet.

Governor Quinn Announces $12 Million Investment Package to Support Nippon Sharyo Expansion

State’s Investment Package Will Create 250 New Jobs

  ROCHELLE – October 20, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $12 million state business investment package to Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc., which will support $35 million in private investment, to establish a rail car manufacturing facility in Rochelle. The project will result in the creation of 250 new jobs and retention of 15 jobs, and will support Illinois’ growing rail industry.“Our robust supply chain, well-trained workforce, and status as America’s transportation hub make Illinois an ideal place for Nippon Sharyo to locate its U.S. headquarters and a new manufacturing facility,” said Governor Quinn. “This is a great example of how the state’s strategic investments are putting more people to work and helping Illinois companies expand.”

In Japan, Nippon Sharyo boasts the largest market share of high-speed rail rolling stock. This August, METRA awarded Nippon Sharyo the contract to build its next generation of rail cars. METRA will purchase 160 new rail cars over the next five years with $585 million provided through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.

“We look forward to building the rail cars of the future in our new Illinois facility,” said Nippon Sharyo U.S.A. President Frank Mochizuki. “We are grateful the state shares our vision.”

Nippon will build a new 400,000 square foot manufacturing facility and relocate its U.S. headquarters to Rochelle. This new facility will enable them to meet the Federal Railroad Administration’s “Made in America” requirements and compete for contracts to assemble high-speed rail cars as America builds its high-speed rail network.

The state’s business investment package, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), will consist of Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits based on job creation, Employer Training Investment Program job training funds and a Community Development Assistance Program grant. The company will also benefit from being located in an Enterprise Zone.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Transportation is investing $5 million through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to build a rail spur from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe main line to the new factory. The siding will open up 12,000 new acres for future development. An additional $2 million investment will come from IDOT’s Economic Development Program.

“Governor Quinn has worked with manufacturers of all sizes to move to and stay in Illinois,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “This new facility is a key win as it will not only create jobs at Nippon Sharyo, but at many Illinois suppliers.”

Illinois’ manufacturing sector has added more than 10,000 jobs this year, which is the best growth rate in the Midwest. August marked the sixth straight month of growth in manufacturing jobs in Illinois.



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