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Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have opened a new station in Carlinville, Illinois, along the Chicago-St. Louis passenger-rail corridor.The $3.76 million project was funded by a federal grant administered by IDOT to introduce higher-speed passenger-rail service on the Union Pacific Railroad line between Chicago and St. Louis. Amtrak trains started serving the station last month."By modernizing this station and others like it along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, we expect to see ridership increase as we work to make rail travel a more convenient, reliable option for Illinois travelers," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn in a press release.The Carlinville Station is the latest of several station improvements that IDOT is overseeing along the corridor. New stations also have been built in Dwight, Pontiac, Lincoln and Alton.Stations in Normal and Springfield will be upgraded, while a new multimodal transit center in Joliet is in the planning stages."With the formal opening of this facility in Carlinville, every downstate Amtrak station north and south of Springfield is now new or substantially renovated for our Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains," said Mike Franke, Amtrak's senior director of state government contracts. "Amtrak ridership on this corridor is up 9 percent over last year, with more than 720,000 customers enjoying the convenience and comfort Amtrak offers."
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