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Iowa, Illinois DOTs complete environmental assessment for Chicago-Iowa City service



On Sept. 25, the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation released an environmental assessment for a proposed Chicago-to-Iowa City passenger-rail service.

As part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, the Iowa and Illinois DOTs, along with the Federal Railroad Administration, have been evaluating alternative routes for the service.

Alternative A would run from Chicago's Union Station west along existing BNSF Railway Co. tracks, passing through Naperville, Plano, Mendota and Princeton before connecting to the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) in Wyanet, Ill.

Alternative B would travel from Union Station west along Metra commuter-rail tracks to Joliet, then continue to Morris and LaSalle on what's known as the CSXT rail line. The route also would connect to IAIS in Wyanet.

Both routes then would run west to Geneseo, the Quad Cities and Iowa City.

The Iowa and Illinois DOTs currently are accepting public comments on the environmental report.