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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak rings up more Illinois route riders in FY09

In fiscal-year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, Amtrak’s Illinois ridership totaled more than 1.8 million passengers, up 1 percent vs. FY2008 ridership and up 20 percent vs. FY2007’s total. Amtrak trains in the state are operated under a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Ridership on the Chicago-St. Louis route increased 6 percent year over year to 577,801, but Chicago-Carbondale route ridership fell 5 percent to 290,6262 and Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha service ridership declined 2 percent to 738,231. The Hiawatha service is provided in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Amtrak and IDOT are working with Union Pacific Railroad to improve reliability on the Chicago-St. Louis route and plan to increase the number of daily round-trips between the cities from five to nine. UP owns most of the 284-mile corridor and has projected a need to double-track the route to accommodate on-time performance with increased train volumes, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

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More News from 11/25/2009