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Illinois state officials have awarded Amtrak a $300,000 grant to help upgrade the national intercity passenger railroad’s Chicago train yard.
Funded with Illinois Energy Now program dollars, the grant will “significantly reduce Amtrak’s natural gas consumption and empower them to save millions of dollars annually,” stated a press release from Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn’s office.
The energy-efficiency project will allow Amtrak to replace an inefficient steam heat system and eliminate thousands of feet of steam piping, uninsulated piping, leaks and defective traps with much more effectively controlled and monitored heat sources, the release stated.
“We’re always looking for ways for energy conservation and environmental management to reduce our carbon footprint and make Amtrak an even more efficient mode of transportation,” said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman.
Meanwhile, the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council has approved nearly $15.7 million in grants for 17 projects that will promote economic development along transit corridors.
The Minnesota communities that received the funding are Anoka, Apple Valley, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Richfield, St. Louis Park and St. Paul.
The funds are the first to be awarded from a new category of grants within the “Livable Communities” program to advance transit-oriented development, council officials said in a prepared statement.