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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Illinois DOT chooses Chicago/Rockford Amtrak route


Last week, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced it selected a southern route for Amtrak’s new Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque service.

IDOT made the decision based on an independent study conducted by URS Corp., which showed a southern route through Genoa, Ill., would require $26.2 million to upgrade infrastructure between Chicago and Rockford. The department estimates it will cost a total of $60 million to implement the service, which could start by early 2014.

Making similar improvements on a proposed northern route through Belvidere would cost $62.3 million, raising the total cost of the route to $96 million, according to IDOT.

In addition, the study projects annual ridership on the southern route at 76,357 vs. 54,988 on the northern route. Plus, the southern route will cross 143 roads while the northern route would have crossed 176, IDOT said.
On-time performance is expected to be higher on the southern route, as well; the corridor is used by two railroads while the northern route is used by four.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/13/2010