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Amtrak analyzes feasibility of Quad Cities-to-Chicago line


Amtrak recently completed a feasibility report on providing intercity passenger-rail service between Moline and Rock Island, Ill., and Chicago.

Requested by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the report outlines the cost, estimated ridership and funding needed to restore Quad Cities passenger-rail service, which was eliminated in 1978. The shortest, fastest and least costly route would require infrastructure upgrades totaling between $14 million and $23 million, the report states. The figures don’t include rolling stock or station expenses.

Trains would operate at speeds up to 79 mph and make the Quad Cities-to-Chicago trip in about three-and-a-half hours. Based on two daily round trips, ridership would total about 111,000 annually, according to the report.

The annual state operating cost would total about $6 million. If the state decides to further pursue the service, Amtrak and state officials next would begin negotiating agreements with host railroads, and develop detailed capital plans and funding requests.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/8/2008