Illinois has several passenger rail projects under way. Work is to begin this spring on re-establishing trains between Rockford and Chicago and between the Quad Cities and Chicago, places the trains haven’t served for over 30 years. IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider remembers how it used to be. “I’m originally from the Quad Cities and it was a big railroad community for a long time with the Rock Island lines.
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When the Rock Island lines went bankrupt, some of that fell off, and I think the people in that area are very excited about having that connection to Chicago, with Chicago being the hub of the Midwest passenger rail system,” she said. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad operated the Quad Cities Rocket between Rock Island and Chicago until the company went out of business in 1980. Amtrak ran Rockford service until 1981. The Rockford project will eventually serve Galena and Dubuque, Iowa as well.
Work continues on so-called high-speed rail between Alton and Joliet, with 110 mph service expected to be running on that route by 2016.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.