As part of the high-speed rail improvements between St. Louis and Chicago, trains going through Springfield will use tracks a half-mile to the east of the tracks Amtrak now uses. IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider announced the 10th Street corridor, which will require a new station. She says this will promote economic growth in Springfield.
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“Up in Normal they were able, through their project there, they’ve created a new multi-module station, and they wereable to leverage that into $200 million of private investment right around that area, and that’s had a huge impact on that community in terms of jobs, in terms of attracting additional business to that area,” Schneider said.
Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says along with the financial benefits, the train whistle that residents of Springfield know well will cease to exist. “When a train enters the city of Springfield at either end, they blow the whistle and they let the whistle go at the other end. As we have designed this project, once the 10thStreet corridor is in place and we’ve made the improvements to the 19th Street tracks, there will never be another train whistle in the city of Springfield,”Houston said.
This part of the high speed rail project will increase the speed of trains to 110 mph from Alton to Joliet. The project is expected to be completed by 2017.