Amtrak line supposed to be built by 2015

MOLINE – The Illinois Department of Transportation laid out a timeline Thursday on when the new Amtrak passenger rail line from Chicago to the Quad Cities will be built.

The department says that crews will start work on the Amtrak line in the summer of 2014. It held an informational meeting Thursday at the i wireless Center to give people an update on the project.

“We think it’s well worthy of the investment going forward,” IDOT Coordinator Todd Popish said. “Thirty-five years ago, maybe people saw this as not being worth the investment, but times have changed.”

The rail line will make two round trip stops a day from the Chicago area to Princeton, to Geneseo, and then to Moline. Total, the project is expected to cost $222 million.

“Chicago’s a big hub. It’s a huge city,” Sherrard resident Dick Brodersen said. “There’s a lot of things to do there.”

Brodersen says he often takes the Amtrak train to Chicago, but he has to go to Galesburg to do it. This plan has been in the works for almost six years now. The Quad Cities made a passenger rail commission back in 2007.

“It’s been in the makings now for a long time,” Brodersen said. “It’s going to be 2015 before it’s done, so there’s a long way to go.”

Illinois says the rail line won’t be done until the fall of that year. In the meantime, Moline is looking for a developer to put the Amtrak station in the historic O’Rourke building. It plans on having the Amtrak station built by 2014.

Geneseo will also get a new Amtrak building in the process. It is holding an Amtrak meeting as well. To learn more about that, click here.

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