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Illinois DOT needs third extension to keep grant for QC passenger rail

MOLINE, Illinois -- For a third time, the Illinois Department of Transportation is requesting an extension for use of grant money set aside for the QC Passenger Rail.

The Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail service grant is good until June 30, that is, unless they get an extension.

As of early June, WQAD News 8 learned that IDOT had requested that extension, but had yet to hear back from the Federal Railroad Administration.

Jason Gordon with the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said he and his team had been advocating for the QC passenger rail, despite the road blocks.  Gordon explained that political turnover and getting different entities to work together have accounted for delays.

"(The project has) been delayed but we’re optimistic that we’ll have passenger rail in the next couple years in the Quad Cities," he said.

"I think we'd all like it to move faster," said Illinois Representative Mike Halpin. "It's a project decades in creation essentially, and we're so close and we've done so much to get us there that it's frustrating it still takes time."

The Iowa Interstate Railroad is working on the project as well.  Currently they are working with Illinois DOT to do preliminary engineering, identifying what track upgrades might be necessary to support a passenger train.