Quad Cities to Chicago Amtrak service gets green light

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Legislation to provide permanent funding for Amtrak has been introduced.
David C. Lester

The name “Quad Cities” refers to five U.S. cities, three in Illinois and two in Iowa located along the Mississippi River. The Illinois cities are Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline, and the Iowa cities are Davenport and Bettendorf. Although this area includes five cities, not just four, there were only four true cities in the region until the 1970s, when Bettendorf reached a size that qualified it as a city. By this time, however, the name “Quad Cities” had stuck, and this is what the region is called today. The current population of the region is around 400,000.

During the Obama Administration, a project to develop an Amtrak line to run between Chicago and the Quad Cities began with an investment of $177 million in federal funding. Recently, the congressional delegation for Illinois and the Quad Cities region contacted the U.S. Department of Transportation asking for an extension to the original $177 million award until the end of 2024. As part of a $45 billion infrastructure bill, signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, an additional $225 million was awarded to this project. The congressional delegation included U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth, (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17).

Sen. Durbin said that the additional funding will give “local communities in the Quad Cities the certainty needed to plan ahead for the new passenger rail service. The future of this critical Illinois transportation project looks bright.” The plan calls for round-trip service between the Quad Cities and Chicago to be offered twice daily, with stops in the Illinois cities of Geneseo, Princeton, Mendota, and Plano.

Source: Mass Transit

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