ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the following statement on the expansion of Amtrak service to Rockford:
"Getting Amtrak service back on track has been a priority for me since I've taken office. Many people have worked to bring us where we are today," Stadelman said. "I am excited to be part of the final push to make Amtrak service a reality. For too long, the Rockford community's needs were ignored. No longer. Our growing, vibrant city boasts tremendous transportation opportunities and the addition of passenger rail service to and from Chicago enhances the amenities our community needs."
Governor Pat Quinn announced a $223 million state capital investment that will create hundreds of jobs and restart Amtrak service between Rockford and Chicago beginning in 2015.
After two years of discussion, the state of Illinois has decided to switch to a new route, utilizing tracks owned by Metra and the Union Pacific Railroad.
The new northern route was chosen after lengthy negotiations with the Canadian National Railway, whose tracks were originally chosen for the service. Switching to the new tracks will ensure that service begins in 2015 and isn't held up by continued delays.