The Chicago to Quad Cities Corridor was once an integral component of the country’s passenger rail network and originally part of the Rock Island Railroad route network. In 1978, passenger service ceased between Chicago and the Quad Cities. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is engaged in a study that explores reinstating passenger rail service in the corridor. The re-introduction of passenger rail service in this part of Illinois is a key element for improving connectivity between major Midwest cities and the region.
In 2010, IDOT received federal funding to initiate passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities. In 2011, IDOT began preliminary engineering on the infrastructure improvements needed to implement the service and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) activities to identify and mitigate potential environmental impacts of the project. The project was put on hold in 2015, and in spring 2017, was reinitiated.
IDOT is working collaboratively with the Federal Railroad Administration, BNSF, and Iowa Interstate Railroad to complete preliminary engineering and conclude the NEPA process.
Following successful completion of preliminary engineering and the NEPA process, the project will move to the final design phase, followed by construction.