The Chicago to Quad Cities Service Development Program aims to reinstate passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities that has been absent for 40 years. The service will consist of two round trips per day (i.e., four passenger trains per day) operating at a maximum speed of 79 mph from Chicago to the Quad Cities with stations at intermediate locations.
The service corridor is located entirely within the State of Illinois on track owned by BNSF Railway (BNSF) and the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) between Chicago, IL, and Moline, IL. The railroad between Chicago and Wyanet is primarily owned by BNSF, and the railroad between Wyanet and Moline is primarily owned by IAIS. The total length of the proposed route is approximately 160 miles. The proposed service will begin at Chicago Union Station and terminate at the new Moline Multimodal Station.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) serves as the lead agency for this work. IDOT is working in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the railroad stakeholders BNSF Railway (BNSF), Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS), and Amtrak.
On July 1, 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Funding Availability for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. IDOT, along with the Iowa Department of Transportation, was selected for an award of $222 million in Federal funding to initiate passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities. Of this amount, IDOT received $177 million. Additional funding is provided by the State of Illinois through a state matching fund of $45 million. In June 2019, $225 million was included in the Rebuild Illinois Capital Program for completion of this project.
Program activities include a plan to design and construct a station in Geneseo, IL. The City of Moline has built a new multi-modal facility in conjunction with this Program using grant funds received by the City.
The Chicago to Quad Cities Service Development Program began with preliminary engineering and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses. In addition to defining the scope and budget of the infrastructure improvements, the preliminary engineering work will establish a schedule for final design, construction, and the startup of passenger service.
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