MOLINE – October 27, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today highlighted $230 million in federal funds to build passenger rail service between Iowa City, Moline and Chicago. Service between Chicago and Moline is expected to begin in 2013 with full service to Iowa City to follow in 2015. The project is expected to create more than 2,100 jobs in Illinois. Governor Quinn was joined at today’s announcement by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Representative Phil Hare and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.
“Passenger rail is important to our state’s continued economic recovery, creating jobs and stimulating economic development throughout the region for many years to come,” said Governor Quinn. “I want to thank Senator Durbin and Congressman Hare for their leadership in helping make this project possible.”
Awarded jointly to Iowa and Illinois on Monday through a competitive process, the $230 million will fund the development of a new corridor of rail service and mark the return of passenger train service to the Quad Cities for the first time since 1979.
In addition, Governor Quinn is investing $45 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program for the line’s construction and Iowa is contributing $20.6 million. Last week, Governor Quinn, Senator Durbin and Congressman Hare announced $16.6 million for a new multi-modal station in Moline, which will serve as a stop along the new corridor.
“This new train line is just the beginning,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The route from Chicago to the Quad Cities will pave the way for new train service across the Midwest and give us the opportunity to show the world that we can build our trains and locomotives right here in America. I thank Secretary LaHood, Governor Quinn, Congressman Hare and the Iowa Delegation for seeing the potential in this route becoming an integral part of the Midwest rail network.”
Nicknamed “The Green Line,” the new corridor will set the standard for environmentally-friendly rail service, including the use of biofuels and soy-based lubricants produced in Illinois and Iowa.
“The good news keeps pouring in for the Quad Cities. This funding will effectively complete the Quad Cities-Chicago Amtrak route,” Representative Hare said. “This project is a winner for our entire community. It will create jobs, spur economic development, and provide a safe and convenient transportation alternative. I couldn’t be prouder to have played a role in making this a reality.”
In addition, the Chicago-to-Detroit corridor will receive $161 million to rehabilitate tracks on a portion of the route to allow for high-speed service to Detroit. The Midwest also received funding to improve travel times and reliability on both the Chicago-to-Milwaukee and Chicago-to-St. Louis corridors.
The Midwest system has received more than $3 billion in competitive federal awards in 2010. When completed, the system will connect more than 40 of the largest cities in the Midwest with passenger rail, including 60 daily roundtrips out of Chicago.