Passenger Rail Service Meeting In Geneseo - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Passenger Rail Service Meeting In Geneseo

Updated: Nov 13, 2012 09:39 PM CST

Plans for passenger rail service from Moline to Chicago are still on track. A public meeting was held Tuesday evening in Geneseo, which is one of the stops on the route. Officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation went over the specifics that they know so far. The route goes from Moline to Geneseo to Princeton to Mendota to Plano to Naperville to La Grange and ends at Union Station. 2 daily round trip trains will travel from Chicago to Moline and back everyday once service starts. However, before trains can travel along the route, IDOT officials say a lot of work needs to be done.

"I wanted to see what this project is all about," says Terry Travis of Geneseo.

Travis works in the transportation business, he spent years at a highway construction company.

"I recently lost my job, because companies have to cut back on overhead in order to survive this next year," says Travis, "It is because of so many cuts to the highway budget."

Travis is looking for opportunities passenger trains will bring.

"I have a lot of knowledge in highways, so I wanted to see if I could take what I know in highway and apply it to railroad," adds Travis.

Travis and others at the meeting learned the $222-million project is fully funded.

"We're basically here to announce phase one of the project for the Chicago to Quad Cities corridor expansion," says Todd Popish from the IDOT Bureau of Railroads.

Phase one includes preliminary engineering and environmental assessments required by the federal government.

"We're seeing record ridership on Amtrak and we think it's a worthy investment nowadays," adds Popish.

The $222-million will pay for the entire project, except the Moline station. A different funding source is being used for that part of project. In Geneseo, people are excited for their new station and are on board with passenger rail service.

"I think it'll be great for people to not have to drive," says Dick Billiet of Prophetstown, "It would be convenient with no traffic to fight."

"It's a win-win proposition," says Claire Crawford of Geneseo, "We've waited a long time for this, so I'm real thrilled that this is actually going to happen."

Travis is also excited for the new trains that hold more than just the promise of new career.

"I'll probably use it, because my daughter that lives in Chicago," says Travis, "I might just take it to go up there on the weekend."

Phase one will finish up in the winter of 2013 and construction will be underway in the summer of 2014. Construction will be complete and passenger rail service will begin the fall 2015.

For more information on Passenger Rail Service click here.