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Why No Progress in Starting QC-Chicago Amtrak Service ?

Marc Glucksman

Members of Congress want to know why there's still no Amtrak service between the Quad Cities and Chicago.

Friday Illinois US Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and Moline Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, sent a letter to the Illinois DOT and Iowa Interstate Railroad, urging them to reach an agreement.

Without an agreement on possible track upgrades and the cost, federal funding for the project could be lost.

In the letter, the three "express our strong concerns about the lack of progress," and refer to "years of unnecessary delays."

Federal funding was initially secured in 2010, with passenger service to begin in 2014. Since then, state money has also been promised for the Quad Cities-Chicago route.

The three say it's far past time for the Illinois DOT and Iowa Interstate to reach agreement, and they'll provide whatever help they can to advance this project.

In late January, WVIK News Editor, Michelle O'Neill, received the following answer to her request for an update from the Illinois DOT about passenger rail between Chicago and the Quad Cities:

The Illinois Department of Transportation is still in negotiations with the Iowa Interstate Railroad and there is nothing new to report on at this time. As this project progress, we are committed to keeping you informed of our progress. Public involvement will be an ongoing process through completion.
Illinois Passenger Rail Chicago to Quad Cities Project Team

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.
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