CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Monday marked the start of a 110 mph passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Louis.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and other federal, state, and local officials celebrated the start of service for the $1.96 billion project.
Major upgrades were performed at 212 grade crossings, and new safety and reliability safeguards were put in place along the route. New stations were built in Dwight, Pontiac, Carlinville, and Alton. The Lincoln station was renovated, the Normal station was improved, and the Springfield station upgraded.
New customer amenities have been added, and new locomotives have been acquired.
“Illinois is the only state where all seven of the nation’s largest railroads operate. That’s a unique economic advantage recognized by employers across the globe, helping our state attract and maintain quality jobs,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “By upgrading to higher-speed service on Illinois’ largest passenger rail line, we are solidifying our status as the transportation hub of North America. Investments like these do more than just connect cities – they allow our residents to access opportunities beyond their immediate neighborhoods, streamline regional collaborations, and open doors for new jobs and new businesses.”
The project was made possible with federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, along with $300 million in state and non-federal funds. The project broke ground in 2010.
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