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Amtrak studying Quad Cities to Danville

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Anderson

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On the one hand, this is only a study (and we all know the massive share of those that go nowhere). On the other hand...this is a potential big deal because it's a service in the region that does not run through Chicago, and moreover allows potential connections between all of the IL trains save the Hiawatha and one another.

I've got to ask, though, whether IL considered just going through to Indianapolis or not. Danville is an odd place to stop a train, and it might actually cost IL less to run to Indianapolis (without Indiana chipping in) than to cut the train short in the middle of nowhere (relatively speaking...Danville isn't St. Alban's, but it's also not exactly a major city, and forcing a bustitution there seems like a dumb move). Then there's the issue of improvements Danville-Indianapolis, but even there if IL could provide some matching funds it might be able to cover the extension for relatively cheap.
 

JayPea

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Good luck with this one; a good part of this route is abandoned, though the tracks are still in place, and in some places rails are gone altogether. My uncle lives about half a mile from this route, near Champaign, and even in the places rails are active, trains are not able to run very fast due to the conditions of the rails. IMHO, it really wouldn't be worth it unless the line did extend to Indianapolis.
 

MikefromCrete

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I doubt if this study will go anywhere. All of its goals can be accomplished with a bus. Right now, new Gov. Rauner has put a stop on all transportation projects, including rail service expansion. Hopefully the Quad Cities and Rockford service will survive this scrutiny. A train from nowhere to nowhere probably won't get anywhere, even with DMU operation. And, Anderson, there is no way Illinois is going to pay for any service to Indiana. If the Hoosiers want, let them pay for it.
 

XHRTSP

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I'm not sure what benefit Indiana would get out of this that they wouldn't get just as good by investing in the Hoosier route.
 

jphjaxfl

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The Indianapolis to Crawfordsville portion this route is currently used by the Hoosier State. The Peoria-Bloomington-Champain-Danville-Indianpolis route is the old Peoria & Eastern which had passenger service to the mid 1950s but much has been abandoned. Quad Cities to Peoria is the old Rock Island & Peoria and hasn't had passenger service since the 1930s and is mostly abandoned.
 

Paulus

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Illinois should really focus on increasing the frequencies on their existing routes before adding new ones imho.
 

Anderson

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The big reason I'd push for the connection to Indy is one part net performance...and above and beyond that, the ability to run a section of the Cardinal off of such an effort. That would be a big deal for Amtrak as a whole, since it would theoretically allow connections running around Chicago...something Amtrak has lacked for a long, long time.
 

Anderson

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Section of Cardinal really needs to go to St. Louis - Kansas City for really good network effect, not necessarily Quad Cities though.
True, but if this were done you could run the train either to Quad Cities (and cross with every westbound LD train save for the Builder) or put in a connecting track at Bloomington. I'm going to step out front and say that a routing via Terre Haute would be far more desirable (and just sticking to the Quad Cities probably preferable), but I do think it would be better to have something that doesn't go via Chicago (even if it were a through sleeper tossed onto a state train) than not having anything at all.
 

railiner

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Restoring a Pittsburgh-Columbus-Indianapolis-Effingham-St. Louis train, even if the original Panhandle Line is partly gone, would be a better focus of a new service, IMHO... :)
 

kbmiflyer

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Mar 30, 2013
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So, pretending this actually somehow gets approved, I assume this would be the route?

BNSF - Quad-Cites to Galesburg (possible SWC and CZ connections)

BNSF- Galesburg - Peoria

NS - Peoria - Bloomington (Possible TE connection)

??? - Bloomington - Champaign - either rebuild old Big 4 line or follow NS through Gibson City to Mansfield then into Champaign (possible CNO connection). I THINK Mansfied to Champaign is still active?

??? - Champaign - Danville - rebuild Big 4 or CN (IC) down to Tolono then NS (Wabash) to Danville,

??? - Danville - Indianapolis - NS/CSX through Lafayette or rebuild Big 4 from Convington, IN to Crawsfordsville ? (possible Cardinal connection)

All of these rails (with the exception of Quad Cities - Galesburg and the IC/CSX lines near Campaign) are either pretty slow or non-existent. Not to mention that there are no existing stations along that are actually along the route save for Galesburg. The capital investment to do this project is immense, and the travel time by train would by MUCH longer than travel by car or bus. As a Bloomington resident it would be cool to see this train come to life, but I just can't see it.
 
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JayPea

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The Mansfield-Champaign portion of the line is still active thanks to the Anderson Elevator Company just outside Champaign. But even there the trains crawl at a snail's pace. Even though I live here in Washington I think it would be neat, too, as my uncle lives just south of that line, and about halfway between Mansfield and Mahomet. I visit there once a year and it would be neat to see Amtrak racing on those tracks instead of slow, ponderous freight trains. But from what I know of the condition of the tracks and the state of Illinois' finances, this proposed route is unrealistic.
 

andersone

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Being a one time resident of Yates City, another train in GBB would always be appreciated,,, and route the leg from the quad cities through Monmouth to catch all the college kids who want to party in Champaign,,,,
 

Eric S

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I realize I'm a few days late here, but this suggested route just reinforces my belief that IL (and other states with corridor operations) ought to focus more attention on adding additional frequencies to existing corridors (as Paulus mentioned above) and adding Thruway bus services to link off-corridor communities with stations (as demonstrated best in CA). The added bus connections can help to demonstrate if future rail service might be warranted and also serve communities that may never see rail service (for whatever reason).
 
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