Chicago-Quincy-Hannibal- St Louis Possible Amtrak Service

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uncleboots

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
185
The State of iIllinois has granted Hannibal, Mo 500,000 for a feasibility study for extending the Chicago-Quincy Trains to Hannibal and St Louis Mo. This is something that has been in the works for sometime. One of the biggest advantages of a St Louis Extension would be this train would serve Western Illinois University in McComb, Quincy University and John Woods College in Quincy, Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo, Hannibal Lagrange College in Hannibal’s, Lindenwood University in St Charles, St Louis University and Harris Stowe University in St Louis. The St Louis-Quincy Section would be the Old CB&Q’s Mark Twain Zephyr and The Zephyr Rocket Routes.I believe the Hannibal Extension would be 1st, then the St Louis Extension would follow.
 
This seems to resemble the following FRA Corridor ID grant:

From page 12 of https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot.gov/files/2023-12/FY22 CID Project Summaries-Map.pdf

Hannibal Extension of Existing Chicago-Quincy Corridor (Up to $500,000)
Missouri Department of Transportation
The proposed corridor would connect Hannibal, MO, to Chicago, IL, by extending an existing state-supported route (the Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg between Chicago and Quincy, IL) and the activities undertaken as part of the development of the corridor would result in an extension of an existing route. The corridor sponsor would enter Step 1 of the program to develop a scope, schedule, and cost estimate for preparing, completing, or documenting its service development plan.
 
The State of iIllinois has granted Hannibal, Mo 500,000 for a feasibility study for extending the Chicago-Quincy Trains to Hannibal and St Louis Mo. This is something that has been in the works for sometime. One of the biggest advantages of a St Louis Extension would be this train would serve Western Illinois University in McComb, Quincy University and John Woods College in Quincy, Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo, Hannibal Lagrange College in Hannibal’s, Lindenwood University in St Charles, St Louis University and Harris Stowe University in St Louis. The St Louis-Quincy Section would be the Old CB&Q’s Mark Twain Zephyr and The Zephyr Rocket Routes.I believe the Hannibal Extension would be 1st, then the St Louis Extension would follow.
I don’t understand why Illinois would fund an extension into Missouri…shouldn’t MO pay for that?
 
I don’t understand why Illinois would fund an extension into Missouri…shouldn’t MO pay for that?I

It’s money that was given to Illinois by the Government and the money will go towards Illinois Trains the Sandburg Trains. You do realize Illinois funds the Lincoln Services between St. Louis and Chicago which partially runs in Missouri.

Once the route is up and going Missouri will partially fund the route.
 
The link above seems clear enough: The funds come from FRA (USDOT). The funds go to Missouri DOT (not to Illinois DOT).

The purpose is to estimate how much effort and cost is requires to create a Service Development Plan (SDP). Once that estimate is done and the cost of the SDP is known, FRA may issue a 90% grant to Missouri DOT to actually create the SDP. A SDP includes study data, but is not itself a "feasibility study". An SDP means that sponsor (Missouri DOT) has already decided that the new service seems worthwhile.
 
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Once the route is up and going Missouri will partially fund the route.
Okay, but why doesn’t Missouri use its share of federal funding to pay its share of the route extension study? Illinois should use its share of federal funding for services within its own state, IMHO. All states should pay their pro rated proportion of costs for state supported interstate train expenses, and not expect neighbouring states to “carry them”…
 
Okay, but why doesn’t Missouri use its share of federal funding to pay its share of the route extension study? Illinois should use its share of federal funding for services within its own state, IMHO. All states should pay their pro rated proportion of costs for state supported interstate train expenses, and not expect neighbouring states to “carry them”…
If the route occurs, Illinois will pay for the Chicago to Quincy Portion and Missouri will pay for Quincy to St. Louis with part of its 6 billion dollar state surplus. The 500,000 dollars was a grant given Illinois and Illinois chose to use for a feasibility study for expansion of one of its Illinois Trains. Okay!
 
I went to WIU in Macomb in the 90s and we've been talking about the need for this extension for years. (Back then there was only the Zephyr, so we only had a 7am departure to get to Chicago. At least we have the Sandburg as well now). I don't know what the study will say but I would assume this could have a great ridership level. A lot of the towns along the Zephyr/Sandburg route would love a St. Louis connection and it could make colleges like WIU and Knox in Galesburg more attractive options for MO residents. It would also make STL an option for getting to a major (-ish) airport.

I think it would make that train feel less like a commuter route, serving one major city and no others. The train gets emptier and emptier southbound after it gets past Naperville and is practically empty after the mass exodus in Macomb, and gets more and more full as it heads toward Chicago. There could be a lot more balance to boarding in each direction.

I do wonder what kind of speeds they could have on that route. I worry it may be slower than you would like to be an attractive option.
 
Does anybody have a link to the potential route or a map or the route?
I don't have a map. But this would basically be an extension of the current Illinois Zephyr between Chicago and Quincy. The Quincy-St. Louis portion would be on the BNSF tracks that run parallel to the Mississippi River.
 
I hope that 30 minutes included the station stops because that's only about 22 miles of rail (assuming it's not 60 MPH due to switches and bridge, etc).
 
CB&Q Timetable from 1956 shows trains running between Hannibal and Quincy taking 20-23 minutes.

Note the Quincy stop at that time was located across the Mississippi in West Quincy, MO. The journey today would require additional mileage to reach the current Quincy station in Illinois.

True, but it's an extension of the current route - a few baby steps can make a huge difference (can we call this the "Mark Twain" or something?).
 
CB&Q Timetable from 1956 shows trains running between Hannibal and Quincy taking 20-23 minutes.

Note the Quincy stop at that time was located across the Mississippi in West Quincy, MO. The journey today would require additional mileage to reach the current Quincy station in Illinois.
Good find!

IIRC, when the Amtrak Illinois Zephyr began service, it terminated on the Missouri side, possibly because they had a better station or layover facility there, than on the Illinois side. Later, they relocated to the current spot.
 
Good find!

IIRC, when the Amtrak Illinois Zephyr began service, it terminated on the Missouri side, possibly because they had a better station or layover facility there, than on the Illinois side. Later, they relocated to the current spot.
The trains still layover there, they just cut revenue service and demolished the station, last service there was in 1994. The wye for turning the train is there as well. But the Quincy and West Quincy stations were both stops, they didn't skip Quincy, IL when West Quincy, MO was the terminus. So it wasn't a relocation, they just cut back service. I'm not sure what the passenger numbers to West Quincy looked like but I imagine it was pretty tiny. West Quincy is a town of like 500 or 600 and there aren't really any bigger towns very close by.
 
The trains still layover there, they just cut revenue service and demolished the station, last service there was in 1994. The wye for turning the train is there as well. But the Quincy and West Quincy stations were both stops, they didn't skip Quincy, IL when West Quincy, MO was the terminus. So it wasn't a relocation, they just cut back service. I'm not sure what the passenger numbers to West Quincy looked like but I imagine it was pretty tiny. West Quincy is a town of like 500 or 600 and there aren't really any bigger towns very close by.
Thanks for clarifying that…
Heres a TT from 1993…
http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19931031n&item=0027
 
Thanks for clarifying that…
Heres a TT from 1993…
http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19931031n&item=0027
One thing I'm unsure of is when the service stopped. I found info online that said service was cut back on May 1, 1994. My memory is that service was disrupted during the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1993 because the trains couldn't cross over to West Quincy and that it never restarted. But my memory could be wrong. So I'm not sure if service was cut in summer 1993 and never came back then was officially taken off the schedule in 1994, or if service resumed and then they decided to cut it back shortly thereafter.
 
The trains still layover there, they just cut revenue service and demolished the station, last service there was in 1994. The wye for turning the train is there as well. But the Quincy and West Quincy stations were both stops, they didn't skip Quincy, IL when West Quincy, MO was the terminus. So it wasn't a relocation, they just cut back service. I'm not sure what the passenger numbers to West Quincy looked like but I imagine it was pretty tiny. West Quincy is a town of like 500 or 600 and there aren't really any bigger towns very close by.
West Quincy is just across the river from downtown Quincy, and it's connected by a highway bridge. If I recall correctly, the drive from downtown Quincy to the West Quincy station parking lot was less than ten minutes.
 
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