New Illinois service

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Best guess is early 2023 as things stand now. But that could of course change.
Thanks! I'm hoping that the new Illinois services start soon as well, I haven't seen anything new on them for a while and when I tried googling to see if there was anything new I couldn't find anything much.
 

jis

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Thanks! I'm hoping that the new Illinois services start soon as well, I haven't seen anything new on them for a while and when I tried googling to see if there was anything new I couldn't find anything much.
If you mean Moline and Rockford, my understanding is that those are not expected before 2027. But of course things can change.
 
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If you mean Moline and Rockford, my understanding is that those are not expected before 2027. But of course things can change.
That's too bad, I knew Rockford was a disaster time-wise, but I thought Quad Cities was much further along.
 
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They need to build a connection from BNSF to the ex rock island tracks and upgrade the tracks from this junction to quad cities.
Yeah, I thought somehow that Gov. Pritzker had already found the money for that. There certainly will be a big chunk of change to get this going now. It'll be interesting to see how much increase in ridership there is in the towns that are already served by Illinois Services now and get additional service.
 

GoAmtrak

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Yeah, I thought somehow that Gov. Pritzker had already found the money for that. There certainly will be a big chunk of change to get this going now. It'll be interesting to see how much increase in ridership there is in the towns that are already served by Illinois Services now and get additional service.
Things in Illinois are somewhat encouraging for me. If every state in the Midwest would support such a relatively extensive passenger railway network, we would be much further.

On topic, I read also something about the second train from Saint Paul to Chicago, about funding being done by multiple players. In that article it was also written the second train could start earlier than expected, in 2023. There is no completely new line introduced, so it should be possible to start without waiting for 2 years.

In the same article, advocates from Fargo brought a further extension of this second daily train to Saint Cloud - Fargo to the table. I would be surprised by this, but with the political climate in Minnesota tending more towards the Democrats there are perhaps some chances this could happen in the future.
 

jis

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Moderator's Notes: Posts above moved to this thread from the Chicago Twin Cities thread:

 

Amtrakfflyer

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Been in the ”serious” planning stages for a decade, we even have a station and hotel built for it in downtown Moline. Realistically saying it’s going to happen in 2027 means there’s no serious plans for it to happen ever. More so with its main proponent on the federal level retiring ( US Rep Cheri Bustos). She’s been outspoken on keeping federal grants alive and extended while IL drags its feet. Most people have never heard of the Quad Cities/Moline but our population is 500,000 plus nowadays. The service would be used and popular, even so more with our harsh winters. Sad state of affairs when the bluish of blue states cant make a 180 mile corridor work.

Side note I can’t lay all the blame on IL, half of our 500,000 residents including myself live in Iowa. I’m a 10 min drive to the proposed station in Moline. Illinois is at least giving the service hollow lip service, Iowa is and has repeated given Amtrak the middle finger to be blunt. Another example how state funded corridors are problematic and the end result is citizens suffer.

And agreed things can change.

If you mean Moline and Rockford, my understanding is that those are not expected before 2027. But of course things can change.
 
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neroden

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Yeah, I thought somehow that Gov. Pritzker had already found the money for that. There certainly will be a big chunk of change to get this going now. It'll be interesting to see how much increase in ridership there is in the towns that are already served by Illinois Services now and get additional service.
The money is there for the Moline service; there have been negotiation problems with Iowa Interstate and with the farmers who own the land where the connection is, according to what I've heard. :::sigh::: I think in the end Illinois will have to find some extra money and buy the Iowa Interstate tracks outright.

Ah yes -- this is public information.

 

rtabern

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Illinois has been talking about this service for more than 10 years now. I have a feeling it's never going to happen, but you never know. Back in 2012 when we started doing a Trails & Rails program on the Southwest Chief... I remember pointing out the crossing where the connection would be to passengers on the train. 10 years ago and really nothing has been done... a bunch of talking and studies. Same with the service to Rockford, Galena, Dubuque, or wherever it is going now. The problem is if a democratic governor is in... it seems to progress... then a Republican governor gets in... and everything is cancelled. Wisconsin had the same thing with service to Madison and a state train from CHI to MSP via MKE. Maybe if Illinois stays democrat in 2022 and 2024 this could happen, I guess.

As much as I like rail travel... I don't know if service to the Quad Cities is needed. You can drive Chicago to Moline in 2 hours and 28 minutes. Rail would take significantly longer.
 
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As much as I like rail travel... I don't know if service to the Quad Cities is needed. You can drive Chicago to Moline in 2 hours and 28 minutes. Rail would take significantly longer.
Google Maps says it takes 2 hours and 53 minutes to make the drive, and Google Maps estimates tend to be overly optimistic. I know if I made the drive I'd have to add 20-30 minutes for bathroom breaks alone. Also, based on my experience driving around Chicago, it takes 2 and a half hours just to drive from I-294 to the Loop, or at least it seems that way. :)
 

rtabern

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Google Maps says it takes 2 hours and 53 minutes to make the drive, and Google Maps estimates tend to be overly optimistic. I know if I made the drive I'd have to add 20-30 minutes for bathroom breaks alone. Also, based on my experience driving around Chicago, it takes 2 and a half hours just to drive from I-294 to the Loop, or at least it seems that way. :)
You were probably looking at Google Maps when there was some traffic delays on the Eisenhower (I-290) in Chicago, hence the extra 23 minutes.

2 hours and 28 minutes is with no delays --- aka the drive time show at 10am this morning... Saturday 1/15/22

And yes, it can be much higher in traffic... but even with heavy traffic... a car is probably faster to the Quad Cities than a train could ever be. That was my point.
 

bms

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And yes, it can be much higher in traffic... but even with heavy traffic... a car is probably faster to the Quad Cities than a train could ever be. That was my point.
That's the Republican talking point to oppose every new service. It assumes travel time is the only deciding factor, every potential passenger has a car, and that everyone who has a car is willing and can afford to drive/park/pay tolls in Chicago. It's not like people take the Illinois Zephyr for speed, but it still is popular.
 
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You were probably looking at Google Maps when there was some traffic delays on the Eisenhower (I-290) in Chicago, hence the extra 23 minutes.

2 hours and 28 minutes is with no delays --- aka the drive time show at 10am this morning... Saturday 1/15/22

And yes, it can be much higher in traffic... but even with heavy traffic... a car is probably faster to the Quad Cities than a train could ever be. That was my point.
So great, you can do it in 2 and a half hours on a Sunday morning. At the times most people want to travel, there are almost always traffic delays on the Eisenhower. And, as I said, the Goggle Maps estimated drive times are almost always too optimistic. My experience is that no matter how fast my maximum, I average 50 mph on road trips, including stops. This, the 160 miles between Chicago and Moline will take over 3 hours. Plus, even without any speed advantage, taking the train has an advantage as you don't need to find a (very expensive) parking spot once you get to Chicago.
 

jis

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This, the 160 miles between Chicago and Moline will take over 3 hours. Plus, even without any speed advantage, taking the train has an advantage as you don't need to find a (very expensive) parking spot once you get to Chicago.
Plus you can sit back, relax and have a cuppa or two instead of dodging trucks and crazy drivers. 🤷‍♂️
 

Deni

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That's the Republican talking point to oppose every new service. It assumes travel time is the only deciding factor, every potential passenger has a car, and that everyone who has a car is willing and can afford to drive/park/pay tolls in Chicago. It's not like people take the Illinois Zephyr for speed, but it still is popular.
Although going to Macomb or Quincy on the Zephyr is always faster than driving from Chicago, unless you drive at 2:00 in the morning and speed without any stops..
 
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