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Weekly Newsletter: Dwight Breaks Ground on Station Along Chicago to St. Louis

August 18, 2015

Chicago to St. Louis 110mph service is continuing to move forward. Just last week, Dwight broke ground on a new $3.7 million station that will serve passengers on this line. This is one of many stations to be built or restored along the route. Bloomington-Normal opened a station in 2012, Joliet has a station underway and Alton recently broke ground on a station as well.

Stations like these are key economic tools and promote economic development across Illinois, not just in these towns, but surrounding areas as well. As we know, people are using the train more often. Amtrak ridership is continuing to grow along this route. In Dwight, even with the Dwight Correctional Center closing, Amtrak has seen an increase in passengers.

We are excited about these steps forward and the support from many downstate communities and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. The next step is to increase frequency on this route to help grow ridership even more. A top priority should be having a train that arrives in Chicago before 9:00am for business travelers or tourists who want an entire day to visit the sites.
Shira Orlowek
Operations Manager

Articles We Enjoyed:

The real Reason American Public Transportation is such a disaster
"Although history and geography are partly to blame, there's a deeper reason why American public transportation is so terrible. European, Asian, and Canadian cities treat it as a vital public utility. Most American policymakers — and voters — see transit as a social welfare program."

Analysis: Hudson rail tunnel plan is popular, but no one wants the bill
"This week, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York became the latest person to step into the fray, saying a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River should be built by a non-profit development corporation established specifically to tap every available pot of federal, state and regional money."

Another step towards more regular Cincinnati-Chicago rail in works
"The FRA has notified stakeholders and Congress informally that it has chosen the Midwest and Southeast to spend $2.8 million to study and plan rail networks in those two regions...that could include better service between Cincinnati and Chicago."

Groundbreaking this week for Chicago to St. Louis line in Dwight
"The promise of a high-speed railway line linking Chicago and St. Louis, and making a local stop in Dwight suddenly feels a little more real this week....Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Alton will all get new depots, but Dwight is the first to award contracts on its $3.26 million station."

China, Japan vie to build high-speed rail for Indonesia connecting major cities on Java
"The high-speed rail, which will connect the capital Jakarta to Bandung, is part of Indonesia's 750-kilometer (466-mile) high-speed train project that would cut across four provinces on the main island of Java and end in the country's second largest city of Surabaya."

Amtrak Exec: Train delays in Hudson River tunnel may become more common
"In the interim, there is no viable contingency plan in place if one of the two tubes in the tunnel has to be taken out of service for an extended period of time, which would reduce train traffic during rush hour from 24 trains to six, Gardner told the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee."

Upcoming Events:
NARP Fall 2015 Council Membership Meeting in Indianapolis, IN October 17-18.
Optional Tour of Amtrak's Beach Grove facility October 16

The meeting is open to all NARP members and other interested rail advocates.
Learn more here.

P3 Infrastructure Summit 2015 In New York City - October 14-15, 2015

A donation of $15 or more today will go directly towards educating elected officials. Can you help us move forward in 2015?

Shira Orlowek
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625