On May 5th, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Blagojevich approved funding to expand passenger rail service in Illinois. The Chicago-St. Louis corridor will get two additional round-trip trains each day, and the Chicago-Quincy and Chicago-Carbondale lines will each get one additional train per day. This is the first expansion of intercity passenger rail service in Illinois since Amtrak was founded in 1971.
This victory was a result of the Environmental Law & Policy Center's work with the United Transportation Union and the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. The three groups reached out to university presidents, state legislators and more than 300 mayors and other elected officials from all over Illinois to gain their support of the expansion. The new service should begin this fall.