The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting a virtual public hearing through Jan. 21 as part of an ongoing study assessing the state’s rail system to help identify potential improvements and solutions. The event will provide an update on input collected throughout the year on current conditions, capacity concerns and safety challenges
The event, hosted at illinoisrailneeds.org, will include a short video and information on feedback received since the study launched a year ago.
The information gathered will be used in the development of a statewide rail plan. It also will serve to inform IDOT’s ongoing Illinois Long-Range Transportation Plan, providing strategic direction for the development of the state’s transportation system.
The study will wrap up at the end of January.
Illinois is the rail hub of North America, the only state in which all seven Class 1 railroads operate. Illinois boasts more than 10,000 miles of track and serves a robust passenger rail network, with Amtrak connecting 30 communities statewide and Metra operating 11 lines in the Chicago area.
Under the Rebuild Illinois capital program, Illinois is making investments in both passenger and freight rail, including $500 million to re-establish passenger rail to the Quad Cities and Rockford, $400 million for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation and Efficiency (CREATE) Program, $100 million for improvements to improve safety and reliability on Amtrak’s Saluki service between Chicago and Carbondale, and $78 million to upgrade rail crossings and improve safety throughout the state.
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release