Picking up speed: Officials say spending deal to aid 10th Street rail work in Springfield, Illinois

October 17, 2015

Long-term efforts to move train traffic to a single rail corridor in Springfield should pick up speed as a result of a new rail spending agreement, state and local officials said Friday.Website Insert State Supported Passenger Trains copy

The tentative deal includes a state commitment of $12 million toward federal matching funds for construction of rail underpasses at Ash and Laurel streets on the 10th Street line.

State funding is contingent on federal approval of $16 million for the underpasses as the next phase of plans to move Union Pacific and Amtrak trains from Third Street to 10th.

“The primary investment going forward is going to be on the 10th Street corridor,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said at a Statehouse news conference with city, county and state transportation officials.

Rauner said the agreement should be completed in a matter of days.

“As a proud resident of Springfield, I am a supporter of this to get the rail line out from the middle of town,” said Rauner, referring to the Executive Mansion, which is less than a block east of the Third Street tracks.

Rauner pointed out that the federal government has committed $1.2 billion and the state nearly $300 million toward 110-mph Amtrak service between Chicago and St. Louis. He said the agreement would honor the state commitment to faster passenger service while moving trains out of downtown Springfield as quickly as possible.

Tom Landis, Business Editor of The State Journal-Register has the full story by clicking here.

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