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The Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition (QC Rail) is advocating on behalf of the QC region for restored passenger rail service to Chicago. 

With a metropolitan population of 400,000 residents, the Quad Cities is the firstmajor stop on a corridor with 10.2 million people from Chicago to Omaha.  Intercitypassenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities, Iowa MapCity, Des Moines and Omaha will expand ridership as part ofthe successful Midwest Regional Rail - Chicago Hub Network.  

Nearly 10,000 area individuals have joined QC Rail since May 2007, including
area residents, elected officials, community, labor, and business leaders, and college students.  In addition, over 150 businesses, labor and community organizations, and governmental entities have become official supporters of
the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition.

The Quad City region looks forward to passenger rail benefiting business, leisure,
and commuter travel as well as the associated positive impact on the region’s
economy, environment, quality of life, workforce attraction/retention, and job growth.

Quad Cities Passenger Rail Resources

Chicago - Quad Cities - Iowa City Route Map (.bmp)
Chicago - Quad Cities Amtrak Feasibility Study (pdf)
Quad Cities - Iowa City Amtrak Feasibility Study (pdf)
Midwest Rail Plan - Governors' Memorandum of Understanding
Iowa/Illinois Passenger Rail Memorandum of Understanding

President Obama's Vision for High Speed Rail in America

Quad Cities Passenger Rail Fact Sheet

Quad Cities Passenger Rail's Economic Impact

Passenger Rail's Environmental Impact

Contact your Congressman or State Legislator

QC Rail News & Updates

Passenger Rail will be coming to the Quad Cities Thanks to All of Your Support!
You are invited to help celebrate this historic accomplishment on Wednesday, October 27th at 2:30 p.m. Centre Station (1200 River Drive) in Moline!

Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Phil Hare, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Iowa Governor Chet Culver (tentative) will be joined by Illinois and Iowa state and local officials and Quad Cities supporters to officially announce the $230 million federal grant for Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City passenger rail service.

Come show your support and excitement!

Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Passenger Rail Receives $230 Million Grant
The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded a $230 million federal grant for a new passenger rail route from Chicago to the Quad Cities and Iowa City. This award will also include additional state and local funding that was committed as part of the joint Illinois and Iowa application. This funding will be used to complete all of the design and construction associated with initiating Amtrak service to the Quad Cities and Iowa City by 2015.

This $230 million grant comes on the heels of $16.7 million announcement for a multimodal Quad Cities Amtrak station, which includes $10 million from the federal TIGER II program and $5 million from the State of Illinois.

"Today's announcement marks Quad Cities Amtrak service as the single largest federally funded project ever in the Quad Cities," said Paul Rumler, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition. "Quad Cities Amtrak service will now become a reality. Area residents, community and business leaders, and elected officials united through QC Rail to advocate and support passenger rail service, and together it's time to celebrate its return to the Quad Cities."

Quad Cities Amtrak Station Announcement
Station DrawingYou are invited to the Amtrak Station TIGER II grant announcement on Thursday, October 21st at 11:15am. The event will take place at Centre Station (1200 River Drive) in Moline. 

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Congressman Phil Hare will be joined by Joe Szabo, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, and other federal, state, and local officials at this event.  The U.S. Department of Transportation will be announcing that $10 million will be used to convert the historic O'Rourke building into the Moline Multimodal Station that will serve as a transportation hub reconnecting the Quad Cities with Chicago, and ultimately to Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha.

"The Amtrak Station funding is the culmination of years of hard work by Quad Cities' community leaders and elected officials who took action in response to the outpouring of public demand for passenger rail service," said Paul Rumler, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition. "This announcement would not be a reality without the leadership of Senator Durbin, Congressman Hare, and Congressman Braley who pushed hard for this funding at the federal level, and Governor Pat Quinn who identified the Quad Cities Amtrak Station as a top state priority for Illinois.  Passenger rail service will lead to new jobs and economic growth while adding to our region's quality of life."

The Quad Cities Amtrak Station is one of 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states that will share nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's popular TIGER II program for major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports.  U.S. DOT received nearly 1,000 construction grant applications for more than $19 billion from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

In August 2010, the Illinois Department of Transportation submitted the TIGER II grant application in collaboration with the City of Moline to support intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities.   

Federal Funding Sought for Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City "Green Line" Route
August 6, 2010 - The Iowa Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation submitted a High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program Application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeking $248 million to expand passenger rail service from Chicago to Iowa City, via the Quad Cities.  The FRA is expected to announce projects receiving part of the $2.3 billion in available funds in mid to late September.

Application Details:
Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Service Development Plan
                             Chicago-Iowa City Route Map
                             Route Financial Plan
                             Green Line Approach

Quad Cities Passenger Rail Funding Announced  
January 30, 2010 - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced $45 million "to establish passenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities" before a packed room in Moline's Centre Station, which will be the future Quad Cities Amtrak Station.  Governor Quinn was joined by Congressman Phil Hare and several state and local elected officials to make the announcement.

"Passenger rail service will transform the Quad Cities’ future,” said Paul Rumler, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition.  “Passenger rail service will lead to new jobs and economic growth while adding to our region’s quality of life.  Area residents, community leaders, and elected officials united through QC Rail to advocate and support passenger rail service, and together it’s time to celebrate its return to the Quad Cities.” 

“QC Rail thanks our state and federal officials who took action in response to the outpouring of support for passenger rail service.  Today’s announcement would not be a reality without the leadership of Governor Pat Quinn, Congressman Phil Hare, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Roland Burris, and a host of state legislators, including Representative Pat Verschoore, Senator Mike Jacobs, Representative Mike Boland, Representative Elaine Nekritz, Representative Don Moffitt, and the Illinois Passenger Rail Caucus.”

IL and IA DOT Host Environmental Assessment Public Meeting 
September 29, 2009 - As part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI), the Iowa and Illinois Departments of Transportation, in conjunction with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), have been evaluating specific alternative routes to establish passenger rail connections between Chicago and Iowa City.  These alternatives are currently undergoing a thorough environmental assessment (EA) to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and help qualify the planning effort for federal grant funding from FRA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009.

An open forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 29, to share findings of the EA of the proposed route and gather public input.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
4 to 7 p.m.
i wireless Center, Room D
1201 River Drive
Moline, Illinois 61265-1303

Click Here to review the environmental assessment report and materials.

Chicago-Quad Cities Route Included in Governors' Midwest Rail Plan
July 27, 2009 - Eight Midwest Governors and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate applications for the Chicago Hub High Speed Rail Corridor (Midwest Corridor) to the Federal Railroad Administration for ARRA stimulus funding.  The governors from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin met at the Midwest High Speed Rail Summit on July 27th to formalize the agreement and determine routes to be included in the agreed upon Midwest Corridor.  The Quad Cities route was included!  

As a result of the Midwest High Speed Rail Summit, the Midwest governors have agreed to provide "a single advocacy voice in support of the region's collective high-speed rail priorities.  The states will "coordinate and cooperate fully in support of each MOU Participant's individual state applications for high speed and intercity rail funding."  Read more Midwest Rail Plan details.

Governor Quinn and Governor Culver Signify Support for Quad Cities, Dubuque Routes
July 27, 2009 - In addition to the multi-state MOU for the Midwest Rail Corridor, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed an MOU for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City route and Chicago-Dubuque route.  The two main elements included that Iowa and Illinois agree to:
1) Cooperate and coordinate the planning and implementation of passenger rail service on these corridors, and
2) Share certain costs associated with the preparation and operation of the corridors as part of the ARRA application process.

Read the full IA/IL MOU document.

Governor Culver's Iowa Unlimited Train Visits Quad Cities on July 26th
July 26, 2009 - Iowa Governor Chet Culver's Iowa Unlimited train stopped at the future Quad Cities Amtrak Station in Moline to continue building support and momentum for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Amtrak route.  Governor Culver was joined by Congressman Dave Loebsack, Iowa and Illinois state legislators, Quad City mayors and county chairmen, and passenger rail supporters.  Following the event, Governor Culver continued his train ride to Chicago for the Midwest High Speed Rail Summit in Chicago.  

Governor Pat Quinn Signs Capital Bill - $550 Million for High Speed Rail and Amtrak
July 13, 2009 - Illinois Governor Quinn signed a $31 billion capital bill into law to fund higher education, road & bridge construction, K-12 school construction, transit, and passenger rail improvements.  Legislators and the Governor worked together to pass $150 million for Amtrak improvements and $400 million for high speed rail improvements in a state capital bill.  Governor Quinn and IL DOT have not yet made any public announcements on how this funding will be distributed.  However, part of the $150 million is expected to help fund the Chicago to Quad Cities route.

Durbin, Quinn, and Mayor Daley Focus on Securing Federal Passenger Rail Funding
June 3, 2009 - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in calling on seven Midwest Governors to increase their efforts and regional coordination on high speed rail through a regional Rail Summit held in Chicago - the Midwest rail system's hub - this summer.  This announcement followed a meeting between Senator Durbin and Governor Quinn where they discussed moving forward with Illinois' bid for the $8 billion available in funding for high speed rail through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Read the full press release  

Illinois Legislature Passes an Additional $400 Million for High Speed Rail 
May 31, 2009 - On the last day of session, the Illinois Legislature responded to the skyrocketing demand for passenger rail service in Illinois by passing an additional $400 million for high speed rail.  This $400 million will likely be directed to the Chicago to St. Louis corridor, which would free up the previous $150 million allocated in the capital bill for upgrades to existing routes and expanding service on new routes like the Quad Cities.  But, there's a catch.  Even though he's been a strong advocate for passenger rail, Governor Quinn is threatening to not sign the Capital Bill until the Legislature passes an operating budget to address the Illinois' structural deficit. So stay tuned. Click Here for information on how you can help.  

Illinois Capital Bill Includes $150 Million for Amtrak - Governor Quinn Calls for an Additional $400 Million
May 22, 2009 - Amtrak service in Illinois is set to receive a major boost from a $28 billion Capital Bill passed by the Illinois House and Senate last week.  $150 million in state funds were allocated for Illinois Amtrak routes, which is expected to fund infrastructure improvements on existing and expanded routes (like the Quad Cities).  This level of state funding is a major breakthrough.  When the capital bill was originally proposed in March, the state did not include funding for Amtrak.  As a sign of Illinois' commitment to maintaining and expanding its state supported passenger rail system, Governor Pat Quinn called on the legislature to pass an additional $400 million for high speed passenger rail.  Read more on the Illinois Capital Bill.

Iowa Governor Chet Culver Announces $3 million in Iowa Passenger Rail Funding
May 4, 2009 - Governor Chet Culver held a bill signing ceremony in the Quad Cities to highlight major progress made in the 2009 Legislative Session to advance passenger rail in Iowa.  Governor Culver signed SF 151 into law, which will allow passenger rail service planning and funding to move forward by broadening the Iowa Department of Transportation's authority to enter into cost sharing agreements with Amtrak, other operators, local jurisdictions, and other states for the purpose of developing passenger rail service in Iowa.  
In addition, the Iowa General Assembly passed $3 million for the Iowa Passenger Rail Fund in the 2009 session.  This marks the first state's largest investment allocated to passenger rail.  This funding will help leverage federal funding available in President Obama's $ 8 billion passenger rail stimulus plan, and federal appropriation bills. 
Click Here for the Governor's Media Release.

President Obama Announces Historic Passenger Rail Funding Strategy
April 16, 2009 - The Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition is optimistic about future of the Quad Cities-Chicago Amtrak route after President Barack Obama released his passenger rail strategic funding plan on Thursday, April 16th.   The President’s “Vision for High-Speed Rail in America” plans to invest “in an efficient, high-speed passenger rail network of 100-600 mile intercity corridors that connect communities across America.  In what is intended to be a long-term commitment, the strategic plan emphasizes directing funding that will result in “tangible benefits to intercity rail infrastructure, equipment, performance, and intermodal connections over the next several years, while also creating a ‘pipeline’ of projects to enable future corridor development.”  Click here to learn more.

QC Rail Asks Iowa Legislators To Pass SF 151
March 31, 2009 - The Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition is encouraging the Iowa General Assembly to pass Senate File 151 in order to help make Iowa's state passenger rail plan a reality.  Join the effort - Click Here to send your legislator an email.  Passage of SF 151 will allow passenger rail service planning and funding to move forward in Iowa by making technical changes to existing legislation.  SF 151 defines "passenger rail service" to mean long-distance, intercity (including the Midwest Regional Rail System) and commuter passenger transportation that is provided on railroad tracks.  The bill broadens the Iowa Department of Transportation's authority to enter into cost sharing agreements with Amtrak, other operators, local jurisdictions, and other states for the purpose of developing passenger rail service in Iowa.  (UPDATE: The Legislature passed SF 151 - Thanks for your advocacy!)

Hare, Braley Call for Full Quad Cities Passenger Rail Funding
March 27, 2009 - Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) and Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) joined with the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition at an event on March 27th to help advance the Quad Cities Amtrak route.  Before a packed room of passenger rail supporters, the Congressmen signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood urging him to make funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) available for intercity passenger rail from the Quad Cities to Chicago and the Quad Cities to Iowa City.  Secretary LaHood is currently developing a funding strategy and guidelines for $8 billion earmarked for intercity and high speed passenger rail in AARA.  Read the full story.  

Quad Cities-Chicago Route Receives First Ever Funding
March 11, 2009 - President Barack Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act today, which included a $475,000 earmark for Quad Cities track improvements.  The earmark was secured by Rep. Phil Hare (IL-17) at the request of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition.  Today marks the first ever federal or state funding specifically allocated to restore passenger rail service on the much anticipated Chicago to Quad Cities route.  While $22.7 million is needed to complete the entire Quad Cities route, IL DOT will receive $475,000 to begin track improvements identified in the 2008 Amtrak Feasibility Study.  Click here for more funding details.

Rep. Phil Hare Secures Quad Cities Track Improvement Earmark
February 25, 2009 - Congressman Phil Hare secured a $475,000 earmark in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which passed the U.S. House on February 25, 2009, to begin the necessary track improvements to restore Quad Cities passenger rail service.  This funding would be directed to the Illinois Department of Transportation to begin work on the Chicago to Quad Cities track connection.  In order for this funding to become a reality, the Appropriations Bill and the earmark must still pass the U.S. Senate and be signed by President Barack Obama.  Click here for more information about track improvement funding.

Economic Stimulus Includes $9.3 Billion for Passenger Rail
February 17, 2009 - P
resident Barack Obama signed the $787 billion Economic Stimulus proposal into law today, which includes the largest ever funding amount for passenger rail in United States history.  QC Rail joined with advocacy groups across the country, including the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission,  to call on Congress to place a greater priority on passenger rail funding in the stimulus package.  With $9.3 billion allocated for passenger rail, this is a major victory for the future of Quad Cities passenger rail service.  Click here for details about the Economic Stimulus plan.

Quad Cities Passenger Rail Expected to Create a Large Economic Impact
Investment in transportation Infrastructure is a proven way to create jobs and stimulate the national economy.  As the President, Congress, and State Legislatures consider ways to create jobs and stimulate the national and regional economy, the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition is actively communicating passenger rail's economic impact to the Illinois and Iowa region.  For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 42,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion spent on transportation infrastructure.  Quad Cities Amtrak service is estimated to create 550-825 jobs, increase household income by $11-16 million, and increase property values by $52-75 million.  Illinois recently prioritized the Chicago to Quad Cities and Chicago to Rockford Amtrak routes for stimulus funding because of the 4,700 jobs that would be created statewide.

QC Rail Increases Legislative Outreach Efforts in Quad Cities, Washington, DC
During January and February, QC Rail aggressively launched a legislative outreach plan to communicate the importance passenger rail service to the Quad City region's future.  QC Rail met with Congressional staff and Members of Congress in their Quad City district offices and in their Washington, DC capital office to advance passenger rail funding requests. 
Click here for a recap of QC Rail's legislative outreach.

Quad Cities Amtrak Station Location Announced
December 2, 2008 - Moline's Centre Station, located on River Drive across from the i Wireless Center in downtown Moline, has been recommended as the Quad Cities Amtrak Station. Based on this recommendation, the proposed Quad Cities Amtrak route would start at Centre Station and end at Chicago's Union Station.  This station recommendation is part of a recently completed Metropolitan Rail Study, which was conducted over the past year through an IL DOT grant. The Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition is unified in support of the recommended Quad Cities Amtrak Station.
  Click here to find out more about the Quad Cities Amtrak Station.

IL State Legislators Ask Governor to Begin Quad Cities-Chicago Connection ASAP 
November 21, 2008 -
During the QC Rail's site visit to the Wyanet Connection on Nov. 10th, participants learned firsthand that Quad Cities Amtrak service is feasible, plans for the connection are ready, and officials are eager to see the project begin.  Participants, which included several state legislators, also learned that transportation officials must receive direction from the Illinois Governor to start the project.  As a result, the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition partnered with State Representative Pat Verschoore and State Senator Mike Jacobs to lead an effort with their House and Senate colleagues to ask the Governor to "begin the final engineering and land acquisition negotiations for the Wyanet Connection as soon as possible."  Click here to read more.

QC Rail Organizes Special Train Visit to the Wyanet Connection  
November 10, 2008 - It's full speed ahead for Quad Cities Amtrak service as a result of QC Rail's site visit to the Wyanet Connection.  state legislators, Congressional staff members, and local elected and community officials gained firsthand knowledge of what is needed to make Quad Cities Amtrak service a reality.  While many people have heard of this connection, few have ever visited the site.  Thanks to the Iowa Interstate Railroad, who provided the Abraham Lincoln and Hawkeye trains, QC Rail was able to organize this unique event. George Weber, IDOT Railroad Bureau Chief, and Mike Franke, Amtrak’s Assistant Vice President for State Partnerships, informed QC Rail's site visit participants about the work needed to connect the IAIS and BNSF tracks at the Wyanet Connection. 
Click here for information about the Wyanet Connection. 

Congress Passes Amtrak Reauthorization 
October 1, 2008 -
The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed the Amtrak Reauthorization Bill, which authorizes the largest ever funding amount for state intercity passenger rail capital grants.  These grants will help restore passenger rail service from Chicago to the Quad Cities and extended service to Iowa City, Des Moines, and Omaha.  The Amtrak provisions were included in HR 2095, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act.  The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed HR 2095 by a voice vote on September 24th.  The U.S. Senate passed HR 2095 by a 74-24 vote on October 1st.  Click here for more details.

Senator Dick Durbin Introduces Legislation to Meet Demand for Passenger Rail Cars
July 29, 2008 -
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that would create jobs and help Amtrak meet the increasing demand for an efficient, cost-effective and reliable alternative mode of travel.  Durbin’s bill aims to promote the replacement and rehabilitation of Amtrak’s aging fleet of passenger cars and to revive the train car industry in the United States. The legislation also creates a special fund to provide a supply of passenger cars for state-supported routes, such as the Chicago to Quad Cities Amtrak route.  Click here for a detailed summary of Senator Durbin's proposal.

Illinois and Iowa Senators Identify Trains for Quad Cities Amtrak Service 
May 21, 2008 - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin led a group of U.S. Senators in requesting that Amtrak refurbish existing trains for the Chicago to Quad Cities Amtrak route.  In a joint letter signed by Dick Durbin (IL), Barack Obama (IL), Tom Harkin (IA), Chuck Grassley (IA), Joseph Biden (DE), and Tom Carper (DE), the Senators identified former Amtrak trains being stored in a Delaware maintenance yard that could be used to restore service in the Quad Cities.  This proactive step could help alleviate a potential hurdle identified in recent Amtrak route feasibility studies: the short supply of existing trains. Click here to read more about these efforts. 

Rep. Phil Hare Seeks Earmark for Quad Cities Passenger Rail Improvements  
May 2008 -
esentative Phil Hare announced that he's submitted a $13.5 million funding request for Quad Cities-Chicago Amtrak Service in the FY 2009 Transportation Appropriations Act.  Click here to read a statement from  Congressman Phil Hare (IL-17) supporting the Quad Cities Amtrak Route.

QC Rail Celebrates 1st Anniversary 
May 19, 2008 - 200 passenger rail supporters helped celebrate the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition's 1st Anniversary on May 19, 2008 aboard the Celebration Belle river boat in Moline.  State and federal legislators, Amtrak officials, and Illinois and Iowa DOT officials were recognized for their support.

Amtrak Completes Chicago to Quad Cities, Quad Cities to Iowa City Feasibility Studies
January/April, 2008 - At the request of Senator Dick Durbin and IL DOT, Amtrak announced the completion of a feasibility study analyzing passenger rail service between the Quad Cities to Chicago, including route analysis, construction cost, ridership estimates, trip time, potential schedules, and anticipated revenues and expenses.  At the request of IA DOT, Amtrak continued this study to examine extending passenger rail service from the Quad Cities to Iowa City.  Click here for more information, including route maps and feasibility study reports.

© 2007 Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition