IL State Legislators Ask Governor to Begin Quad Cities-Chicago Connection ASAP 

Illinois State Representative 
Pat Verschoore

View the House Letter


Illinois State Senator 
Mike Jacobs

View the Senate Letter

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.  

Illinois state legislators who participated in the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition's Wyanet Connection site visit heard the message loud and clear.  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 Governor Blagojevich to 'begin the final engineering and land acquisition negotiations for the Wyanet Connection as soon as possible.'"

In the letter to Governor Blagojevich legislators stated, "There is a pressing and inexpensive opportunity to move forward with an Amtrak Illinois expansion to the Quad Cities region, which will service the largest population base without passenger rail service to Chicago."  Referencing the work needed to connect IAIS and BNSF tracks at the Wyanet Connection, legislators said "We should not delay the engineering and land acquisition work another month."  Showing the diverse coalition of legislators making the request, legislators ended the letter saying "While only a few of us represent the Quad Cities region, we all understand how this corridor will create a stronger passenger rail network in Illinois."

During last week's legislative session, Representative Verschoore led an effort in the Illinois House by rallying 96 of his colleagues to sign the letter to Governor Blagojevich.  Over 80% of the House's 118 members signed Verschoore's letter, including a mix of Democrats and Republicans and downstate and Chicago legislators.  Local Representatives who signed Verschoore's letter include: Mike Boland, Don Moffitt, Jerry Mitchell, Rich Myers, and Jim Sacia. Statewide supporters included Rail Safety Committee Chair Elaine Nekritz, Mass Transit Committee Chair Julie Hamos, and members of the House Passenger Rail Caucus.  

Also, Senator Mike Jacobs led a similar effort in the Illinois Senate and joined 25 of his 59 colleagues in signing a letter to Governor Blagojevich.  Senator Jacobs' letter also included a mix of Democrats and Republicans from throughout Illinois.  Notable Senators who joined Jacobs include: Emil Jones, Transportation Chair Antonio Munoz, Dale Risenger, and Tim Bivins.   

QC Rail thanks Representative Pat Verschoore and Senator Mike Jacobs for their leadership in the effort to begin construction of the Wyanet connection.  We eagerly await the opportunity to work with the State of Illinois to expand Amtrak service to the Quad Cities.


© 2007 Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition