CARLINVILLE – Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn joined city and Amtrak officials today to announce the completion of the new station in Carlinville, the latest of several station improvements overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation along the Chicago-St. Louis passenger rail corridor. The new station opened to Amtrak service Nov. 16.
“This beautiful new station provides an important connection for the thousands of commuters, students and visitors who use Amtrak to travel to and from Carlinville every year,” Secretary Blankenhorn said. “By modernizing this station and others like it along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, we expect to see ridership increase as we work to make rail travel a more convenient, reliable option for Illinois travelers.”
The new building features modern facilities and amenities for passengers on Amtrak’s Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle, including a heated and air-conditioned waiting room, free Wi-Fi, energy-efficient features and parking for vehicles and bikes. The station is at 128 Alton Road, in the same block as the old station.
“For the past four years, Carlinville has been working with many entities to make the station a reality, and we want to say thank you to everyone involved,” said Mayor Deanna Demuzio. “There were uncertain times, but with the help of our community coming together and working hard with the city, we were able to make this beautiful new station a reality.”
Funding for the $3.76 million project was part of a federal grant administered by IDOT to introduce better performance and faster passenger speeds on the Union Pacific Railroad between Chicago and St. Louis. New stations have also been built in Dwight, Pontiac, Lincoln and Alton. The stations in Normal and Springfield will be upgraded. A separate project to build a new multimodal transit facility in Joliet also is planned.
“With the formal opening of this facility in Carlinville, every downstate Amtrak station north and south of Springfield is now new or substantially renovated for our Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains,” said Mike Franke, Amtrak Senior Director of State Government Contracts. “Amtrak ridership on this corridor is up 9 percent over last year, with more than 720,000 customers enjoying the convenience and comfort Amtrak offers.”
For more information, visit idothsr.org.