Illinois House approves bill to create East-West Amtrak passenger corridor

By Denise Jackson

April 8, 2014 Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 12:06 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- On Monday, the Illinois House unanimously approved the possible creation of an east-west passenger rail corridor.

The Amtrak route would run between the Quad Cities and Danville with stops in Peoria, Bloomington and Champaign.

Galesburg-area State Representative Don Moffitt is sponsoring the resolution. Moffitt said the new route could be especially beneficial to college students and would connect transportation to more than 14 campuses.

State legislators are being asked to approve $42 million in subsidies next year to keep current Amtrak service between Chicago and Carbondale operating.

Moffitt said Amtrak and the Illinois Transportation Department are doing a feasibility study to determine costs for the new route.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said minor upgrades to the existing infrastructure would make it ready.

"Transportation in our country is moving towards passenger rail as an alternative to fuel consumption. The infrastructure is basically in place," he said.

Representative Moffitt said the east-west Amtrak corridor proposal now goes to the Illinois Senate for discussion.

He said they hope to get results from the feasibility study sometime this year.