Area leaders look to Amtrak for ways to spur economic growth

By WEEK Producer

August 13, 2012 Updated Aug 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM CDT

GALESBURG, Ill. -- Leaders from five Illinois communities are on-board a plan to use Amtrak to enhance economic opportunities.

Leaders say passenger rail is the wave of the future. That's why they want to promote and increase ridership along the Carl Sandburg Amtrak line that connects Galesburg, Princeton, Kewanee, Macomb and Quincy.

Establishing more frequent trips through the area will bring more business and tourism to these communities, creating a sense of regionalism.

Those involved say the project will be worth it.

"It's not a cost but an investment and there's a return on that investment," said St. Rep. Don Moffitt, (R) 74th District. You're bringing economic activity to the community. You're reducing highway congestion, you're improving the environment with more passenger rail than automobile traffic."

The coalition of community leaders will likely have its next meeting with Amtrak officials to further discuss the plan.

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