Illinois officials seek public comment on rail use

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation is inviting the public to comment and offer suggestions on a new study assessing the state’s rail system.

Comments will be collected through mid-June at the website illinoisrailneeds.org.

The information gathered will be used in the development of a statewide rail plan, a requirement of states seeking federal funding.  Illinois is the only state in which all seven Class 1 railroads operate, with more than 10,000 miles of track.  In the next few years, officials plan to spend $500 million to re-establish passenger rail to the Quad Cities and Rockford, plus $400 million for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation and Efficiency Program and $78 million to upgrade rail crossings and improve safety throughout the state.