As a result of the 2004 Record of Decision (ROD), Illinois’ signature passenger rail route, Chicago to St. Louis, was selected by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for $1.1 billion for corridor improvements between Dwight and St. Louis. These improvements include upgraded track built and maintained to 110 miles per hour standards, siding and crossovers, grade crossing surfaces, signals and warning system, stations, and new high-speed passenger trains.
The latest phase of Track Renewal Train (TRT) construction was completed in August 2012. Upgrades included new premium rail, stone ballast, and the replacement of outdated wooden ties with concrete ties. The refurbishing of rail/highway crossings with new concrete road services, the installation of switches and class 6 tracks, drainage improvements, and enhancements to bridges, culverts and stations.
As a result of the FRA’s $1.25 million funding selection, the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study for the full build out (a second mainline track) began in late Fall 2010. The Final EIS was submitted to the FRA in October 2012. The ROD was signed in December 2012. This study determined routing alternatives for Chicago to Dwight, through Springfield and the approach to St. Louis. Learn more about the Tier 1 EIS »