Construction is expected to begin later this year on a new passenger train station in downtown Rockford. Governor Pat Quinn announced the state was putting three million dollars toward the effort during a news conference at the historic Tinker Swiss Cottage Tuesday afternoon -- not far from where the station will be built. The governor said not only is it important to look at transportation needs all over the state, it’s important to make sure northern Illinois is connected, especially Rockford.
Rockford mayor Larry Morrissey says the train station is good for the local economy in ways beyond the construction jobs to be created. He says the state’s commitment to this project shows a commitment to Rockford’s future: and that’s important in a modern economy, locally or with investors in China.
The 12-million dollar station is expected to be completed about the same time Amtrak restores service between Chicago and Dubuque, in late 2014. It would be the first passenger rail serving Rockford in more than three decades. The daily round-trip service would include stops in South Elgin, Genoa, Freeport, and Galena.