Illinois will acquire new rail cars for all of the in-state Amtrak routes. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said the new cars will address the increase in ridership experienced by the service for the past five or six years.

“They're going to be bi-level cars,” Schneider said. “It allows us to transport more passengers on the same footprint, so it makes it more efficient and it gives us opportunity to expand service without having to add train sets.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ


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.