Transportation and Ekspedisi

Challenges loom for Peoria in pursuit of more Amtrak in Illinois

  • Projected ridership and “dead end” route sank Peoria’s passenger rail dreams in 2011.
  • Peoria mayor says the city will present a “totally different” plan than a decade ago.
  • It will take a long time for the plan to come to fruition. Just ask Rockford.

A decade ago, Peoria tried and failed to bring passenger rail to the city, turned away by Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation because of projected high losses on the rail line.

Peoria’s leaders have once again launched an effort to get passenger rail service, this time hoping an entirely different plan and federal dollars can make a difference. 

President Joe Biden wanted to go big on rail infrastructure in the $2.2 trillion infrastructure bill and allotted $80 billion to go toward the expansion of passenger rail. 

Peoria wants a piece of that pie. 

Ray LaHood, a former congressman and secretary of transportation under President Barack Obama, said in a news conference this month it was time for Peoria to “think big” about passenger rail now that federal dollars were available.