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Peoria Passenger Rail
Peoria to Chicago Passenger Rail Service
All aboard the new Peoria to Chicago passenger rail corridor, tracing the historic Rock Island Peoria Rocket route! With this new route, communities like Peru-LaSalle, Ottawa, and Morris will finally have access to rail service, offering 5 daily round trips to Peoria, Joliet, Chicago Union Station, and more, with a flag stop at the stunning Starved Rock State Park. The Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, Iowa Interstate Railroad, CSX Transportation, Metra, and Amtrak will be involved in bringing this exciting project to life, with a potential of 600 daily riders. Peoria, the largest metropolitan area in Illinois without passenger rail service, is working to get the transportation upgrade it deserves!
The City of Peoria is the largest metropolitan area in Illinois without passenger rail service. However, a feasibility study for a passenger rail between Peoria and Chicago Union Station was conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation and found that the route is feasible, projected ridership levels are sufficient, and further analysis is warranted.
The initiative to establish passenger rail service in the city and its neighboring areas has received strong support. The plan entails the construction of stations in Peoria, Peru/LaSalle, Utica (as a flag stop for Starved Rock State Park), Ottawa, and Morris, as well as connections in Joliet and Chicago Union Station (CUS).
The Peoria to Chicago Passenger Rail Service aims to increase safety by diverting car trips to rail travel, projected to attract an average of 600 daily riders. Proposed improvements include upgrading 214 at-grade crossings with signals and gates to reduce accidents and evaluating all crossings for possible closure or grade separation. Upgrades to the rail infrastructure, including tracks and bridges, will provide safer transportation for freight trains and on-time performance for Amtrak's proposed five daily roundtrips.
Passenger Rail Steering Committee
In August 2021, City of Peoria Mayor Rita Ali established the Passenger Rail Steering Committee to oversee the Peoria Rail Passenger Feasibility Study and the initiative to bring passenger rail service to Peoria. As a preferred route was identified, the committee expanded its membership to include a diverse group of representatives. The committee is comprised of:
- City of Peoria Mayor Rita Ali – Co-Chair
- Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood – Co-Chair
- 18th District US Representative Darin LaHood
- 46th District Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler
- 92nd District Illinois State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth
- 73rd District Illinois State Representative Ryan Spain
- City of Peoria Councilman At-Large Sid Ruck Riegel
- North Central Illinois Council of Governments Executive Director Kevin Lindeman
- Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Eric Miller
- IDOT Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman
- City of LaSalle Mayor Jeff Grove
- City of Morris Mayor Chris Brown
- Village of North Utica President David Stewart
- City of Ottawa Mayor Dan Aussem
- City of Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski
- LaSalle County Chairman Don Jensen
- Peoria County Board Chairman Jimmy Dillon
- Bradley University Executive Director Brad McMillan
- West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council Representative Matt Bartolo
- Greater Peoria Economic Development Council CEO Chris Setti
- Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce/CEO Council CEO Joshua Gunn
- Discover Peoria CEO J.D. Dalfonso
This effort has received tremendous support from elected officials, community organizations, and business leaders including:
This initiative will take time to implement and a great deal of money. The City of Peoria is working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and through federal grant opportunities to secure funding to continue the forward momentum to bring passenger rail service to Peoria
Discover the exciting possibilities of improved transportation in the Peoria-Chicago corridor by checking out the Peoria Rail Passenger Feasibility Study, available here!