Peoria Passenger Rail 

Mayor Ali and Guests Announce the Results of the Passenger Rail Feasibility Study on July 21

Mayor Ali was joined by former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Eric Miller; and Voce President Cindy Loos, Hanson Professional Services, Inc.

Open House for Peoria Passenger Rail Station Study Scheduled for April 21

Staff and Consultants Will Present Three Potential Station Locations

April 13, 2022 (Peoria, IL) On Thursday, April 21st from 4 pm - 6 pm, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and the city of Peoria, with their consultants on the passenger rail study, will host an open house at the Gateway Building, 200 Northeast Water Street. The focus of the open house will be to discuss the three locations identified as potential passenger rail station sites.

From the feasibility study underway by the state of Illinois, the recommended location for a new passenger rail line between Peoria and Chicago is along the former Rock Island Rocket line that runs along Peoria's riverfront. The following areas, not necessarily the existing buildings, will be discussed:

  • The area around the Gateway Building, 200 NE Water Street
  • The area around the Rock Island Depot (River Station), 212 SW Water Street
  • The area around the United States Postal Office, 95 State Street

Exhibits on the preliminary evaluation will be on display and members of the planning team will be present to discuss study efforts to date, solicit feedback from the public, and answer questions. This preliminary planning study to evaluate locations for a Peoria passenger rail station is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and is being done in concert with the wider Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Chicago-Peoria Passenger Rail Feasibility Study currently underway.

Mayor Rita Ali stated, "We know from the data that the community interest in passenger rail is high, and we look forward to hearing more about train station locations. Not only are accessibility and parking key considerations, but also the surrounding area. If you look at communities that already have passenger rail, you will see retail and restaurants thriving in the immediate vicinity further enhancing their towns and creating a valuable revenue stream."

Led by Mayor Rita Ali and former United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, the city of Peoria formed a coalition in August 2021 to make a case to bring passenger rail to Peoria. The coalition is made up of State and Federal representatives, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau/Discover Peoria, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Bradley University, and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The Greater Peoria Region is the second-largest metropolitan region in the State of Illinois and Peoria is the largest city in Illinois without a commitment for passenger rail service.

Currently Seeking Public Input on Passenger Rail From Peoria to Chicago

January 25, 2022 (Peoria, IL) The City, in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation, has released a public survey to gauge interest in passenger rail service to Peoria. The survey is available electronically for all who live, work, and visit Peoria.

The 10-question survey asks questions ranging from frequency of use to cost of a ticket. It will only take a few minutes for members of the community to express their level of interest regarding an additional option of transportation. The City is encouraging robust participation from the public.

Last August Mayor Ali began meeting monthly with state and local officials in a group co-chaired by former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to advance the possibility of passenger rail. Regarding the collaborative effort, Secretary LaHood stated, "I am honored and privileged to participate as Co-Chair with Mayor Ali and a distinguished committee of Central Illinois citizens to bring Amtrak passenger rail service to Peoria. Our work together will bring to reality the vision of Mayor Ali to enable citizens of Central Illinois to board an Amtrak train in Peoria and travel through Illinois and connect to other parts of our country."

Through funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation, a feasibility study is being conducted on the viability of providing passenger rail service to the greater Peoria area.

Speaking at the kick-off meeting in August, Mayor Ali stated, "We're in the heart of the country, and everybody doesn't own a car. Access is important; that's an equity issue right there. Everybody can't drive to Bloomington or they can't drive to Galesburg. So, we want access for everyone, and that opportunity to travel, whether it's for social, cultural, business, work. We want those opportunities for everybody in Peoria."

Working with the consultant team of engineers, a preliminary route connecting Peoria to LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Morris, Joliet, and Chicago has been identified as the corridor to be studied. Over the next few months, the team will review the feasibility of this route for infrastructure improvement needs, potential ridership, cost, and host railroad cooperation. This study is scheduled to conclude in April. A separate study will look at potential locations for a station.