PEORIA, IL (December 7, 2023) On Thursday, December 7, Mayor Ali was joined by former United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to announce that the city of Peoria was selected for the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Corridor Identification Program. They were joined by representatives from Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth’s offices, elected officials, area leaders, and members from the Peoria Area Passenger Rail leadership team.
The Corridor Identification and Development Program was created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to develop passenger rail routes. Peoria will receive $500,000 to fund Step 1 of the Service Development Plan, in the Corridor Identification Program. The Service Development Plan will determine engineering and cost requirements. Mayor Ali remarked, “This effort started as a local project that grew into a regional project that became a state project and is now a federal project. This level of support and collaboration will help to achieve our goal of bringing Amtrak passenger rail to and from Peoria in the coming years. I’m very excited about this new development.”
Mayor Ali has been meeting regularly with community leaders and state and local officials since August 2021 on the Peoria Passenger Rail project. The proposed route begins at Peoria and runs through LaSalle-Peru, Utica, Ottawa, Morris, and Joliet, ending at Chicago’s Union Station. “The FRA Corridor Designation for Peoria, plus $500,000 will continue the momentum to bring passenger rail service to and from Peoria and Chicago,” said former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The Peoria Rocket ran for 42 years, carrying travelers from Peoria to Chicago on the Rock Island line with service ending in 1978.
“Illinois is the undisputed transportation hub of North America, with passenger rail at the heart of a vast multimodal system that moves people safely and reliably between our state’s great cities and institutions,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We look forward to working with local stakeholders and continuing to explore the possibilities as efforts to expand passenger service in Illinois advance another step.”
The public is invited to learn more about the Passenger Rail project on the city of Peoria website.
The press conference can be viewed on the city of Peoria YouTube channel.