Amtrak Service Shutdown Averted
By Brian Mackey
Illinois has reached a deal with Amtrak to keep its trains running in the state, which prevents a threatened shutdown of service next week.
Illinois was one of 19 states forced to come up with more money for Amtrak's short-distance passenger rail. That is because of a federal law that affected more than two-dozen routes across the country.
The deadline was supposed to be at the beginning of the month, through trains would have kept running through Oct. 16. After that, Amtrak was going to stop.
Most Illinois routes would have been OK. The state already pays for three of its four short lines -- from Chicago to Wisconsin, Quincy, and Carbondale. It also pays for most of the round trips from Chicago to St. Louis. The difference is now is that it will pay for all of them.
Representatives from Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation separately confirmed the agreement.
The only state yet to make a deal with Amtrak is Indiana, which has a line running from Indianapolis to Chicago.