ROCKFORD, Ill (WTVO) — The quest to bring passenger rail service between Rockford and Chicago took a step forward Thursday as the Illinois Department of Transportation has hired a project manager.

According to the office of Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), IDOT has begun discussions with stakeholders in the Metra and Union Pacific railroads to determine what it would take to make the project happen.

“Passenger rail service to and from Chicago holds tremendous potential for economic growth and enhanced quality of life in the Rockford area,” Stadelman said. “People across northern Illinois are excited about the prospect of a rail link with Chicago, and I think it’s important to keep everyone fully informed and to include as much public input as possible.”

The project has secured $275 million in funding as part of the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction program.

According to IDOT, preliminary engineering and environmental analysis are among the next steps before final design and construction.


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