GET ON BOARD WITH DUBUQUE TO CHICAGO PASSENGER SERVICE
Traveling by train is the preferred mode of travel around the world and is the vision of many in the Tri-State area. Several organizations, both governmental and volunteer, have been working in recent years to establish Amtrak passenger rail service between Dubuque and Chicago. A recognized leader in passenger rail service, in mid-2006, the State of Illinois doubled its funding for existing state-supported Amtrak routes. A formal request by Illinois to Amtrak for a feasibility study regarding possible service between Chicago, Rockford, Galena, and Dubuque was made. The resulting report identified one route between Dubuque and Chicago on the Canadian National line.
Following unsuccessful negotiations with Canadian National, the State of Illinois announced a revised plan to initiate service by extending Amtrak service to Rockford with one round trip each day and a second to be added thereafter. The service will run along lines owned by Metra and the Union Pacific Railroad. Improvements included upgrading tracks, capacity improvements, bridge improvements, and new stations are underway. On the beginning segment, stops are being planned for Elgin, Huntley and Belvidere.
The routes highlighted in green and yellow on the map are new routes coming soon or as proposed new service.
The plan includes future service extension to Dubuque with stops in Freeport and Galena. The vision calls for expanding the schedule to two daily roundtrips when the route is fully signalized, and increasing train speeds to 79 mph from 59 mph, which will reduce total trip times to be comparable to auto on Route US 20 and Interstate Highway 90. The Dubuque station will be in the Port of Dubuque at the historic Burlington station with a platform on city-owned tracks along the 3rd Street bridge.