• Illinois Amtrak Service

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by eolesen
 
Yup. Euphoria will be short lived. All the extra spending, yet there's still no plan for how to fund state or municipal pensions. Something tells me gas tax increases, vehicle tag increases, recreational marijuana taxes, and sports gambling taxes still won't fix the problem.

But hey, we'll have some new mostly empty trains to Moline and Rockford, yet nothing to DeKalb where it might actually make a difference...
  by mtuandrew
 
Why would Rockford be less of an impact than DeKalb? I’m honestly not sure why you say that.

That said - does DeKalb Airport offer commercial flights? Could it? No reason it shouldn’t get a 3/day Metra extension to serve the town, the airport, and NIU.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for a Peoria extension to get off the ground.
  by amsnag
 
eolesen wrote: But hey, we'll have some new mostly empty trains to Moline and Rockford, yet nothing to DeKalb where it might actually make a difference...
I'm not following. There are no trains to Moline or Rockford. So how could they be mostly empty?

More to the point, what do you have against Moline. I'm sure the population of the Quad Cities is many time that along the entire Quincy line? And the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are well patronized.
  by eolesen
 
Go read the news article from yesterday. There's funding to extend to Moline and initiate service to Rockford.

To do that, the following taxes would be added.

* Hike the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents.
* Raise vehicle registration fees from $101 to $199 for vehicles up to 3 years old, $169 for vehicles 4 to 6 years old, $139 for vehicles 7 to 11 years old, and $109 for vehicles 12 years and older.
* Electric vehicles would have a registration fee of $250 per year, instead of $34 every other year.
* Add a fee of $1 to ride-hailing trips with companies like Uber and Lyft.
* Introduce a new 7 percent tax on cable, satellite, and streaming services like Netflix.
* A 50 percent increase on taxes for beer, wine, and liquor.
* Rates for daily and hourly parking garages would see a 6 percent tax add-on.

Electric vehicle owners are up in arms over their share of the increase, and I'd imagine the Netflix tax and increase in registration fees will have its own revolution.

Taxes on alcohol? That may ultimately kill it, assuming anyone gets to read the bill. Other bills have been moving out of committee without witness slips, so we might as well not have any representation at all in Springfield.
  by Tadman
 
Dekalb is the home of Northern Illinios U. Would be a good traffic base. As attractive as Rockford and Quad Cities are, most people there have a car or three and they're quite used to driving to Chicago or at least to Elgin and taking Metra. Compare that to Northern Illinois U, where many students come from Chicago area and are less apt to have a car or afford gas.

I'm still curious about Quad Cities service. It's not a very dense route, and the highways are pretty ample.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Olesen, off the rails, but still a revenue source to be used for such, is the enacted expansion of casino gaming and sports wagering.

Yes, Illinois does have gaming, but it need be attached to a river (funny how when the initiative started during the '90's, it was sold as take a riverboat ride, and ancillary to that, a little gaming). Presently those in Chicago desiring to "game", must go to Rosemont, Elgin, Aurora, Joliet, or out of State to Kenosha or Hammond. Now a land based casino (no boat ride or a piling sunk in a river bed) within Chicago municipal limits will be built offering sports betting other than on NCAA teams.

It's often been said that the states that started casino gaming sent the addiction cases arising from such to other states. e.g. Nevada to California, Indiana to Illinois. So, even though I have many another way to spend my $$$ in this life, I'm all in favor of matching the revenue source with the public relief arising from such.

Finally, and rail related, could we ever see slots (highly doubt table) aboard the intrastate sponsored trains?
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by mtuandrew
 
Tadman wrote:Dekalb is the home of Northern Illinios U. Would be a good traffic base. As attractive as Rockford and Quad Cities are, most people there have a car or three and they're quite used to driving to Chicago or at least to Elgin and taking Metra. Compare that to Northern Illinois U, where many students come from Chicago area and are less apt to have a car or afford gas.

I'm still curious about Quad Cities service. It's not a very dense route, and the highways are pretty ample.
Yup, and it seems to me like a 3/day extension of Metra would work well. Amtrak doesn’t have the existing relationship with UP that Metra does, and it just isn’t far from the last stop on UP-W. Honestly, the only reason I see Rockford as an Amtrak service rather than a Metra extension is because of the future (potential) Dubuque or Madison extensions.
  by Tadman
 
From a practical standpoint it make sense. From a political standpoint, it's a tough proposition. Metra counties pay a lot more taxes to fund the service. There would have to be some sort of special Illinois agreement with state funding to the extension. I can't see Dekalb's county residents wanting to pay for the service when the majority of users are students that are not taxpayers (nevermind the fact they support the city now that manufacturing has left).

If I were Illinois, and I'm not, I don't know why Amtrak is involved in my corridor trains at all. Most run on BN or UP, both of which are quite adequate proven operators of Metra trains. Given that Illinois is buying their own equipment now, and has good relations with BN and UP, why bother with the layer that is Amtrak? Other than interline ticketing, what do you get?
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://wqad.com/2019/06/04/illinois-ca ... nger-rail/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Emphasis mine:
The plan includes $225 million for the passenger rail project from Moline to Chicago. The line from Chicago to Bureau County is already in use for passenger trains, but the rest of the line is not.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation had previously said, the state's continuing to negotiate with the group that owns the latter part, the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
  by eolesen
 
I've long been a proponent of having Metra operate to both DeKalb and Rockford... but you're right that Metra's funding mechanisms complicate matters. Maybe it's time to have Madiganistan revisit that...
  by Tadman
 
You mean Venezuellinois? Led by El Supremo JB Hugo Chavez?
  by eolesen
 
Oooh, where's the "Like" button....
  by mtuandrew
 
For exurban expresses, I’d imagine a yearly block matching grant from the state to the affected municipalities (say 75% state, 25% local matching) that the locality could then match against Federal grants, and with that money pay Metra who then pays BNSF or UP for service. Gives those cities a chance for service they may not want at a higher price point, but that they would probably find useful.

Still, that’s for within an hour and a half of Chicago. I agree with the premise that any border-to-border service should be Amtrak’s to operate or at least be the entity from which you buy a ticket. That includes Chicago-Quad Cities.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It would be nice to have Amtrak service running to the Quad Cities. As for people who live in Rockford or attend school there who want to go to Downtown Chicago, it doesn't surprise me that many either drive all the way to the Magnificent Mile or to Elgin and then take Metra. That's like saying if you live in Bethlehem, PA and want to go into the city without driving all the way or taking the bus, the compromise is that you will drive to Somerville and take a NJT Raritan Valley Line train. People who live in the Lehigh Region use the Raritan Valley Line, although probably many of them use Transbridge Bus Lines from stops much closer to where they live. Even if Amtrak doesn't run to the Quad Cities, at least have Metra.
  by Jeff Smith
 
WSPYNews.com
Plano May Receive 4 New Daily Amtrak Stops
...
Mayor Bob Hausler told aldermen Monday night that the Amtrak’s opportunity would come faster than a Metra extension to Oswego, Yorkville, Sandwich, or Sugar Grove. Hausler’s prediction was more Amtrak passenger trains arriving to Plano in a year or 18 months. Afterwards he explained why.
...
The "new" stops would be in addition to the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg.
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