Amtrak has big plans—especially for Chicago—if it gets a piece of President Biden's $2-trillon infrastructure bill:
Chicago passenger-rail riders ought to thrilled. A proposed map released by Amtrak shows rail service out of the Windy City absolutely exploding, with enhanced service to Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and other locales, plus new service to cities including Minneapolis/St. Paul, Green Bay, Iowa City, Rockford, Cleveland and Louisville.
According to spokesman Marc Magliari, the “vision statement” fact sheet is an idea of what the long financially challenged passenger rail agency could do if Washington fully climbs aboard.
“It’s our vision of what can be ahead, given that the president has set the table,” Magliari said. “We hope to have more details soon.”
Key details about Amtrak's expansion proposal are not yet available. Such as timing – Magliari says the “vision plan” runs 15 years into the future – or whether states would have to at all match capital or operating subsidies.
Amtrak has already made some improvements. After upgrading rights of way in Illinois, the carrier has begun testing 175 km/h service between Chicago and St Louis—a big improvement over today's 145 km/h speeds.