Passenger Rail: Grants and Projects


Passenger Rail News Updates

Va. wins $165 million grant to unlock 'Atlantic Gateway' with rail and highway improvements.  

Virginia has won a $165 million federal grant to unlock what it calls the “Atlantic Gateway” to speed passenger rail, freight trains and highway vehicles through one of the most congested corridors on the East Coast….The project also will help expand Amtrak and commuter rail service across the Potomac and give Virginia control of the former CSX S-Line abandoned more than 30 years ago from Petersburg through Southside to the North Carolina line, which the governor called “key for future Southeast High Speed Rail.”

Will County projects in the works for high-speed rail along Chicago-St. Louis line. 

The railroad crossing work that started recently in Braidwood is a reminder that high-speed rail is on its way. The Illinois Department of Transportation has said high-speed rail work from Chicago to St. Louis should be finished by the end of 2017, taking one hour off the train ride that now takes about 5 hours and 15 minutes.

Amtrak and Partners Announce Design Team for Chicago Union Station. 

The restoration of Chicago Union Station took a significant step forward today, as Amtrak, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago area transportation leaders from Metra, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced plans to begin the next phase of planning, historic review and preliminary engineering for the historic transportation hub. The selection of the Arup team will bring international and regional experience in the design and renovation of transportation infrastructure, to the Union Station project.

Mayor Koos: Prevent High Speed Rail From Lagging Behind. 

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.Mayor Koos said he will use Uptown Station as an example of what the subcommittee needs to hear.  "Well, I think it needs to hear public private partnership success that has happened in Normal; that federal dollars invested in projects like this generate significant private development," said Koos.

First State Manufacturing to add 30 percent more workers.  

Last fall, FSM won a five-year contract to supply the carpets that line the floors and walls of Amtrak's roughly 2,100 passenger rail cars. A few months later, the company landed two more multi-year deals to supply all the new seating cushions on Amtrak trains, as well as the repair and re-upholstery of any salvageable cushions pulled out of rail cars undergoing full refurbishment.  Every seat cushion that goes into an Amtrak train will now pass through the company's 76,000-square-foot headquarters nestled between a residential street and the Milford Little League baseball fields. A recently added warehouse now holds a rotating stock of 40,000 used seat cushions, with as many as 20,000 repaired, re-uphostered and trucked back to more than a dozen Amtrak yards throughout the country each week.  {This is a great example of the manufacturing benefits of rail investment that are documented in ELPC’s report “Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.”}