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$3.2M Amtrak Station Opens In Dwight, IL, on Future Chicago-St. Louis HSR Route

The first rail station to open for passengers as part of Illinois DOT’s High-Speed Rail Program, which will operate between Chicago and St. Louis, was recently unveiled in Dwight, IL, for use by Amtrak.

The new $3.26 million depot ­currently serves Amtrak’s Lincoln route between Chicago and St. Louis. Construction funding came from an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant to Illinois DOT as part of the federal High-Speed Rail Program, which is also providing funding for two additional new stations and upgrades to other stations on the corridor.

“The new Dwight Station is a prime example of how we can work together to invest in communities, provide people with options on how they wish to travel and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families,” said Illinois DOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.

Village of Dwight President Jared Anderson added, “This rail and new depot in Dwight are a key economic tool for sustainability and economic development and will remain a big economic driver for our area. Dwight and our surrounding communities benefit greatly from Illinois Amtrak service.”

The 1,500-square-foot facility, designed with a peaked roof and tall glass façade, offers interior and exterior seating, a passenger pickup and drop-off zone, 26 vehicle parking spaces and four bicycle spaces, free Wi-Fi, a heated and air-conditioned waiting room and access to bike and pedestrian paths.

When complete in 2017, the Illinois High-Speed Rail project will cover approximately 284 miles with Amtrak trains operating primarily on Union Pacific Railroad track. Improvements to the route will allow passenger rail service from ­Chicago to St. Louis to operate at higher speeds.

Amtrak trains previously stopped at a depot one block from the new facility, built by the Chicago and Alton Railroad in 1891 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That building houses the Dwight Historical Society and Dwight Chamber of Commerce.
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