Trains For America

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Centralia, Ill. enjoys better service

The local Morning Sentinel covers the expansion of conventional passenger train service.

Illinois Department of Transportation figures show about 12,000 people boarding or getting off of Amtrak trains in Centralia last year, and Kelsheimer said that is the figure which is up an estimated 40 percent this year.

There is talk about expanding the depot’s parking lot because of all the passenger traffic, he noted. Some local merchants, including restaurants, are benefiting from Amtrak traffic, Kelsheimer said.

“We’re on the right track, no pun intended,” he said.

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association was largely responsible for the lobbying which brought Centralia its third daily Amtrak train, Kelsheimer said. He said local legislators also were an essential part of that effort.

“Imagine being able to get from Centralia to Chicago in an hour and a half,” said Kelsheimer. Speeds like that are possible on other high-speed lines, he noted.

“It’s a very ambitious effort that’s going to take national support as well as state support.”

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail

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