Eye On Weather

56°F
Sponsored by

Riders ready & waiting for high-speed rail

Update: 10:08 pm SPRINGFIELD -- Construction is set to start this week on the final phase of the state's high-speed rail project.
Update: 10:08 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- Construction is set to start this week on the final phase of the state's high-speed rail project. When it's done, you'll be able to get from Chicago to St. Louis in two hours. As WCIA-3's Ashley Michels explains, faster trains is just one reason why Amtrak is seeing more riders than ever before.

When you need to get from point "A" to point "B," you probably just hop in your car and off you go. If your destination is really far away, the airport is most likely your go-to hub.

But, with soaring gas prices, travelers are reverting back to a simpler form of transportation.

"It's about the same as driving, but you don't have half the hassles with it."

Jeff Sunderlin rides Amtrak between Springfield and Chicago when he has to travel for work. He says for him, it's a "no-brainer."

"By the time you figure in gas anymore, with fuel and downtown parking in Chicago, you really can't beat it."

Sunderlin is one of more than 31-million people nationwide who've taken Amtrak in the past year. That's a record number.

"You can definitely see the lines out and in and they've been running rather full."

Rail officials hope ridership will go even higher in Illinois where high-speed trains are set to roll out in 2015. Small parts of the Chicago-to-St. Louis route are already in full swing. Riders say it makes a big difference.

"It's a lot smoother ride now. You don't bounce around and wobble as much."

But, it's not a welcome change for everyone.

"What's your favorite part?"

"I like how it rattles a little back-and-forth."

Still this rider says a smooth ride is better than no ride at all.

"I like the different stations it stops at and how different they look than the one you got on at."

The high-speed project is on track to be finished in two years. The trains will be able to reach speeds of 110 miles per hour between Chicago and Alton, near St. Louis.
Original: 6:03 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- There are more people riding Amtrak this year than ever before. Railroad officials say more than 30-million people took the train in the past twelve months. That's the most they've ever seen in one year.

Those are national numbers, but the same trend is showing itself in Illinois. Passengers say it's more convenient and cost-effective.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Do You Have a News Tip?


If you have any story ideas or a news tip,  let our news desk know.