MOLINE – State SenaHalpin QC Passenger Rail2023tor Mike Halpin join Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati’s press conference on Monday regarding the Quad Cities Passenger Rail project that has been in talks for years.

“This money was there when I first took office in January 2017 and Governor Pritzker announced its renewal with our 2019 budget during his first year in office,” said Halpin (D-Rock Island). “Too much time has passed to simply rely on Iowa Interstate Railroad to do the right thing.”

The rail project has had the support of multiple presidential administrations, governors, state representatives, state senators, mayors and city councils. Despite agreement on the need for the project, Iowa Interstate Railroad, a private company that controls the 50 miles of track that would connect Chicago and the Quad Cities, has been a barrier to getting the project finalized.

Negotiations with Iowa Interstate Railroad over how to implement passenger rail service have been going on for several years despite bipartisan agreement on the project. Senator Halpin addressed in his speech that funds for the project had been pledged with significant state and federal money. The rail would directly connect Moline and Chicago if implemented.

“I am urging Amtrak, with the support of the Illinois Department of Transportation, to initiate proceedings with the Surface Transportation Board to order Iowa Interstate to provide the necessary facilities and to order reasonable compensation to Iowa Interstate for the use of those facilities,” said Halpin.