Quincy to Keep Both Amtrak Trains for Now
As the continued budget crisis for the State of Illinois continues to drag on, the concerns of many state agencies grows. How much longer can they continue to operate without the state funding needed? That concern has been hanging over the heads of all of the cities along the state supported Amtrak routes in Illinois especially the two routes serving Quincy daily. Rumors were circulating that Quincy just might lose one of its two trains, the Carl Sandburg or the Illinois Zephyr. Fortunately, word came down last week that Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have reached an agreement to continue service to West-Central Illinois for both trains at least through June 30 (the end of the current fiscal year).
The agreement came about after the state agreed to use credits from state paid purchases for equipment upgrades to lower the cost agreement with Amtrak. The State paid $42 Million to Amtrak the previous year and with the credits involved this year's total will be $38.3 million.
Again, the agreement goes through June 30. If the State of Illinois budget crisis is not resolved by June 30, the threat of losing one of Quincy's trains will be an option again.