Posted by: thescoundrel | June 24, 2008

Illinois to Slash Away Amtrak Funding?


Will the Quad City again feel the sting of Governor Blagodabitch’s budget slashing knife? With the State feeling a huge shortage of funds and the Gov and the legislature fighting over the directional flow of the money it has to spend, the Gov is talking about slashing money to the Amtrak trains systems. According to a Mike Riopell article, the Gov is talking about taking away $28 million in subsidies the State of Illinois provides to Amtrak, as part of his proposed budget cuts. An Amtrak official was quoted as saying that would lead to eliminating five Southern routes from Chicago plus the Quincy and Macomb Western Illinois services. Oops! 😳 Sounds like possible egg on the face of someone – as it has just been months since Illinois legislators were championing the idea of adding a train run from Chicago to the Quad Cities. The article was unsure if the proposed cuts would also eliminate the anticipated train route linking the Quad Cities to Chicago. Of course if they eliminate five existing routes, adding a new route is not likely to be a popular move among those losing existing services. Not that slashing away promised Quad City Projects Funds has ever bothered the Gov before if it helps him keep his personal pet projects funded. The Tin God promise and the Tin God taketh away?

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Responses

  1. Who knows what the goofiness of government will do, but I do not see the QC-to-Chicago Amtrak ever happening. The finances of the State of Illinois cannot justify it and Amtrak is a loser everywhere but the east coast.

    I appreciate that with government spending, financial sense does not have to come into play, but Blago has so many things to worry about before this route, and this expense.

  2. I do not pretend to know whether the Chicago-QC Amtrak venture makes financial sense or not. The only way to find out is to try it. But if they cut the mentioned routes I would think it difficult to publicly sell the addition of a new route. But this is Illinois and financial leadership is not an agenda. The only thing Blago is worried about, is pushing through he personal pet projects like insuring illegal aliens, while the rest of the State suffers for his efforts to feed his ego.

  3. personally, i don’t see the qc amtrak either. part of the problem is half of the trip is already covered by the quincy train. its not till you get halfway across the state that the line really becomes independent.

    additionally, i think the line would pretty much have to run to des moines or even omaha to really get a significant rider base.

    as someone from an amtrak town, i know its value. there are definitely times when its nice to have and cane become spoiled at times. but also its not the end all of mass transportation.

    regarding the issue, i would find it awful if they di cut trains. especially since they just added trains last year due to higher ridership.

  4. The Quincy train is what will probably kill the QC Amtrak if Blago does kill the funding, since Amtrak stated that Quincy is on the chopping block if Blago cuts the money out. It is all a political scrum with each side jockeying for position.


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