- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Construction has started to restore passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities, on the Iowa state line, for the first time since 1979.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the work Tuesday. The $255 million project is mostly funded by a federal grant. Illinois is kicking in 44 percent of the cost with $78 million in matching funds.

The construction now underway will make track and signal upgrades to BNSF Railway’s Eola Yard in Aurora to handle the extra passenger trains. It is scheduled to finish next summer.

There is no timeline yet for construction on a 53-mile stretch between Wyanet and Moline.

The service will begin with two daily roundtrips between Chicago’s Union Station and Moline with stops in LaGrange, Naperville, Plano, Mendota, Princeton and Geneseo.

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