- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CARLINVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A new $3.7 million train station has opened in southern Illinois.

The station in Carlinville now has a heated and air-conditioned waiting room, free wireless internet and parking for cars and bikes.

It’s the latest of several station improvement projects overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation along the Chicago to St. Louis rail corridor. Others have been built in Dwight, Pontiac, Lincoln and Alton. Improvements also are planned at stations in Springfield and Normal.

IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says the state and Amtrak expect to see ridership increase along the route because of the upgrades.

Mike Franke is Amtrak senior director of state government contracts. He says Amtrak ridership along the corridor is already up 9 percent over last year.

The Carlinville station was funded through a federal grant.

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