ROCKFORD, March 26 — Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey encouraged the community and state leaders to continue to advocate for passenger rail service between Rockford and Chicago.
At a press conference, Morrissey said the death of proposed Amtrak service is “premature.” He contends that it is “not a lost cause” and that “we need to prepare for every opportunity and challenge that may occur in the next few weeks” in order to make it a reality.
Former Gov. Pat Quinn proposed spending $225 million on improvements to railroad tracks linking Rockford and Belvidere and allowing Amtrak service; new Gov. Bruce Rauner suspended that effort this year.
This week, Rep. John Cabello said Amtrak representative Ray Lang told him Amtrak is not coming. The mayor counters that it was never in the state budget, and he holds out hope that things could change quickly as part of the political process.