Quinn Says Amtrak Going Through Belvidere

Governor Pat Quinn announced that the favored route to Rockford and on to Galena and Dubuque would run through Belvidere on the track that runs through Huntley and past the Illinois Railroad Museum.

In a Monday Rockford political press conference (as opposed to a governmental press conference) with his newly chosen running mate former Carbondale city councilwoman and failed candidate for mayor Sheila Simon at his side (proving it was a political appearance), Governor Pat Quinn announced that the Amtrak route to Rockford and, then, to Dubuque, Iowa.

So what?

Routes that competed for state government's and Amtrak's favor. The northern-most route running through Huntley, Union and Marengo was announced by Governor Pat Quinn as the favored route Monday. The next problem is convincing Amtrak to pick up passengers in McHenry County. (Click to enlarge map.)

So, that means it will be on the track running through Huntley and Marengo.

Hence, it’s news to McHenry County readers.

The whole route would be from Chicago to Dubuque, but, according to this document no stops are planned for McHenry County.

Galena Train Station seen from the top of the levy across next to Downtown Galena.

People wanting to travel to Galena, where we spent the mid-week at the Eagle Ridge Resort off Route 20, would have to board at Elgin’s Big Timber Road Station.

Huntley Union Pacific train tracks crossing Route 47.

Maybe if Huntley built a station, Amtrak could be enticed to pick up and drop off passengers.

Or maybe the old station at the Illinois Railroad Museum could be used for McHenry County.  That wouldn’t be too close to Elgin and would have plenty of parking.

Downtown Galena, Illinois

After all, a big of the push to get Amtrak service is to get tourists to Galena.

The Eagle Creek Resort already runs buses to Downtown Galena, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that the resort would be willing to pick up paying guests at the train station.

And, can’t you imagine the Chicago area folks who have about an hour longer drive to get to Galena than it took us (2 hours and ten minutes from Eagle Ridge to our house without any stops) taking the train out for the weekend.

Suset on April 1, 2010, as seen from the restaurant of the Eagle Ridge Resort.

They might get to the Eagle Ridge Resort just in time to eat dinner in the dining room and see a sunset over the lake like this one we saw on April 1st.

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Dick Durbin and Don Manzullo conducted a hearing on Amtrak's running from Chicago to Dubuque in March od 2007.

You can read about the Rockford hearing on the project which U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and 16th District Congressman Don Manzullo conducted here.

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