Manzullo Seeks McHenry County Amtrak Stop

Didn’t know an Amtrak route is planned through McHenry County.

Well, if you are a regular reader of McHenry County Blog, you would.

Links to McHenry County Blog’s stories follow:

April 3, 2010 – Quinn Says Amtrak Going Through Belvidere

April 6, 2010 – Illinois Railway Museum’s Executive Director Nick Kallas Analyzes Amtrak Route Selection through McHenry County

With 16th District Congressman Don Manzullo’s sending out a press release about his efforts to convince Amtrak to pick up and discharge passengers on the new state-financed line that is proposed to run through southern McHenry County, don’t you think that the Northwest and Daily Heralds will finally run a story on the subject?

Congressman Manzullo’s press release follows:

Manzullo Seeks Amtrak Stop for McHenry County

[CRYSTAL LAKE] Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) today called on Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to designate a stop in McHenry County as part of the state’s decision to extend Amtrak passenger rail from Chicago to Dubuque, Iowa.

U.S.Senator Dick Drubin and U.S. Representative Don Manzullo at Amtrak hearing held in Rockford a couple of years ago.

Manzullo, who has worked closely with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to return Amtrak and commuter rail to northern Illinois, sent a letter to the Governor today requesting an Amtrak stop in either Huntley or Marengo.

The $60 million in funds necessary to upgrade the tracks for the Chicago to Iowa Amtrak route were included in the state capital bill, and construction is expected to take 18 months with service scheduled to begin in 2012.

Amtrak Route from Elgin to Rockford running through Huntley, Union and Marengo in McHenry County.

Gov. Quinn announced earlier this month Amtrak would follow a northern route on existing tracks running from Elgin’s Big Timber Metra station through the counties of McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson and JoDaviess counties before crossing into Iowa.

Quinn and Amtrak previously announced stops in Belvidere, Rockford, Freeport, and Galena, and Manzullo is requesting a stop in McHenry County.

“Establishing a stop in McHenry County will help increase Amtrak ridership and secure the route’s viability while providing tremendous benefits for businesses, tourism, and quality of life in one of the fast-growing collar counties of Chicago,” Manzullo said.

“Establishing an Amtrak stop in McHenry County could also expedite the eventual extension of Milwaukee District/West Metra commuter rail service from Big Timber to Huntley and Marengo and beyond to Belvidere and Rockford since they will traverse the same tracks.”

The mayors of Huntley and Marengo have each submitted letters to Manzullo expressing interest in hosting an Amtrak stop. Manzullo’s letter to the Governor as well as the mayors’ letters are attached.
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Sign just before reaching the Eagle Ridge Inn.

The Skinner family drove to Galena during the middle of the week of Spring Break.

The tracks Amtrak would take along the Mississippi River to get to Galena.

We had an enjoyable stay at the Eagle Ridge Inn.  It’s about a 2 hour and fifteen minute drive from Crystal Lake.

I even saw two eagles flying over the trees about 50 feet from our third floor room, allowing the resort to live up to its name of Eagle Ridge. (Couldn’t find the camera in time though, unfortunately.)

What fun it would be to take the train.

We even saw the track that the train would take to Galena while we were exploring the Mississippi River.  They were the same tracks that Amtrak used when we rode from Chicago to  Denver, renting a car to drive to Colorado Springs a couple of years ago.

Sign pointing to the Chestnut Mountain Resort.

Driving over the Mississippi into Iowa wasn’t good enough for me. I insisted the two 12-year olds be able to touch it.

We ended up between the railroad tracks and another resort, Chestnut Mountain.

If we took Amtrak, I’m willing to be that both resorts would provide bus service to and from Downtown Galena, where the train station is locate.

What an adventure it would be for those who have never taken a train except to Chicago.

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