Airport Rail

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The idea of linking regional airports by commuter rail is picking up steam here in the Stateline. An unscientific survey conducted by the Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition shows most residents think this transportation project should be a top concern for policy makers.

"We’ve got track on the eastside of this airport that runs just south of O’Hare and into the city of Chicago. So it's certainly a doable project," said Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition president Dave Lindberg.

The idea is to link airline passengers to a handful of regional airports via high speed rail.

"It would work both ways. You could move people from the suburbs to Rockford. It would also give us a link to Chicago other than I-90. Any of us who have driven I-90 know what a frustrating experience that can be," said Lindberg.

Lindberg says rail service could also lead to other types of development. A study is underway to look at starting passenger rail from Belvidere to Chicago, but even that is years away.

Lindberg says the track is here and community support is high. But the real challenge is convincing lawmakers to get on board and support the idea.

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