Pontiac and Dwight Train Stations Slated for Changes
October 22, 2012
By Jim Anderson
Train stations in Pontiac and Dwight are getting some attention from the state, but not because they're in disrepair. State officials say the location of the stations is the source of concern, as streets are blocked for long periods when trains are stopped.
The changes are part of a larger rail agenda in Illinois. New stations recently opened in Normal and Kewanee, and, in addition to the changes in Pontiac and Dwight, there are new facilities slated for Alton, Moline, Rockford and Springfield. Rehabs are planned in Carlinville, Joliet and Chicago's Union Station. These are paid for with a mix of federal, state, local and private funds.
A train depot can last a century –unless it becomes deficient or obsolete, says IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider. “A lot of it is the platforms need to be redone, and while we’re doing that there are some upgrades within the stations themselves that also need to occur, and on the ones that have major rehabs, there obviously are some major issues with those stations and that’s why we’re having to re-do them,” she said.
The Pontiac and Dwight stations aren't the only ones with location issues. The current Alton location monopolizes parking, and city fathers in Springfield want Amtrak trains to come through town on a different track, says Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.