The federal government has awarded a $14.4 million grant for a railroad underpass in Springfield that will improve service along the emerging 110-mph Amtrak route between Chicago and St. Louis.
The Carpenter Street underpass is part of work to consolidate rail traffic on a line east of downtown. It will eliminate three street-level crossings, improving the safety of faster rail service. It will also keep first responders from getting stuck at crossings.
In requesting the funds, lawmakers said it was also a step toward possible construction of a dedicated passenger line, separate from the track now shared with freight trains. That would permit speeds of over 110 mph on Illinois’ high-speed corridor.