Gov. JB Pritzker has selected Metra to operate intercity passenger rail service from Chicago to Rockford, with stops in Elgin, Huntley, and Belvidere. Rail service will provide efficient, safe and reliable transportation operations up to 79 mph to connect Illinois communities with the Chicago metropolitan area. Passenger service is expected to begin by 2027.
Chicago to Rockford History timeline
1974 - 1981
Passenger rail service between Chicago and Rockford is available through the "Black Hawk" route, which ends due to reduced funding and as automobiles become the transportation mode of choice.
2007 - 2014
Operators and IDOT conduct feasibility studies and weigh route options.
2019 - 2023
Governor Pritzker allocates $275 million in the "Rebuild Illinois" capital plan for Chicago to Rockford Intercity Passenger Rail allowing IDOT to reinstates the program. IDOT begins negotiating stakeholder and operator agreements.
Governor Pritzker announces Metra will operate Chicago to Rockford Intercity Passenger Rail service.
2023 - 2026
IDOT advances design, field reviews, environmental clearances and stakeholder coordination.
2025 - 2027
Construction of proposed improvements required for Chicago to Rockford Intercity Passenger Rail Service.
Intercity Passenger Rail service between Chicago and Rockford is anticipated to resume.
News & Events
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) concluded their first series of public meetings in September. Additional engagement opportunities will become available as the program progresses. If you were not able to attend a public meeting, the meeting presentation is available for further viewing. View Presentation
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) invites you to learn more about the Chicago to Rockford Intercity Passenger Rail Program. IDOT is hosting a series of public meetings in the station communities to introduce the program and facilitate feedback opportunities. Learn more about these meetings.
Governor Pritzker allocates $275 million in Rebuild Illinois plan for Chicago to Rockford intercity passenger rail
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