MOLINE, Ill — New federal funding could be the key needed to bring passenger rail service to the Quad Cities.
The White House announced President Joe Biden will sign the new trillion dollar infrastructure bill into law Monday, Nov. 15.
It involves $66 billion for Amtrak passenger rail, with some of the funding going toward projects for more than 100 communities.
The Quad Cities railroad project was one on the list. The proposed route between Chicago and Iowa City would include a stop in Moline in-between.
"It's certainly ongoing," Quad Cities Chamber Government Affairs director Jake Ford said.
"We're hoping," Element Moline hotel director of sales Sally May said.
For more than a decade, discussions surrounding Amtrak service in the Quad Cities have been ongoing.
"Actually to have a train to go with the station, that would be the main idea," May said.
A train station, parking and the Element hotel surrounds where the train stop would be located near Center Station.
"This hotel was created for the Amtrak station," May said. "It's unbelievable to have that kind of facility sitting back there empty."
Officials said roughly $177 million from back in 2011 is still set aside for the project.
"They're working behind the scenes day-in and day-out. They're having the meetings," Ford said.
Local leaders and businesses hope new federal funding gives an added push to get the train going on the tracks.
"We're very optimistic it'll come," Ford said. "It'll connect the Quad Cities with other communities on a much more safe and reliable basis."
Officials said the hurdle surrounds track upgrades needed along the stretch from Bureau County to Moline. That section is owned by Iowa Interstate Railroad, a private railroad company.