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City uses rail assessment in push to raise tracks

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:00 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - When the Quincy riverfront floods, it also shuts down rail traffic to several businesses along the river. There’s a new push to raise the tracks so that the trains can keep rolling all year round.

Local leaders are lobbying the Illinois Department of Transportation to include raising the rail line in its Rail Needs Assessment study.

The purpose of the study is to identify rail improvements that are needed throughout the state. Planning and Development director, Chuck Bevelheimer, said raising that rail line would keep products moving in and out of those businesses regardless of what’s going on with the river.

A lot of manufacturing businesses, such as ADM and Phibro, rely on freight trains to receive their goods.

“If it comes to a point where it floods the rail line, movement of freight in and out of the South Quincy levee is halted which requires those industries now to move freight via truck. Which gets much more expensive, much more costly and it impacts their ability to maintain their operations,” Bevelheimer said. “If we want to have consistency and continuity of your production process coming from a manufacturing standpoint you want to be able to make sure you can get product in and ship product out consistently.”

Bevelheimer hopes the Illinois Department of Transportation needs assessment will help secure state funding for the project.

The virtual assessment is open to the public through Jan. 21 at IllinoisRailNeeds.org/VirtualEvent2

Bevelheimer also said that over the last decade their have been more high water events than what there used to which leads to putting the rail line at risk more often.

The City is additionally hoping to maintain and possibly expand Amtrak service. Bevelheimer said a route to Hannibal would be beneficial to Quincy as well.

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