Durbin Joins Normal Mayor Chris Koos to Highlight Recent Improvements on Amtrak's Lincoln Service

Mayor Koos was confirmed to the Amtrak Board of Directors earlier this year

NORMAL – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined Normal Mayor Chris Koos to highlight recent improvements on Amtrak’s Lincoln Service and discuss his recent confirmation to the Amtrak Board of Directors.

Mayor Koos was first nominated to the Amtrak Board of Directors in 2020, but never confirmed. As a result of Durbin’s recommendation, President Biden nominated Mayor Koos to the Amtrak Board again in 2022. Mayor Koos has served the longest-running term of any mayor in Normal’s history. During his tenure, Mayor Koos led the development of Uptown Station, the second-busiest Amtrak station in Illinois, behind Chicago Union Station.

“From his initial nomination to the Amtrak Board of Directors in 2020 to his eventual confirmation after more than three-and-a-half years, Mayor Koos has exemplified resilience and commitment to public service,” said Durbin. “His leadership in the construction of the Uptown Station, which is the second-busiest Amtrak station in Illinois, stands as a testament to his vision for connectivity and progress. The remarkable growth in ridership on the Lincoln Service, coupled with the implementation of high-speed rail, underscores the transformative impact of strategic investment in infrastructure.”

“Amtrak is a vital part of the nation's transportation network, and I am honored the opportunity for me to serve on the Amtrak Board has now arrived,” said Mayor Koos. “I look forward to working with colleagues toward a future of expanded access and economic prosperity for individuals and communities.”

Last June, Amtrak’s Lincoln Service line implemented the Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed rail project, which enables passenger rail service to reach 110 mph, reducing travel time by up to 30 minutes. From FY22 to FY23, ridership increased by 10 percent on the Lincoln Service, which can be attributed to the high-speed rail project.

Having supported the testing and implementation of high-speed rail for more than two decades, Durbin secured roughly 80 percent of the project’s nearly $2 billion cost, including $1.66 billion in funding from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant that was awarded in 2010.