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posted: 9/11/2012 8:54 AM

Amtrak passenger numbers surge in Illinois

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Associated Press

The number of people using Amtrak's rail service in Illinois jumped by 5.5 percent over the last 11 months.

The total number of passengers in Illinois was just short of 2 million.

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The Chicago to St. Louis route saw the biggest jump, an increase of almost 11 percent. Chicago-to-Milwaukee had the smallest increase -- just 2.5 percent.

The growth in Illinois topped Amtrak's national increase of 3.4 percent.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin issued a statement Monday calling the growth good news for the people and businesses along the train routes. He also says high demand is a positive sign for plans to create a new route from Chicago to the Quad Cities.

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