Ridership on regional Amtrak routes to and from Chicago increased by more than 3 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, as the rail service hit record passenger levels nationally.
More than 2.5 million people traveled on regional routes between Chicago and the cities of St. Louis, Milwaukee and Detroit, as well as Carbondale in southern Illinois and Quincy in the western part of the state.
The biggest increase was on the Chicago-to-St. Louis route. That line had 655,000 riders in fiscal 2013 -- a jump of nearly 10 percent. Amtrak began an initial section of faster, 110 mph service on that line last November.
Ticket revenue on the five routes rose to $67 million. That's an increase of nearly 9 percent from the previous fiscal year.