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updated: 1/24/2014 6:54 AM

Construction near on Moline-to-Chicago train line

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Associated Press

Transportation authorities say work on a passenger rail line connecting Moline with Chicago could begin this summer.

The (Moline) Dispatch reports the corridor could be operational by late 2015.

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Joe Shacter is director of public and intermodal transportation for Illinois Department of Transportation.

He calls the rail line a "very important corridor to the state."

A preliminary engineering phase for the project is almost complete. Once that's done, final design work can begin.

A more definitive completion date is expected to be announced in the next several months.

Officials say the trip will take about three hours and round trips will be offered twice each day.

Illinois officials are working to expand passenger rail service with a $177 million federal grant and $78 million in state funding.

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