According to news reports I've seen in the past day, the Quad Cities may finally be hooking back up with Amtrak. This is good news! Right now, Chicago is a looooong ways away. Even though it is about 2.5 hours to get to Chicago, that doesn't include driving time in heavy traffic, construction delays and trouble finding parking (or dealing with expensive parking in the city). Those who want to make things easier will often drive to an Amtrak station 90-minutes away, or they will drive to the suburbs of Chicago and take the L-train into the city. None of that is cheap and easy, and dispite thinking I would frequent Chicago when I moved here in 1999, I really don't. If there was a commuter train, a lot more people would hop on it for a meeting or day of shopping and museums. I know I would, unless the cost was unreasonable. For $50, I could see myself taking advantage of it. But, if it were $100 round trip, that would be a bit on the pricey side and I probably wouldn't.
So, I hope they get it by 2011, as suggested, and hope the price and schedule are good enough to make people actually want to use it! I'd suggest $50 round trip, or less. As far as times, It would be important to have an early morning train, and a late train. Maybe one that would get a person to Chicago in time for a morning meeting? Maybe one that would let me spend the day, and come back after dinner?