A new station has opened for Amtrak trains as well as inter-city and local buses in Normal. State officials are touting it as an economic engine for central Illinois.
The $45 million Uptown Station opened Saturday in a ceremony attended by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
About $32 million in federal funds went toward the 2-year construction project.
The brick and limestone multimodal transportation center features a restaurant, retail space and municipal offices, and will provide free wifi.
It replaces a small Amtrak depot that had become overwhelmed by growing numbers of riders.
Amtrak service starts Sunday at the new station. Amtrak is planning higher speed trains on the Chicago-to-St. Louis route.
That 110 mph service will begin on one segment in September.