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Officials Tout Normal Station As Economic Engine

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.

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