Macomb Local News
This is the final month for people to weigh in on Illinois' future railroad plan. 
 
Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kelsea Gurski says Illinois must plan 20 and 30 years into the future because railroads are central to the state's economy. 
 
"Most people don't realize just how large the rail system is in Illinois," Gurski said. "We actually have the second largest rail system in the country. Chicago is a huge rail hub, and Illinois is the only state in which all seven Class One railroads operate."
 
Class One railroads are the largest in the country. That is part of the reason why the rail plan is getting so much attention, and it's why Gurski said they need the public's input. 
 
People and business across the state can review IDOT's rail plan online, then submit their thoughts. 
 
"The plan provides an overview of our existing passenger and freight infrastructure and operations," Gurski said. "It lists potential improvements that we have for our rail system. And we also list out some of the anticipated trends and needs or issues that we think will impact rail service over the next two to three decades."
 
Gurski said the long-term goal for IDOT is to have a rail system that is safe, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly. 
 
Comments will be taken until Feb. 23.