Amtrak sees passenger numbers fall in Illinois to 1.3M

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Amtrak says that its passenger numbers in Illinois fell to about 1.3 million in the latest fiscal year, or a decline of about 4 percent.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports ( that the passenger rail service attributes the drop to low gasoline prices and high-speed rail construction between Chicago and St. Louis. The construction forced periodic use of chartered buses on the route.

The fiscal year ended Sept. 30. About 682,000 passengers rode between Chicago and St. Louis. That’s down 5 percent. Ridership fell 4 percent on the Chicago-Carbondale route and the Chicago-Quincy route saw a 2 percent decline in ridership.

Work on the $1.8 billion high-speed rail project is scheduled to resume in the spring.