Amtrak study: Passenger line could draw 111,000 riders annually

Amtrak has released a report that finds a proposed passenger-train route from Chicago to the Quad Cities could carry 111,000 riders a year.

Casino representatives say many of those riders could likely be Chicago gamblers heading to casinos along the Mississippi River.

The study estimates costs of upgrading existing track for passenger-train use at between $14 million and $23 million. That cost is lower than earlier estimates of around $30 million.

It says state operating costs would run about $6 million a year.

Some critics, though, say Amtrak's cost estimates aren't credible. National Taxpayers United of Illinois says the estimates are almost always lowballed.