As a rabid rail fan, I always read with interest the newest information on the proposed rail service between Chicago and the Quad-Cities. After following Amtrak and its funding since inception, and understanding the reasons for the very inception of Amtrak, I cannot get on board with your statement that the "community supports passenger rail service."
Passenger trains died on the Rock Island (and other railroads) in the 1960s and early 1970s. I rode one of the last Rockets from Rock Island to Chicago along with about half a dozen others and know that the fares paid didn't make a dent in avoidable costs, let alone make any contribution to other allocated costs such as track, signaling and equipment.
The reason that passenger trains died was because of the American love affair with their automobiles and that affinity has done nothing but get tighter with the improvement of Interstate highways, more comfortable vehicles and improved gas mileage with lower fuel costs. The ridership between Chicago and the Quad Cities cannot be expected to even come close to covering the cost of the service, and to expect American taxpayers to fund the service with both state and federal subsidies is a total misuse of tax dollars.
I'm sure that this was a primary part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's reasoning in not being "totally committed to this project." My hope is that Gov.-elect JB Pritzker looks at it the same way and spends our tax dollars on more necessary issues.