Renovation of historic central Illinois depot to begin soon

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — A historic central Illinois railroad depot is set for a $4.1 million renovation and could be returned to rail service early next year.

The Chicago & Alton Railroad depot opened in 1911 in Lincoln, near the site where Abraham Lincoln named the city in 1853. It closed to travelers in 1972 and later housed a restaurant.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports Lincoln officials hope to open bids for the renovation next week and have a contractor working as soon as possible.

City Administrator Clay Johnson says the project could be complete by spring or summer 2017. 

It will serve as a passenger station for high-speed rail. 

Johnson calls the depot “a hallmark of the community.” The project includes restoring the brick Spanish Mission-style exterior and new parking areas.