An agreement announced Friday could pave the way for rail traffic in Springfield to be consolidated along 10th Street.
Mayor Jim Langfelder joined others at a statehouse news conference lauding the deal. It will result in improvements to Third Street so trains can go faster along that route until the 10th Street move is made.
City leaders had fought against using Third Street for high speed rail and increased freight traffic, saying it will hurt the downtown area.
Langfelder previously argued completing work on Third Street will take away incentive for a 10th Street move.
"The key component to this agreement, this is the first time we are actually putting something in writing to make the move to 10th Street," he said. "We have to preserve our downtown as much as possible. We don't want to be shortsighted with any of our projects, We want to look to the long term future. And that long term future is the 10th Street corridor."
Trains along Third Street will be able to travel up to 40 miles per hour once improvements are made. The state has agreed to put more money toward 10th Street improvements, including underpasses. But federal money will still be needed to make the relocation happen.
"The primary investment going forward will be on the 10th Street corridor," said Gov. Bruce Rauner.