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The Vision

    There is a long-term commitment to utilize the depot for passenger service by The Illinois Department of Transportation and Amtrak as it is an integral part of the “Illini Corridor,” a part of the high-speed rail network being developed by the High Speed Rail Investment Act of Congress. The long range vision for the depot includes a bus-feeder line that will bring passengers from Terre Haute via Charleston and Eastern Illinois University to the Mattoon Depot. This long-range plan is necessary for economic development and growth for the county.

    Recognizing the significance of the situation, the depot was placed on the Great American Station Foundation’s Ten Most Endangered Stations list in 1998.  The depot was purchased by the City of Mattoon in 2001, and the Coles County Historical Society is promoting its renovation.

    It is the goal of the Coles County Historical Society, through the use of grants and donations, to renovate the Illinois Central Railroad Depot to its former grandeur. The renovation is to be achieved in the following stages:

 

Phase 1: Top priority is the roof restoration. This phase was completed in the Summer of 2002.

 

Phase 2: Install an elevator to increase accessibility.  In use, Summer 2010.

 

Phase 3: Replace the windows and tuck point the masonry.  Completed in the Fall 2009.

 

Phase 4: Renovate the interior.  The ceilings, floors, and woodwork will be repaired to welcome visitors.  Most of this was completed by October 2010.  The old time ticket booth - no longer in operation - still needs renovated.

 

Phase 5:  Develop a museum devoted to the history of Coles County.  Visitors will be able to learn about the county and the railroads that served it.  Work has begun on this phase.

 

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