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:
Top priority is the roof restoration. This phase was completed in the Summer
2: Install an elevator to increase
accessibility. In use, Summer 2010.
3: Replace the windows and tuck point the masonry.
Completed in the Fall 2009.
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
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.