As the first major railway stop outside of Chicago, the city of Joliet serves as a connector to another bustling city – St. Louis. The previous historic train station posed safety concerns for both passengers and train operators, as the location forced passengers to cross over live tracks and creating congestion for freight. The Illinois Department of Transportation addressed the antiquated infrastructure, improved safety, and upgraded to more modern technology with the completion of the $51 million Joliet Gateway Center. The 10,000-square foot station house serves more than 1,000 commuters every day on two METRA lines that connect to Chicago, as well as 60,000 annual riders on Amtrak’s Texas Eagle and Lincoln Service trains. The project dovetails with the $2 billion high-speed rail project that connects to St. Louis. The interior provides travelers with modern amenities, including new ticketing and baggage areas, rest rooms, retail space, and free Wi-Fi.