02/26/2010 AT 07:01
“Amtrak believes 110 mph train service across Michigan is critical for the future and we're committed to understanding what it will take to get there,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman, noting that Amtrak's Wolverine service provides three daily roundtrips between Chicago and Pontiac via Detroit over the corridor.
Boardman explained that Amtrak trains currently operate at 79 mph over the Norfolk Southern line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, just west of Detroit. Amtrak will pay for and perform the high-speed improvement study with the assistance of Norfolk Southern and intends to complete its review by the end of May.
The study will examine all infrastructure needs and costs required to allow for 110 mph train service along the corridor including any upgrade of tracks, bridges, signal systems, highway-rail grade crossing warning devices and stations as well as analyze freight and passenger train operations. Importantly, the information gathered can support applications for future rounds of funding from federal intercity and high-speed rail capital improvement grant programs.
In addition, Boardman said Amtrak owns the rail line west of Kalamazoo to Porter, Ind., and recently increased speeds from 79 mph to 95 mph and is on target to further increase speeds to 110 mph by mid-2010. Two of the three Amtrak routes serving Michigan—Wolverine (Chicago-Pontiac) and Blue Water (Chicago-Port Huron),—operate over this section of track and each will soon reach 110 mph.
Amtrak announced today it has awarded a $104.7 million contract to Cianbro/Middlesex VII of Littleton, Mass., for the replacement of the 102-year old movable bridge over the Niantic River in East Lyme, Conn.
Amtrak trains operated under a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation are providing a way to overcome the unpredictable costs of driving and drew more than 1.8 million passengers to state-supported routes in Fiscal Year 2009.
Amtrak is making major investments in the New York area to bring its bridges, tracks and other infrastructure up to a state of good repair, increase track speeds and improve operations, including a soon to start $10 million project to rehabilitate the Pelham Bay Bridge.
Amtrak passengers have more destinations in Wisconsin to begin or end their trips, thanks to an agreement between the national passenger railroad and Jefferson Lines, an intercity motorcoach operator.
Amtrak is using $25 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to replace transformers and other electrical equipment—some of which date to before World War II— at 40 substations that deliver the power needed to propel passenger trains on the electrified tracks.
Alstom has been selected by Caltrans to renovate all 66 bi-level intercity passenger vehicles from its California car fleet.
Travelers may now use Google Transit — Google's public transportation trip planning function — to plan their journeys on Amtrak as five of the railroad's routes were recently added to the Google Transit system.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Province of British Columbia and Amtrak announced today that the long awaited second daily Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. will begin service on Wednesday.
Amtrak unveiled the first of 81 passenger rail cars to be removed from storage, restored to good condition, and returned to service as part of a program to add seating capacity to trains across its national system using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Keystone Corridor passengers who use the Lancaster train station will find it much improved and more accessible and comfortable as a result of a major $12 million renovation project now getting underway.