Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Amtrak to increase western Michigan, northern Indiana speeds

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Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation have received federal approval to increase maximum speeds of Amtrak trains in western Michigan and northern Indiana to 110 mph following successful installation and testing of a positive train control safety system on Amtrak-owned track between Kalamazoo, Mich., and Porter, Ind.

"This is the first expansion of regional high-speed rail outside the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor," said President and CEO Joseph Boardman. "With our partners in Michigan, we will extend this 110 mph service from Kalamazoo to the state's central and eastern regions in the coming years."

"Our state put the world on wheels and continues to be a leading transportation innovator," said MDOT State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Recognizing changing demographics and a burgeoning interest in passenger rail travel, we are proud to be the first state outside the Northeast corridor to enable 110 mph service."

Amtrak began raising speeds on this corridor from 79 mph in 2001 to 90 mph in 2002 and to 95 mph in 2005. Sustained operations at 110 mph will shave 10 minutes from the 95 mph schedules and about 20 minutes from the 2001 schedules on the Amtrak-owned segment of the corridor.

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