The Federal Railroad Administration awarded $150 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation for a high-speed rail project that will increase the safety and reliability of Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago and put more than 800 Americans back to work this spring.
The grant will enable MDOT to acquire ownership over much of the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac High Speed Rail Corridor within the state of Michigan and pave the way for them to begin a track and signal improvement project between Detroit and Kalamazoo, Mich., in the spring of 2012. These improvements will allow for speeds up to 110 mph on 77 percent of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago, resulting in a 30 minute reduction in travel times between those destinations.
Previously announced FRA investments in the line include new continuously welded rail and ties, fiber optic lines and infrastructure to support a positive train control system, rebuilding 180 highway-rail grade crossings and gates and flashers at 65 private highway-rail grade crossings.
The corridor will also benefit from next-generation American-made trains, funded as part of a previously announced $782 million grant that will pump new life into domestic manufacturing. States will purchase 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars to operate in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, California, Washington and Oregon.