Saturday, October 20, 2012
Illinois High Speed Train Service: Between Dwight, Pontiac
The Governor claimed the project, part of a $2 billion federal and state investment in high-speed rail, has created and supported more than 6,000 construction jobs as well as an unquantified number of production and equipment manufacturing jobs.
Trains will start carrying Amtrak riders at the higher speed between Dwight and Pontiac before Thanksgiving of this year, according to an Amtrak spokesman. The 110-mph service is projected to be in place along nearly 75 percent of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor by 2015, reducing travel time by more than an hour. Ridership on today’s Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service has doubled in the past six years, according to Amtrak, despite relatively slow speeds and aging equipment.
“I want to congratulate Union Pacific’s field engineering team that has produced some very impressive numbers since this project started in 2010,” said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific Railroad’s executive vice president – operations. “The team has laid more than 2.5 million linear feet of rail, spread nearly 1.3 million tons of ballast to help provide a more stable roadbed and installed nearly 620,000 concrete ties."
Friday's high-speed rail demonstration follows the recent announcement of a $352 million multi-state procurement to design, build and deliver 130 bi-level passenger railcars for use in California and the Midwest, including the Chicago to St. Louis corridor.
In the pic: Amtrak's photo op train blitzing through the bean fields at 110 mph.