The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Union Pacific Railroad have begun the last of three planned 2013 upgrades to the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor for future 110 mph operation of Amtrak's Lincoln Service trains.
The final construction phase includes installation of new premium rail with concrete ties and stone ballast; upgrades to bridges, culverts and drainage; signal and wayside equipment installations and upgrades; and grade crossing improvements, Amtrak officials said in a press release.
The infrastructure improvements will enable Amtrak to operate trains at speeds up to 110 mph over most of the route versus the current 79 mph speeds. In November 2012, trains sped up to 110 mph on the Dwight-to-Pontiac segment of the corridor.
Meanwhile, UP has reopened the route that Amtrak's California Zephyr uses west of Denver last week, Amtrak announced. Amtrak service in the area had been disrupted since Sept. 11 after heavy rains and flooding damaged the UP route through the Moffet Tunnel.
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