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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to begin trackwork in Michigan next week


Track upgrades designed to improve Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water service will begin next week between Jackson and Battle Creek, Mich.

The work, the second of three track improvement projects for the 2013 season, is part of the Accelerated Rail Program being implemented by Amtrak for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), according to an Amtrak press release.

Modified schedules will affect some weekday Wolverine trains, officials said. When all 2013 phases of the project are completed in November, crews will have installed more than 30 miles of track and 130,000 ties.

"This work provides great benefits from more reliable track conditions and eliminates the need for similar track disruptions next year between Dearborn and Kalamazoo," said Al Johnson, MDOT's rail operations manager.

Michigan has the longest stretch of higher-speed track in the Midwest. A project goal is to reduce end-to-end travel time between Detroit/Pontiac and Chicago by two hours from the current 6.5 hours, MDOT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/27/2013