Track Project Begins on Wolverines Route

The first of three Michigan track improvement programs began on Sept. 9 and will result in delays and modified schedules for Amtrak’s Wolverine Service trains.

The work, which is expected to be completed in November, involves laying more than 30 miles of new track and 130,000 new ties. Crews will work 10-hour days during the project.

Transportation planners expect the track rehabilitation will result in more reliable service.

The project is part of the Accelerated Rail Program being carried out by Amtrak for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“Unlike past projects to make needed repairs, this track improvement work is an upgrade to the route owned by the state of Michigan,” said Tim Hoeffner, director of MDOT’s Office of Rail. “Passengers will feel the difference, and they and freight shippers will experience even higher reliability across the route.”

MDOT is leading a three-state effort to improve the 300-mile corridor between Chicago and Pontiac, Mich., which serves Detroit.

Amtrak trains in mid-Michigan will be able to operate at speeds up to 110 mph, as they do now for 80 miles in southwestern Michigan and part of Indiana.

“We are condensing a lot of improvement work that was anticipated over the next two construction seasons into 12 to 14 weeks this fall,” said MDOT Rail Operations Manager Al Johnson. “This provides the great benefits from more reliable track conditions sooner and eliminates the need for similar track disruptions next year.”

Amtrak and MDOT hope to reduce the end-to-end travel time between Chicago and Pontiac by about two hours from the current 6 hours, 30 minutes.

This first phase of the project will largely take place east of Jackson with work done Monday through Thursday. The tracks will be open for all trains on regular schedules on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.


Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: