Chicago-St. Louis Track Work to Resume

A detouring westbound Texas Eagle passes through Tuscola, Ill., in August 2012.

A detouring westbound Texas Eagle passes through Tuscola, Ill., in August 2012.

The last of three phases to upgrade the Chicago-St. Louis route will get underway later this month, resulting in the route being closed to trains for several days. Affected with be the Lincoln Service and the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

The latest work includes the installation of new rail with concrete ties and ballast; upgrades to bridges, culverts, and drainage; signal and wayside equipment installations and upgrades; and grade crossing improvements. Beginning Oct. 16, charter buses will replace for five days Lincoln Service Nos. 300-307 at St. Louis, Alton, Carlinville, Springfield and Lincoln.

On Oct. 21, 22, and 23, Lincoln Service trains will originate and terminate in Springfield with passengers bused to St. Louis, Alton, and Carlinville.

The Texas Eagle will detour between Chicago and St. Louis between Oct. 16-23, with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis for passengers to and from intermediate points.

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation expect the improvements will enable Amtrak to operate at speeds up to 110 mph in the future. The current top speed over most of the route is 79 mph.

Since November 2012, trains have been traveling at speeds up to 110 mph on the Dwight- Pontiac segment.

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