Ceremony Marks Track Rehab Completion

State and railroad officials gathered on Sept. 22 in Granite City, Ill., to celebrate the completion of a track rehabilitation project on Amtrak’s Chicago-St. Louis route.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined officials from Union Pacific and Amtrak at the ceremony.

“The work done today will help residents get to their destinations quickly and efficiently for years to come,” Quinn said. “I am proud that our state is leading the way on this transportation trend of the future.”

The state, UP and Amtrak are working to reduce the travel time between Chicago and St. Louis of 5.5 hours by a half-hour by late 2015. Another half-hour is expected to be shaved by the end of 2017 when two-thirds of the corridor will be capable of hosting trains traveling 110 mph compared to just 15 miles today between Dwight and Pontiac.

In addition to track rebuilding, 300 grade crossings have been updated. Work will begin soon to install Positive Train Control. UP is building or extending 13 passing sidings.

“Working together with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration, we have made great strides on this important public-private partnership,” said Donna Kush, UP Vice-President, Public Affairs, for the Northern Region. “Our engineering team has produced some very impressive numbers since this project started in 2010.”

The State of Illinois is contributing $400 million toward the project. Another $1.3 billion is being provided by the federal government. To date, the construction project on the corridor has upgraded more than 2.6 million linear feet of rail, added more than 1.3 million tons of ballast, and replaced 646,000 ties.

Deliveries of new diesel locomotives from Siemens and passenger coaches from Nippon Sharyo are due to begin in summer 2016. Crews thus far have upgraded more than 2.6 million linear feet of rail, added more than 1.3 million tons of ballast, and replaced 646,000 ties.

The Chicago-St. Louis corridor hosts four Lincoln Service roundships and the Chicago-San Antonio Texas  Eagle.



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