Amtrak Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains affected by work north of Bloomington-Normal
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad are performing another phase of upgrades to Illinois’ signature high-speed route, Chicago-St. Louis, for future 110 mph operation of Amtrak Lincoln Service trains.
The construction work includes the 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 roadway-rail grade crossing improvements.
For eight days starting August 16, bridge and culvert upgrades north of BloomingtonNormal will lead Amtrak to charter buses for Lincoln Service (Trains 300-307) passengers at St. Louis, Alton, Carlinville, Springfield, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, Dwight, Joliet and Summit, Ill. Amtrak Texas Eagle (Trains 21/321/421 & 22/322/422) will detour between Chicago and St. Louis for the same period, with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis. Two more phases of planned 2013 construction will also require substitute transportation.
In order to expedite travel between Chicago and downstate, many of the buses will connect to and from Amtrak Illini and Saluki trains in Champaign-Urbana to avoid Chicago suburban highway congestion and downtown Chicago traffic. Schedules and a notice about this disruption are available at stations and displayed as part of the booking process on Amtrak.com.
These infrastructure improvements will allow Union Pacific crews to enable Amtrak to operate service at speeds up to 110 mph, an increase from the current maximum of 79 mph in effect over most of the route. Starting last Thanksgiving, the Dwight to Pontiac segment became the first part of the corridor to regularly experience trains traveling at speeds up to 110 mph.
In the nine months since October 2012 (Amtrak Fiscal Year 2013), ridership on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor has increased by nearly 23,000 when compared with the same period a year ago, totaling more than 551,000 passengers – an increase of four percent that sets the stage for another record-breaking year.
Temporary road crossing closures due to construction are updated on a nightly basis on the Official Illinois High-Speed Rail Chicago to St. Louis Project Website, www.idothsr.org.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.
About Illinois DOT
The Illinois Department of Transportation provides safe, cost-effective transportation for Illinois in ways that enhance quality of life, promote economic prosperity, and demonstrate respect for our environment. Illinois DOT provides leadership throughout Illinois for the improvement and coordination of the state’s multi-faceted transportation system and serves as an advocate and trusted adviser to local governments and other community agencies involved in providing transportation access and services for all of Illinois.
For more information, visit www.dot.il.gov/. For information regarding the Illinois High Speed Rail project, visit www.idothsr.org or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/IllinoisHighSpeedRail. Call 855-IDOT-HSR (855-436-8477) with questions or comments regarding this project.