October 10, 2013 UPDATED: Illinois High-Speed Rail Corridor Work Reaches Final Phase For 2013 Improvements

Marc Magliari

Amtrak Contact

312 544.5390


Jae Miller

Illinois DOT Contact

312 814.4693


Paris Ervin

Illinois DOT Contact

217 782.5025

Amtrak Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains affected by work north and south of Springfield

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad are performing the last of three phases of 2013 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 five days starting Oct. 16, track improvement work south of Normal and bridge and culvert upgrades south of Springfield will lead Amtrak to charter buses for Lincoln Service (Trains 300-307) passengers at St. Louis, Alton and Carlinville, Springfield and Lincoln.

On Oct. 21, 22 & 23, Lincoln Service trains will originate and terminate in Springfield, instead of St. Louis, and Amtrak will continue to charter buses for passengers at St. Louis, Alton and Carlinville.

The Amtrak Texas Eagle (Trains 21/321/421 & 22/322/422) will detour between Chicago and St. Louis for the entire period, Oct. 16-23, with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis.

These infrastructure improvements will enable Amtrak to operate service at speeds up to 110 mph in the future, 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 11 months since October 2012 (Amtrak Fiscal Year 2013), ridership on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor has increased by nearly 67,000 when compared with the same perioda year ago, totaling nearly 627,000 passengers – an increase of 11 percent that sets the stage to break the record of 675,295 set last 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

About Amtrak®

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.