KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Amtrak says it's gotten federal approval for its
trains in western Michigan and northern Indiana to increase maximum speeds
to 110 mph.
Amtrak announced Tuesday that the approval it and the Michigan Department of
Transportation received comes after the installation and testing of a train
control safety system on Amtrak-owned track that runs between Kalamazoo,
Mich., and Porter, Ind.
The Wolverine Service between Pontiac and Chicago via Detroit and Ann Arbor
and the Blue Water service between Port Huron and Chicago via East Lansing
use the tracks. The Pere Marquette service uses a different route in
Michigan to Grand Rapids.
The change will cut time from the trips.
More details are expected Feb. 15. Amtrak plans to extend 110 mph service in
other parts of Michigan in the coming years.
In Porter County
Meanwhile, Porter County Commissioner John Evans, R-North, told the
Chesterton Tribune today that Amtrak hasn’t informed local officials of
its high-speed plans.
“We’ve never been notified of that,” he said.
Evans—while noting that Amtrak trains’ current maximum speed is 79 miles per
hour—did wonder about the safety factor. ”They’re trying to get more people
by advertising the faster service,” he said. “But you’ve really got to
wonder about the maintenance and safety of the track. Because it’s the same
model trains and the same track and they’re just going to run them faster.”