Chesterton Tribune

Amtrak trains approved for 110 mph here

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AP and Tribune Staff

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.”



Posted 2/8/2012