Michigan to buy rail line for high-speed Amtrak

From the Toledo Blade

Amtrak’s route between Detroit and Chicago is among those the Obama Administration has chosen for high-speed rail development, but right now, 135 miles of the line east of Kalamazoo, Mich., is anything but fast.

The tracks’ owner, Norfolk Southern, has determined that freight traffic along the line no longer justifies maintaining it for the ordinary top speed on many Amtrak routes, 79 mph. Beginning last year, after a maintenance agreement with Amtrak expired, the freight railroad has on several occasions reduced the line’s speed limits to the point where most of the track is restricted to 60 mph or slower, with some stretches 25 mph.

The slowdown has caused Amtrak’s three daily Wolverine Service round trips between Pontiac, Mich., and Chicago, via Detroit and Ann Arbor, to run about 90 minutes late since June 1, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

Read more: http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/07/21/Michigan-to-buy-rail-line-for-high-speed-Amtrak.html