Track work to help Amtrak speeds

Photo by John DeLora.

Large track crews of 75 or more men have been spotted repairing the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks between Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo which hosts Amtrak’s Wolverine train service. This grade crossing is being rebuilt approxiamately three miles west of Ypsilanti. Poor track conditions along the route have caused service delays since June 2011 due to speed restrictions imposed by the host freight railroad. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced Aug. 8, 2011, a $4.2 million maintenance agreement with Norfolk Southern. MDOT says that passenger trains speeds will return to normal once the repairs are completed by mid-September.  Since 2010, MDOT has been negotiating the purchase of the same stetch of railroad from Norfolk Southern with plans to increase passenger train speeds to 110 mph.

The repairs have prompted Amtrak to transport passengers by motorcoach from stations between Pontiac and Ypsilanti on some days for trains 350 and 353. Click here for more details.