$150 Million awarded to Michigan to Expand High-Speed Rail in the Midwest

From a U.S. Department of Transportation press release:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray  LaHood awarded $150 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation  (MDOT) on Nov. 22 for a high-speed rail project that will increase the safety and  reliability of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services between  Detroit and Chicago and put more than 800 Americans back to work this spring.

“With  America’s population set to grow by 100 million over the next 40 years, high-speed  rail will play a vital role in meeting America’s long-term transportation  challenges,” said Secretary LaHood. “Projects like this will employ local  workers, use American-made materials and lay a strong foundation for future  economic growth.”

The grant will  enable MDOT to acquire ownership over much of the  Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac High Speed Rail Corridor within the State of Michigan  and pave the way for them to begin a track and signal improvement project  between Detroit and Kalamazoo, MI, in the spring of 2012. These improvements  will allow for speeds up to 110 mph on 77 percent of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago, resulting in a 30  minute reduction in travel times between those destinations. Previously  announced FRA investments in the line include new continuously welded rail and  ties, fiber optic lines and infrastructure to support a positive train control  system, rebuilding 180 highway-rail grade crossings and gates and flashers at  65 private highway-rail grade crossings.

The corridor will also benefit from next-generation  American-made trains, funded as part of a previously announced $782  million grant that will pump new life into domestic manufacturing. States will  purchase 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars to  operate in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, California, Washington  and Oregon.

Michigan is among thirty-two states throughout the U.S. and  the District of Columbia that are laying the foundation for high-speed rail  corridors that will link Americans with faster and more energy-efficient travel  options.  To date, the U.S. Department of  Transportation has invested $10.1 billion to put American communities on track  towards new and expanded rail access and improved reliability, speed and  frequency of existing service.


Source: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/fra3611.html