Amtrak’s Detroit-Chicago service to get faster

Amtrak’s Detroit-Chicago service to get faster

Publicly funded railroad service provider Amtrak's trips between Detroit and Chicago are going to get faster as the Michigan Senate has cleared the way for the state to upgrade the service.

The State Senate has put an end to an investigation of a passenger rail car purchase and allowed the transportation officials to go ahead with their plans to improve the service by upgrading speed and employing comfortable rail cars. Transportation officials want to buy two sets of cars and engines, manufactured by an associate of Spanish train manufacturer Talgo Inc. in the United States. The new cars and engines will allow Amtrak to provide train services of up to 110 miles per hour (mph), which would allow passengers to travel from Detroit to Chicago and vice versa two hours faster than they travel can today.

Speaking about the new cars that Amtrak has planned to purchase to improve the service, Michigan Department of Transportation Railroad Chief Tim Hoeffner said, "The difference between them is like the difference between the car I learned to drive in the 1970s and the cars my kids learn to drive now."

The two sets of Talgo trains will replace 30 to 40-year-old Amtrak trains on two of the three daily Detroit to Chicago trips on the so-called "The Wolverine" route. However, it will likely take a couple of years for the new trains to start serving on the route. Existing, older trains will continue to run on the route till then.

The two train sets will cost $58 million, which will come from $200 million in federal funds that have been set aside for Amtrak to improve its services in Michigan and other states.

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