In western Michigan and northwest Indiana, Amtrak trains have been operating at up to 110 mph for much of this year between Kalamazoo, Mich., and Porter, Ind. The goal is to extend 110 mph service to Dearborn, Mich., by 2015, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.That they did.
Yet traveling by rail at more than 100 mph is no big deal by the standards of bullet trains that are common across Europe and Asia. Even here at home, it’s back to the future.
More than 70 years ago, coal-burning locomotives were clocked going as fast as 124 mph on part of a route between Chicago and the Twin Cities, according to records. In the 1930s, trains often exceeded 100 mph in southern Wisconsin as well.