8.2.12

FREE REIN TO 110.

Work on portions of the Alton Route continues in anticipation of faster train service this summer, and the old Michigan Central from Porter to Kalamazoo is also to see trains accelerated to 110 (or 170 km/h, for our Continental readers and metric-system snobs).
Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have received federal approval to increase maximum speeds of Amtrak trains in western Michigan and northern Indiana to 110 mph following successful installation and testing of a positive train control safety system on Amtrak-owned track between Kalamazoo, Mich., and Porter, Ind.
The Chicago Tribune has those trains already being sped up, perhaps as a test.
Amtrak passenger trains sped up to 110 mph for the first time Tuesday in western Michigan and northern Indiana on two routes serving Chicago, officials announced.

But the railroad crossings lack safety mechanisms that will be installed on Illinois' high-speed corridor to prevent vehicle-train collisions.
States have some latitude to determine "the appropriate safety mechanisms" at railroad crossings, although a STOP sign with a sign underneath reading
 STOP LOOK
 TRAINS PASS
100 MPH
no longer passes muster.

As these faster services become publicly available, Trip Reports will be forthcoming.


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