The Lincoln Service trains on the Chicago-St. Louis line will hit top speeds of 110 mph. (photo by Zach Dietmeier/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
NORMAL - High speed service on the Chicago-to-St. Louis Amtrak route has officially started.
Gov. Pat Quinn, IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider and Amtrak officials announced Thursday that 110 mile per hour service has begun on a 15-mile stretch of track between Dwight and Pontiac.
Six trains on the line will operate at the maximum speed while all other trains on the route will remain at top speeds of 79 miles per hour. Additionally, the high-speed trips will offer passengers free WiFi internet service. Amtrak President Joe Boardman calls the high-speed trips "a major milestone."
New rail cars are currently being constructed for the route by Rochelle-based Nippon-Sharyo/Sumitomo Corporation of America. The first cars will hit the tracks in fall 2015.
Completion of high-speed capability for the Chicago-to-St. Louis corridor will take place by 2015.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at email@example.com.