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U.S. OKs $196M for high-speed Chicago-Detroit rail

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved $196.5 million for part of a high-speed Amtrak passenger rail link between Chicago and Detroit, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow from Michigan said Wednesday.

The funds now being obligated cover work from Kalamazoo in western Michigan to Dearborn in suburban Detroit, the Democratic lawmakers said.

The grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation will cover track and signal improvements.

"This is an important investment that will reduce travel time, improve reliability and on-time performance, and attract more passengers," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "We are creating jobs in Michigan, building our rails with American-made materials and growing the regional economy."

Officials say the rail line improvements will allow trains to reach110 miles per hour on 135 miles of the route. The Transportation Department says that will shave 30 minutes off travel on Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago. The line runs through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

"This effort will not only boost our economy, it will provide residents with more transportation options," said Stabenow. "With gas prices as high as they are it is critically important that travelers have more choices in addition to driving."

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  • Not Great!
    The federal government is broke, Amtrak is broke and this train, like most others, will run empty. There is no demand for this in Indy and no demand in Michigan.
  • Great!
    It's great to hear that economically depressed regions like St. Joseph county and southern Michigan will have high-speed rail options to expand the territory in which the jobless or underemployed can seek employment. To boot, I'm looking forward to heading north to my hometown for the holidays once I can hop on a fast train to Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Chicago.

    How long until central Indiana pulls its head out of the sand and connects with a high-speed rail deal like this? The federal money is there if we can get smart!

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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