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High Speed Rail: The Midwest Sees Progress

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission Experiences High Speed Rail Locally

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) members Randy Truitt, Indiana State Representative from West Lafayette, and Marvin Scott of Indianapolis joined fellow commissioners and friends of the commission to experience the 110 mph speed that Amtrak trains have been achieving between Porter, Indiana and Kalamazoo, Michigan since February. Marvin Jr.'s smart phone says it all. See below for a half minute video or keep reading to learn more about their trip and the local progress of high speed rail.

Just a reminder: The MIPRC is a legislatively created advocacy body that has four commissioners from each of eleven midwest states. The state legislature designates two appointees, and the governor selects a private sector designee as well as his/her representative.

The MIPRC contingent boarded Amtrak's Wolverine at Chicago's Union Station at 4:10 P.M. (5:10 EDT) on June 10th. After the typically slow ride through Chicago and northwest Indiana, the train picked up speed just east of Porter, Indiana and frequently hit 110 mph en route to an early 7:26 P.M. (EDT) arrival in Kalamazoo. The Commission held its day-long meeting the next day and then returned to Union Station having experienced the first corridor segment--other than in the northeast corridor--that reaches the 110 miles per hour speed envisioned for all the major intercity passenger rail routes in the Midwest -- "back to the future" as Commissioner Scott so aptly noted.

Because this section of track is owned by Amtrak, many of the improvements needed for the optimal speed have been completed. Several road crossings have yet to be improved so the train slowed a little at these locations, but the overall experience was a smooth, fast trip on this upgraded portion of the corridor.

Other improvements are coming to this Chicago-through-Indiana-to-Detroit line: