A four-year project to renew and upgrade the track infrastructure between Chicago and St Louis has been completed, paving the way for faster services between the two cities.
The high-output track renewal programme has replaced around 500 miles (805 kilometres) of track and installed 650,000 new concrete ties to support 110 mph (177 km/h) operation along the line.
The ‘high-speed’ rail project will reduce the current five-and-a-half hour journey time by 30 minutes by the end of 2015 and a further half an hour in 2017.
Between 2015 and 2017, new rolling stock will be delivered to operate along the corridor. Siemens is supplying diesel-electric locomotives from its factory in Sacramento, California. In 2012, Nippon-Sharyo won a contract to supply passenger cars for the upgraded line.
Installation of a new positive train control (PTC) signalling system will also start in 2015.