Chicago-St Louis ‘high-speed’ track upgrade complete

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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.


  1. Why does GlobalRailNews insist on calling the new Siemens locos ‘Dual Mode’? They will work purely on diesel power, the term ‘diesel electric’ refers to the tractions motors used to power the axles.


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