An Amtrak train made a run at 110 miles per hour on Friday through Illinois that briefly clocked 111 miles per hour near Dwight, Illinois heading towards Pontiac. So what does that mean for trains running through Missouri?
Missouri Department of Transportation rail director Eric Curtit says the state is looking to bring train services at speeds up to 90 miles per hour between Kansas City and St. Louis. Normally, passenger trains run at a maximum speed of 79 miles per hour. “The corridor between St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City are all trying to increase its speed,” he says. Curtit says we can expect to see high speed trains running on Missouri tracks by the end of next year; and by increasing the speed of the passenger trains it will get people to their destination faster, making trains more competitive with cars. “We want to continue on time performance…it’s good. That is the real key to passenger rail service, but also, as you increase the speed, you decrease travel time,” he says.
Curtit says he expects construction to be done by the end of 20-13 so the new trains that run from Kansas City to St. Louis can begin running by then. “After that, then we negotiate…and talk about with Union Pacific, the feasibility of raising that from 79 miles per hour to 90. St. Louis to Chicago is the one where they’re working 110 mile per hour service,” he says.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (:58)