Amtrak has started a 110mph high-speed rail service on a 15-mile segment along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor in Illinois, US, following a test phase.
Trains on the Amtrak Lincoln Service will run at 110mph between Dwight and Pontiac, including northbound trains 300, 302, 304 and southbound trains 301, 305 and 307, cutting journey times by 10 minutes.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said: "This next generation rail system gives passengers a safer, more reliable way to travel across Illinois and connect with family this holiday season."
Other Amtrak trains on the corridor will continue to run at a maximum speed of 79mph, including the Texas Eagle trains 21/321/421 and 22/322/422.
Select Amtrak Lincoln Service trains will also have free AmtrakConnect wi-fi service across the coaches, business class seating and in cafes.
Amtrak president and CEO Joe Boardman said that operating six daily Amtrak Lincoln Service trains at 110mph regularly will help develop the Chicago Hub network.
"Combined with our high-speed trains in Michigan, this means Amtrak now has a total of 14 daily trains to and from Chicago that operate at 110 mph," Boardman said.
The 110mph service on the route has been major infrastructure improvements, including signalling, track, existing stations and installation of positive train control technology.
By 2015, infrastructure improvements will be carried out on the line to enable operation of 110mph trains over 75% of the corridor and cut travel times by more than an hour.
Image: The 110mph high-speed rail service along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor has been introduced signalling, track and installation of positive train control technology. Photo: courtesy of IDOT Illinois High Speed Rail.