US allocates grants to Michigan for rail infrastructure upgrade

9 October 2011 (Last Updated October 9th, 2011 18:30)

US Department of Transport has allocated grants worth $196.5m to the Michigan Department of Transportation for track and signal improvements between Detroit and Kalamazoo.

US Department of Transport has allocated grants worth $196.5m to the Michigan Department of Transportation for track and signal improvements between Detroit and Kalamazoo.

The project involves rebuilding 180 highway rail grade crossings, gates and flashers at 65 private highway rail grade crossings.

The project includes new, continuously welded rail and ties, fibre-optic lines and infrastructure in order to support a positive train control system.

The project will allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 110mph on 77% of Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago, and will reduce travel time by 30 minutes between the two destinations.

The 135-mile section between Detroit and Kalamazoo will support preliminary engineering, final design and construction, and will facilitate services to current and future freight rail customers.

Work is expected to begin late spring 2012.