Amtrak Begins 110 MPH Ride from Chicago

The route runs from Chicago through Indiana to Michigan

Passengers tested out Amtrak's newly approved high speeds Wednesday from Chicago through Indiana and Michigan.

Reporters were the first riders on the new 110mph route expected to shave off about 20 minutes of passengers' commutes.

"In the next two and half years you are actually going to see 80 percent of Chicago-Detroit and roughly 80 percent of Chicago-St. Louis at sustained speeds of 110 miles per hour," said Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Joseph Szabo.

Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation received federal permission last week to increase maximum speeds of trains to 110 mph. The accelerated speed follows the installation of a safety system on the Amtrak-owned track between Kalamazoo, Mich., and Porter, Ind.

"This is the first expansion of regional high speed rail outside the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor," said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman in a statement.

Lines that use this corridor include Pontiac and Chicago via Detroit and Ann Arbor (Wolverine Service), and trips between Port Huron and Chicago via East Lansing (Blue Water). 

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