Rail upgrades planned between Chicago, St. Louis

CHICAGO (AP) — Upgrades are planned on the rail line between Chicago and St. Louis for future high-speed Amtrak trains.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad are making the upgrades. Construction is planned from April 16 to May 25. Improvements will include installing new rail, upgrading bridges, culverts and drainage and installing new signals. Road crossings also will be renovated.

The first phase of work during 2012 will start south of Springfield. It will affect Amtrak trains, many days requiring chartered motor coaches for Amtrak Lincoln Service passengers at St. Louis, Alton and Carlinville. Amtrak Texas Eagle trains will detour between Chicago and St. Louis with alternate transportation in both directions between Joliet and St. Louis.

Higher speed trains are to be previewed in September 2012 from Dwight to Pontiac.

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