ALTON - Passenger trains will now travel 110 mph from St. Louis to Chicago, shaving off about 15 to 20 minutes for most trips. For travelers departing from the Alton train station, that could completely change how they travel through Illinois.
“From our great new station in Alton, which I was just showing off to someone last week, we’re going to be a much better way to get back and forth to Chicago than I-55 has been almost forever,” Marc Magliari, the Amtrak spokesperson for the Chicago region, said.
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Magliari explained that the exact amount of time that it takes to travel from Alton to Chicago will vary based on the train and line, but it should save “upwards of 15 minutes.” The speed increase from 90 to 110 mph will have the biggest impact during the stretch of the railroad from Alton to Joliet.
Amtrak hopes this will entice more people to try the train.
“We’re already pretty close to driving time competitive. Now we're going to be even more driving time competitive. And for some people, we’ll be competitive with air,” Magliari said.
He added that Chicago O’Hare International Airport is located nearly 20 miles from downtown Chicago. The train lines, which make several stops throughout the city, might be a more time-efficient option for out-of-town travelers like those from Alton.
This project has been in the works for years as a collaboration between the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak and the United Pacific Railroad. They hope that people and businesses throughout the state will benefit from the speed increase.
“By upgrading to higher-speed service on Illinois’ largest passenger rail line, we are solidifying our status as the transportation hub of North America,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “Investments like these do more than just connect cities — they allow our residents to access opportunities beyond their immediate neighborhoods, streamline regional collaborations, and open doors for new jobs and new businesses.”
You can read more about this project here.
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