Michigan gets almost $200 million for Detroit-Chicago Amtrak line

May 9, 2011

Michigan will get just under $200 million to boost rail service between Detroit and Chicago.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the official announcement alongside state and local officials in Detroit Monday.

The federal money comes with no strings attached. Officials say it will let them upgrade a stretch of track between Dearborn and Kalamazoo.

The improvements will push maximum train speeds up to 110-miles-per hour, and cut about a half hour off the trip.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says the project can only help the state.

“It’s about economic development, but it’s about environmentally sound and it’s about great quality of life. So it’s great to have a spot where you see all the intersections of these things coming together, all around this new rail opportunity.”

Michigan is one of 15 states splitting more than $2 billion in funds for high speed rail.

That money became available when Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected his state’s share.

Michigan and three other Midwestern states will also get funding to replace and expand its locomotives and coaches. The Midwest’s current Amtrak fleet is the oldest in the country.