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Amtrak is getting much faster on this popular Midwestern route

It’s a go for speeds of up to 110 mph

Written by
Gerrish Lopez

Everyone loves to get where they’re going faster, and now train passengers between Chicago and St. Louis will see nearly two hours cut from their journey.

Amtrak has recently received permission from federal agencies and the Illinois Department of Transportation to travel at speeds up to 110 miles per hour—an increase of 20 mph—along the Chicago to St. Louis corridor. The change will take effect on June 26, 2023.

The route is a popular one, with more than 3 million passengers traveling through Chicago’s Union Station, Amtrak’s fourth most popular train station. Passengers will enjoy a good bit of extra time once the trains speed up: the journey from Chicago to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, will be less than two hours, down from 2.5 hours while traveling from Chicago to St. Louis will take less than five hours, a big time savings from the previously 6.5 hour trip. That’s no match for the 150 mph Acela trains that run between Boston, NYC and Washington D.C., but certainly a welcome change.

While passengers will appreciate the faster travel times, motorists and pedestrians will have to be more vigilant around train crossings. “Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists should always use caution on this important rail corridor, as our trains are faster than they can appear and are quieter than ever. Only use designated public crossings,” Amtrak said in a release.

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