Faster rail traffic will not be possible by the end of this year, as the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) had hoped. Trains can still not exceed 70 miles per hour along the Alton Granite City Corridor, but wAfter completion of the work, the trains can move at a speed of 150 km / h over the entire route. IDOT now says that the improvement will come in 2020, but has not set a date on which the train will reach its original target speed of 110 mph.
"The time it takes to install and test a new positive train control with GPS security technology is the reason for the longer-than-expected implementation," says Mark Schlinkmann for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Positive Train Control (PTC) is a government-mandated safety protocol that was not required at the beginning of the project. "The modernization of the corridor, begun in 2010 and largely completed in 2017, includes the installation of new rails and concrete sleepers, new Amtrak stations in Alton and elsewhere, and improved intersection gates to prevent vehicles from weaving around crossbars," Schlinkmann writes.
Many non-PTC route updates are already completed. "Other improvements have been aimed at reducing delays that sometimes make the trips longer than planned, such as adding or extending sections and sidings, so that two trains can operate simultaneously in more areas," says Schlinkmann.
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