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US OKs $150M Toward Chicago-Detroit Fast Train

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KALAMAZOO (AP) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he’s awarded $150 million to Michigan to buy a rail line for high-speed passenger service between Chicago and Detroit.

LaHood said in a news release Tuesday that the project “will increase the safety and reliability of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services” and create 800 jobs this spring.

The money enables the Michigan Department of Transportation to buy much of the Chicago-Detroit rail corridor.

On Oct. 5, Michigan said it had agreed to buy the tracks between Kalamazoo in western Michigan and Dearborn in suburban Detroit. The U.S. said then that it was giving Michigan $196 million for signal and track improvements.

The project allows speeds of up to 110 mph on 77 percent of the Detroit-Chicago line, cutting travel time by 30 minutes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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