Illinois Amtrak train hits 110 mph in test run
Published: October 19, 2012 11:23AM
Updated: October 19, 2012 11:24AM
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FILE - In this March 22, 2011 file photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin are joined by state and local officials as they announce the next phase of high-speed rail construction during a news conference at an Amtrak maintenance building in Chicago. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, Quinn, Durbin and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will take part in a test run of the high speed Amtrak line between Joliet and Normal, Ill., at 110 mph. The 30-mph increase from the route’s current top speed is a morale booster for advocates of high-speed rail who have watched conservatives in Congress put the brakes on spending for fast train projects. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Joliet, Ill. • An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois.

The train reached the speed Friday morning in a modest milestone for President Barack Obama’s high-speed rail vision. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were among the officials aboard who watched the speed increase on a special video monitor. The governor pumped his fist in the air and gave a thumbs-up when it reached 110 mph. Other officials cheered and clapped.

Some rail experts question whether the route will become profitable, but the 30-mph increase from the route’s current top speed is a morale booster for advocates of high-speed rail.