Officials at the Michigan Department of Transportation have reached an agreement to purchase 135 miles of rail track from Norfolk Southern potentially cutting journey times between Detroit and Chicago.
The $140 million deal was signed earlier, with the track between Kalamazoo and Dearborn paid for largely with Federal Railroad Administration stimulus funds.
“A faster, reliable passenger rail system is a priority for younger generations and vital to our ability to compete globally as businesses look to locate or expand,” Michigan governor Rick Snyder.
A Wolverine passenger rail service operated by Amtrak and freight for companies, including Ford, moves on the track.
In a separate development, the United States federal government moved ahead with an already approved $196 million grant Michigan.
Funds will be use to upgrade and expand the tracks so that train speeds can increase to 110mph.
It is hoped the development will ease delays caused by freight train congestion.
MDOT said the federal government has awarded Michigan about $350 million in stimulus funds to purchase and improve rail in the Obama administration’s quest for an expansion of high-speed rail nationwide.