RailWorks' upgrades helped enable the advent of high-speed rail travel on an important segment of Amtrak's Chicago-to-St. Louis route.
During a nine-month project in 2012, RailWorks removed existing sidings at Pontiac and Odell in Illinois, and built new, relocated sidings in both towns. After removing a 12,500-foot siding in Pontiac and a 13,500-foot siding in Odell, crews then built new replacement sidings with concrete ties and new continuous-welded rail, and installed three, 40-foot crossings: one in Odell, and two in Pontiac.
The job was part of high-speed rail service being developed in Illinois, initially on a 15-mile segment of the Amtrak route between Dwight and Pontiac. After a test period, Amtrak began taking passengers at its new top speed of 110 mph. The larger plan calls for enhancing further sections of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, an important segment in the Midwest transportation network. Further upgrades are expected to enable speeds of 110 mph over 75 percent of the route, shaving travel time by about an hour, to around 4 and a half hours.