Rail upgrades needed for faster train journeys between Chicago and Saint Louis will start north of Bloomington Saturday. Improvements will include new premium rail with concrete ties and stone ballast. Upgrades will also be made to bridges, culverts and drainage. The disruption will require chartered buses and connecting Amtrak train service for passengers on the Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle. The work is to make way for an increase in speed to 110 mph from the current 79 mph. The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to preview the higher speeds in September along a short section from Pontiac to Dwight.
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