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First High-Speed Train Leaves Union Station

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Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — High-speed rail service has arrived in Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, a high-speed train pulled out of Union Station Wednesday morning and headed off to Kalamazoo, Mich.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports


It is the first time outside of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor that trains running at 110 mph are running. The first high-speed trains in the Midwest are only running to Indiana and southwest Michigan, but eventually will likely be expanded to St. Louis, Detroit and the Twin Cities.

The faster trains could shave off two hours of travel time between Chicago and Detroit alone.

Construction has already begun for the line from Chicago St. Louis.

In addition, a proposed 220 mph bullet train route would run from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana in less than an hour.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the high speed trains won’t necessarily replace air travel for consumers.

“What it does is let people get access to other modes – especially in places like Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field, where we stop every day with 14 trains. People take the trains to the planes, or people take trains instead of planes,” he said.

Magliari says going to an Amtrak station is a lot less hassle than going to the airport.

“You keep your shoes nearly all the time – unless you’re in your compartment or at your seat. Then you can take them off,” he said.

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