Michigan will get nearly $200 million in federal funding to make high-speed rail a reality — and to help build a new bus and train station in Ann Arbor, the U.S. Transportation Department announced this morning.

The bulk of the funds — $196.5 million — is to help retrofit a 135-mile section of the Kalamazoo to Dearborn track for high-speed rail service. In total, this will eventually allow trains to travel 110 miles an hour on 235 miles between Chicago and Detroit, the government said.

The Obama administration has now invested $11 billion in rail service, the government said.

“High-speed rail is coming to America. There is no going back,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters on a conference call. The administration wants to get Americans “on trains, off of congested highways, out of their cars — particularly when gas prices are higher.”

Ahead of his speech in Detroit, he touted “the integral part that Detroit to Chicago plays in our Midwest high-speed rail plan. … Detroit to Chicago is a critical link.”

Read the rest of this article in the Detroit News.

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