Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Midwest Corridor trains’

Pere Marquette to Return June 29

June 24, 2020

Amtrak’s Pere Marquette will resume service on June 29 with its departure from Chicago en route to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The train had been suspended on March 21 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amtrak said Nos. 370 and 371 will both operate starting June 30.

The Pere Marquette is primarily funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT and Amtrak said anticipated ridership demand led to the Pere Marquette being reinstated.

No. 370 is scheduled to depart Chicago at 6:30 p.m. and arrive in Grand Rapids at 11:34 p.m.

No. 371 is scheduled to depart Grand Rapids at 6 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 9:08 a.m.

Missouri River Runner Gets Another Coach

June 12, 2020

In anticipation of increased ridership, Amtrak has added an additional coach to Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The carrier said the expanded equipment consist will provide additional seating while maintaining social distancing.

Missouri River Runner trains will now have three coaches available although only half of the seats are being sold.

Amtrak operates one roundtrip daily between the two cities. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic service had been two daily roundtrips.

There also had been a fight in the Missouri legislature over whether to continue funding two roundtrips per day.

Hiawatha Service Restoration to Begin June 1

May 26, 2020

Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee was will be gradually restored starting June 1 with one roundtrip.

Additional weekday service will return on June 29. Amtrak suspended Hiawatha Service in favor of a Thruway bus on April 24.

Starting June 1, Train No. 332, which departs Milwaukee at 8:05 a.m. will resume along with No. 339, which departs Chicago at 5:08 p.m.

On June 29 Amtrak will restores Nos. 330, 332, 338 and 342 southbound, and Nos. 329, 331, 337 and 339. Nos. 330 and 329 will operate Monday through Friday only.

The Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder, which uses the same route as the Hiawathas, will continue to stop at all stations served by Hiwathas through June 29.

Effective with that date Nos. 7/27 and 8/28 will cease stopping at Sturtevant and the Milwaukee Airport stations.

Hiawatha tickets will no longer be honored aboard the Empire Builder effective June 29.

Reservations will be required for travel on all trains and passengers must weak a fabric mask.

Oklahoma House Resolution Backs Flyer Extension

May 17, 2020

A resolution approved by the Oklahoma State House of Representatives supports an extension of Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer to Newton, Kansas.

The Oklahoma resolution is similar to one passed by the Kansas Senate last March that calls for a multistate partnership with Amtrak.

Deborah Fischer Stout, president of the Northern Flyer Alliance said her group hopes the resolutions will elevate the Heartland Flyer extension to top priority status for budgetary and Reauthorization Act funding for Amtrak in Congress.

The Heartland Flyer currently operates between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, with funding from Oklahoma and Texas.

The extension would enable the Flyer to connect in Newton with the Southwest Chief and restore Amtrak service to Wichita.

Amtrak has not served Wichita since the Chicago-Houston Lone Star was discontinued in early October 1979.

The extension proposal anticipates Amtrak paying for capital startup costs but the states would be expected to eventually cover the operating costs.

Proponents of the extension expect ridership of the Heartland Flyer to double if it is extended to Newton and connects with the Southwest Chief.

The Flyer currently connects in Fort Worth with the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

The Kansas legislature earlier approved the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, which includes money for the operational expenses of the Heartland Flyer extension and the governor of Kansas has proposed funding be included in the state budget for preliminary work for the development of additional passenger rail service.

Track Work to Disrupt Illini, Saluki

May 15, 2020

Track work being performed by host railroad Canadian National has resulted in temporary scheduled changes for Amtrak trains operating between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois.

The changes will be in effect on May 15, 19 and 22.

The southbound Illini will operate 30 minutes earlier on May 15 and 22.

The northbound Saluki and southbound Illini will be canceled on May 19 and substitute bus service provided.

Bus 3390 will operate from Carbondale to Chicago, departing Carbondale 1 hour and 45 minutes earlier than the schedule of the train and make all intermediate stops.

Bus 5390 will operate from Carbondale to Chicago, departing Carbondale 30 minutes earlier than the schedule of the train and stopping only at the Champaign-Urbana station.

Bus 3393 will operate from Chicago to Carbondale, departing at 4:05 p.m., making all intermediate stops.

Its arrival in Carbondale will be 1 hour and 55 minutes later than the normal schedule at 11:30 p.m.

Bus 5393 will operate from Chicago to Carbondale, departing Chicago at 4:05 p.m. and stopping only at Champaign.

Its arrival in Carbondale will be 10 minutes later than normal at 9:45 p.m.

Document Gives Insight into Amtrak Summer Plans

May 12, 2020

An Amtrak planning document shows that the carrier plans to continue to operate most services this summer with reduced consists and many routes will continue to have reduced frequencies.

The document is dated May 7 and subject to change.

Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service will resume service on June 1 with one roundtrip, Nos. 330 and 339 on weekdays and Nos. 332 and 339 on weekends.

Starting June 14 service will increase to four roundtrips, Nos. 329, 331, 337, 339, 330, 332, 338 and 342.

Before the pandemic service had been seven daily roundtrips.

Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis is slated to be two daily roundtrips, Nos. 300, 303, 306 and 307 with all operating with four coaches.

The corridor previously hosted four Lincoln Service roundtrips.

Chicago-Quincy and Chicago-Carbondale services will remain the same as they are now.

The Illinois Zephyr will operate with two coaches while the southbound Illini and northbound Saluki will have a Superliner consist.

The Chicago-Quincy Carl Sandburg remain suspended as does the southbound Saluki and northbound Illini.

Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City will also remain unchanged at one roundtrip (Nos. 313 and 314). The route previously hosted two roundtrips.

Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service corridor will continue to operate with one daily roundtrip whereas until the COVID-19 pandemic struck it had three daily roundtrips.

There will be no change in operations of the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water.

The planning document shows the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pere Marquette not operating, but that appears to be an error.

However, the Amtrak website shows Nos. 370 and 371 as operating starting June 1 and reservations can be made.

Amtrak also plans to restore the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian and gradually ramp up service in the Keystone Corridor in eastern Pennsylvania.

Starting June 1 Amtrak will restore Keystone Service to nine roundtrips operating between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

On July 5 one roundtrip will be extended to New York. On Sept. 5 service between Harrisburg and New York will be restored to all trains.

The level of service planned this summer will be two roundtrips fewer than what Amtrak operated last summer.

Keystone Service trains will operate with their normal consists while the Pennsylvanian will have its normal consist of four coaches, one business class car, a food service car and a baggage car.

Downeaster Service is expected to return on July 1 operating only with one roundtrip on weekedays. Normal service of five daily roundtrips is expected to return on Sept. 5.

Empire Service will be six roundtrips for the summer compared to nine last year. That is an increase of one roundtrip per day compared with the spring.

Service will bump up to seven roundtrips on Sept. 5. However, the Maple Leaf will continue to operate only as far west as Niagara Falls, New York, rather than resume service to Toronoto.

The Vermonter will resume operating to St. Albans, Vermont, on June 1 while the Adirondack is shown as continuing to be suspended between New York and Montreal.

The New York-Charlotte Carolinian will resume regular operations June 1 while Piedmont Service will be one roundtrip between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Piedmont Service had been three roundtrips.

As previously announced, Acela Express will return June 1 with four roundtrips, which is still way down from the normal 15 roundtrips.

Northeast Regional service will ramp up to 10 roundtrips compared to the current eight. Last summer there were 18 roundtrips.

Springfield shuttle service will be three roundtrips between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, with one roundtrip between Springfield and Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Previously service on this route was seven roundtrips between New Haven and Springfield. Normal service is projected to return on Sept. 5.

In the West, Cascades Service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, will continue to be suspended.

Cascades Service between Seattle and Portland will be two roundtrips compared to the normal four. There will be one roundtrip between Portland and Eugene, Oregon, compared to two previously.

The Capitol Corridor will have eight roundtrips on weekdays and five roundtrips on weekends. Previous service was 14 weekday and 11 weekend roundtrips.

San Joaquin service will be four roundtrips with normal service of seven roundtrips returning in early September.

Pacific Surfliner service is projected to be six roundtrips through July 5. The next day service will rise to nine roundtrips. The previous service level had been 14 roundtrips.

No long-distance services have been suspended during the pandemic, but consists have been reduced in size. That is expected to change this summer.

The Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited is slated to operate this summer with three coaches, two sleepers and a diner-lounge. There will be no separate lounge car or baggage car.

Nos. 29 and 30 currently are carrying two coaches, one sleeper and a diner-lounge.

The Lake Shore Limited summer consist will be three sleepers, four coaches, one dining car for sleeper class passengers, one club dinette and a baggage car.

Nos. 48 and 49 will be the only eastern long-distance train carrying a Viewliner II dining car for sleeper class passengers only.

The Chicago-New York Cardinal will see no change this summer from its current consist of two coaches, one sleeper and a diner-lounge.

The New York-Miami Silver Star and Silver Meteor will both operate with two sleepers, a lounge car and a baggage car. The Silver Star will have three coaches while the Silver Meteor will have two.

The planning document said the Silver Meteor will have three fewer coaches and one less sleeper than it did last summer and will not have a dining car.

The New York-Savannah, Georgia, Palmetto is set to have four coaches and a food service car with tables. That is two fewer coaches than it had last summer but one coach more than it has now. There will be no baggage car as there was last year.

The New York-New Orleans Crescent will have three coaches, two sleepers and a lounge car. That is one less coach and sleeper from its previous consist.

The City of New Orleans between Chicago and New Orleans will have it normal consist

The California Zephyr between Chicago and Emeryville, California, will have three coaches, one sleeper, a Sightseer lounge and dining car.

That is a net gain of one coach from the current consist but one less sleeper than it carried last year. There will be no baggage car.

The Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief will carry three coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and Sightseer lounge. That is a net gain of one sleeper and coach from the current consist but a loss of one sleeper and coach from summer 2019. There will be no baggage car.

The New Orleans-Los Angeles Sunset Limited will have two coaches, one sleeper, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge. That is one sleeper less than summer 2019. There will be no baggage car.

The Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle will have three coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge. That is a net gain of one coach and one sleeper from the current consist.

However, the Chicago-St. Louis coach had operated previously continues to be suspended.

The Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder will have four coaches, three sleepers, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge.

That is a net gain of one coach from the current consist but a loss of two sleepers from last summer.

The Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight will have two coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and Sightseer lounge.

That is two fewer sleepers than last summer. There will be no baggage car and the business class coach will not operate this year as it did in 2019.

It does represent an increase of one sleeper over the current consist.

The Auto Train will have four coaches, five sleepers, a dining car, a Sightseer lounge and a diner-lounge.

That is two fewer sleepers than the previous consist but a gain of one coach over the current consist.

The Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City-Fort Worth, Texas) will have two coaches this summer  but otherwise operate as normal.

The New York-Rutland, Vermont, Ethan Allen will be operate as normal.

Amtrak to Reinstate Some Trains June 1

May 10, 2020

Amtrak corridor services in Michigan and Pennsylvania that have been suspended during the COVID-19 are set to return to operation on June 1.

This includes the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pere Marquette, the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian, and New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Keystone Service.

Also planned to be reinstated on that date is some modified Acela Express service in the Northeast Corridor and the New York-Charlotte Carolinian.

Although Amtrak has not announced the return of the state corridor services, tickets are now for sale on its website for June 1 and beyond.

Keystone Service starting June 1 will only operate between Philadelphia and Harrisburg after being suspended on March 18. There will be nine roundtrips.

The Pere Marquette and Pennsylvanian have been suspended since March 19 while the Carolinian has been idle since April 6.

In the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak said it will operate three Acela roundtrips and increase the number of Northeast Regional roundtrips from eight to 10.

Track Work Changes Michigan Schedules

May 6, 2020

Track work being performed by Amtrak and Norfolk Southern will result in schedule changes for Wolverine and Blue Water trains.

The Blue Water will arrive in Port Huron, Michigan, 28 minutes later at 11:59 p.m. and depart Port Huron 28 minutes earlier, at 5:52 a.m., arriving in Chicago 17 minutes later at 12:02 p.m.

Wolverine Service No. 351 will depart Pontiac 38 minutes earlier at 5:12 a.m., but is expected to arrive in Chicago at its scheduled time of 10:32 a.m.

Train 352 will depart Chicago 30 minutes earlier at 12:55 p.m. and arrive in Pontiac 7 minutes later at 8:39 p.m.

Amtrak did not say in it service advisory how long the revised scheduled will be in effect.

Illini to Run Earlier on Fridays

April 28, 2020

Canadian National track work is resulting in Amtrak’s southbound Illini operating 30 minutes earlier on Fridays through May 22.

Train 393, which operates from Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, will continue to run on its normal schedule on all other days of the week.

All Aboard in Joliet

April 22, 2020

The conductor of Amtrak’s southbound State House is picking up the step box on the platform in Joliet, Illinois, in preparation for departure.

Although several passengers boarded Train No. 303 here on this July 1998 day, they didn’t need the step box to reach the steps of the Horizon coach.

The State House was funded in part by the Illinois Department of Transportation and was the first state-funded train on the Chicago-St. Louis route.

Today all trains between Chicago and St. Louis except the Texas Eagle are funded by IDOT and have been renamed Lincoln Service.