Posts Tagged ‘extra Amtrak service’

No Extra Amtrak Service to Michigan for Thanksgiving

November 1, 2019

Think Thanksgiving and images of turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie come to mind along with football games on TV and extra Amtrak trains to Michigan.

Well, you can scratch the latter from this year’s list of Thanksgiving traditions.

Amtrak will not be operating extra service to Michigan this year as it has in recent years.

The carrier said this week that rather than operate additional trains on its Pere Marquette (Chicago-Grand Rapids) and Wolverine Service (Chicago-Detroit) routes, it will instead assign additional coaches to existing trains.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Trains magazine that Amtrak made the decision to scrap the extra trains after reviewing ridership data from last year that found travel demand is spread out more evenly across more days than it has been previously.

The passenger carrier also decided to drop additional holiday service to Michigan because of poor on-time performance on host railroad Norfolk Southern in Chicago and northwest Indiana.

NS freight train interference accounted for 58 percent of the 20,143 delay minutes incurred by Amtrak trains traveling on the NS Chicago Line between Chicago and Porter, Indiana, where the routes to Michigan peel off.

About a quarter of the delays have been incurred by Wolverine Service No. 352, which departs Chicago at 1:20 p.m.

“If we try to put additional trains on those tracks and delays occur, this could have a cascading effect delaying outbound trains because inbound equipment didn’t arrive on time,” Magliari said.

So Amtrak will add an additional coach to all Wolverine Service trains operating between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

Other trains operating before and after that time period will also gain additional coaches.

Amtrak plans to add a coach to two Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis round-trips, the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, Illini, and all Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, trains.

Extra trains will operate between Chicago and Quincy, and Chicago and Normal-Bloomington, Illinois, on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

But falling by the wayside are the additional Chicago-Holland, Michigan, and Chicago-Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thanksgiving holiday trains.

Extra Trains Set for Holland Tulip Festival

March 15, 2019

Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation are offering additional service on May 4 and 11 to the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan.

The service will use the route of Amtrak’s Pere Marquette, departing Chicago Union Station at 7:05 a.m. and returning at 8:24 p.m.

Times at intermediate stations for Train No. 374 are Hammond-Whiting, Indiana, 7:29 a.m.; St. Joseph, Michigan; 10:01 a.m.; and Bangor, Michigan, 10:37 a.m.

Arrival at Holland is expected to be at 11:28 a.m.

Train No. 375 is scheduled to depart Holland at 5:50 p.m., Bangor at 6:33 p.m., St. Joseph at 7:11 p.m., and Hammond-Whiting at 7:51 p.m.

The festival is billed as as the nation’s “Best Flower Festival” and “America’s Best Small-Town Festival.”

Amtrak said in a news release that more than 1,000 customers rode extra Amtrak trains on this route during festival weekends in 2018.