Changes to Amtrak Midwest and additional Wolverine RT

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IndyLions

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
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Brownsburg IN
Back on topic, I decided the best way to try to get definitive answers to our questions regarding Amtrak Michigan Services was to ask the right people. I sent an email to the Michigan DOT executive in charge of rail.

He was kind enough to answer my polite inquiry, on a weekend no less!

Here’s what he said:
  • Michigan Services will be returning to a full schedule on September 7.
  • Deployment of the new Siemens train sets is less certain. They will be deployed to the Wolverine trains first, and the first sets are anticipated for the fall
  • In regards to the timetable, we continue to work with Amtrak to make a timetable schedule available. This will be made easier once we return to full service, but that should allow us to have a more defined schedule moving forward.
 

v v

Conductor
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UK / France
Back on topic, I decided the best way to try to get definitive answers to our questions regarding Amtrak Michigan Services was to ask the right people. I sent an email to the Michigan DOT executive in charge of rail.

He was kind enough to answer my polite inquiry, on a weekend no less!

Here’s what he said:
  • Michigan Services will be returning to a full schedule on September 7.
  • Deployment of the new Siemens train sets is less certain. They will be deployed to the Wolverine trains first, and the first sets are anticipated for the fall
  • In regards to the timetable, we continue to work with Amtrak to make a timetable schedule available. This will be made easier once we return to full service, but that should allow us to have a more defined schedule moving forward.
Thank you for knowing where and taking the trouble to get that info.
 

PerRock

Conductor
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
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1,939
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I've been keeping on the MDOT social media team about when the new Siemens cars will be coming out. I'm thinking it would be a fun little trip to Chicago to get on the first run of them.

peter
 

thully

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
600
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Interesting. The reservation system showed the third train coming back on September 7 a few months ago, but as of now it doesn’t show until January 1. Wonder why it hasn’t been updated - perhaps they’re still finalizing the schedule? In any case, that’s good news, but I can’t help but think they should have started a few days earlier for Labor Day weekend. I actually was thinking of a trip then, and it would be nice to have the midday trains back…
 

Josh M

Train Attendant
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May 30, 2015
Messages
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Location
Ferndale, MI
September 7th? Excellent. Hopefully nothing interferes with that! I'm booked on the early train on November 11th out of Royal Oak, and I've been hoping they'd reinstate the mid-day train before then so I can switch. As much as I enjoy the ride, being at the station before 6 A.M. is just painful.
 

Eric S

Engineer
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Dec 19, 2009
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Location
Milwaukee
I might have a Wolverine trip to make in October so I'll be glad when those trips show up as bookable.
 

thully

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
600
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I would REALLY like my 352 back (mid day CHI-NBU)!
352 is actually running now, but is going away on July 19th until September 7th. Guessing that going from one round trip to two, it is operationally easier to run a morning and evening departure from both endpoints than one of those + a mid-day. Hence we gain 350, 354, and 355 and lose 352 for the time being - which is good for a lot of people (including anyone who wants to connect from LD trains), but not ideal for some (as in your case).

As a side. I actually want to do a trip to NBU myself from ARB. The schedule hasn’t been exactly conducive to that (351 - the only westbound train - leaves at 7:15am and doesn’t even stop in NBU, necessitating a train change in BTL). With 355 and 350 combing back online, I may do 355 after work for a long weekend and return on 350, though I would really like to have 353 as an earlier departure option.
 

wwchi

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
290
yes I did know 352 is still there but at the moment I am not traveling weekly on it...I WILL be more often though starting in August so my August trip has now had to move to the 364 into NBU, several hours later, and with the delays the Michigan trains seem to keep having lately, that's no fun...oh well. Hopefully it will be back in the fall not January!
 

wwchi

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
290
hey Tim, no, not really - just here and there...since COVID we've mostly stayed in Michigan with occasional trips into the city - sometimes driving, sometimes train. But being in a beach town (in MI) in summer is an easy choice! LOL!
 

tim49424

Engineer
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Dec 20, 2010
Messages
5,367
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Holland, MI
hey Tim, no, not really - just here and there...since COVID we've mostly stayed in Michigan with occasional trips into the city - sometimes driving, sometimes train. But being in a beach town (in MI) in summer is an easy choice! LOL!
For some, it's an easy choice......for me, I want to get out of dodge. That's scheduled to happen on August 20, first time since a year ago February when I scheduled a trip for my birthday and the present I gave myself was spending that quality time with our mutual friend. I'm hoping to see him again, but might not because I hear he's on medical leave due to a shoulder injury and no clue when he's coming back. Time to meet up with him on the train is getting very limited since he is planning on retiring in October. He does get up here on occasion to meet up with the station attendant and his wife and I told him to call me whenever he planned that.
 

wwchi

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
290
well if you DO see him please tell him I said hello - even my parents who rode with him years ago have asked about him! LOL!
 

thully

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
600
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
All the trains are now showing up for reservation - it seems the schedules are changing slightly to add time. My 353 departure from ARB for the Gathering is now 39 minutes earlier, with arrival only 18 minutes earlier - though for some reason this only shows on the reservation system and not yet my e-ticket. Guessing this must be to account for NS’s recent woes…
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,942
Location
Ithaca, NY
Back on topic, I decided the best way to try to get definitive answers to our questions regarding Amtrak Michigan Services was to ask the right people. I sent an email to the Michigan DOT executive in charge of rail.

He was kind enough to answer my polite inquiry, on a weekend no less!

Here’s what he said:
  • Michigan Services will be returning to a full schedule on September 7.
  • Deployment of the new Siemens train sets is less certain. They will be deployed to the Wolverine trains first, and the first sets are anticipated for the fall
  • In regards to the timetable, we continue to work with Amtrak to make a timetable schedule available. This will be made easier once we return to full service, but that should allow us to have a more defined schedule moving forward.
Good answer! I'm glad MDOT is on their case about the timetable. I know we as riders pay for Amtrak too, but they're more likely to listen to a state DOT.
 

NES28

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
66
Good answer! I'm glad MDOT is on their case about the timetable. I know we as riders pay for Amtrak too, but they're more likely to listen to a state DOT.
Absolutely. Under the "State-supported services" construct the the state DOTs are the customers. They call the shots regarding what service is operated and what fares are charged.
 

IndyLions

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
784
Location
Brownsburg IN

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