Daytime Corridor Routes

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jiml

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somebody has to have service at night
Your statement is accurate, with the qualifier added "if there is only one train on that route". (I realize there are technically two, but in both cases Cleveland is an afterthought.) There is no excuse for there not being a day train to/from somewhere, and hopefully that will be rectified sooner than later. I've been stuck on I-90 east of Cleveland often enough to think that taking a train from Buffalo for a ballgame might be a good thing - and that's just one example.
 

Michigan Mom

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So the Ann Arbor Railroad has apparently been acquired by different freight operators, over the years, and used as a freight line today by company called "Watco." The track does indeed run from Ann Arbor in a straight line south to Toledo. Some day perhaps Amtrak will purchase these 50 odd miles of track and add a daily corridor service that would open up new possibilities for Michigan-Ohio travel.

 

Seaboard92

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Agreed, but Amtrak stations in the Cleveland area suck, and are very dangerous. If you're a guy, its probably not so bad, but otherwise definitely need someone waiting with you.

If the stations were better, and there was a daytime train, I have a feeling Ohio would be a big railroad state. Talk about day-trains. CLE - Columbus, CLE - Cincinnati, CLE - Buffalo, just to name a few. I could envision a Brightline level resurrection of Inter-city rail in Ohio with the major hub being Cleveland.

Image if Union Tower Terminal in downtown were still in use, and could connect you to the light rail/city center easily. We'd probably see passenger numbers much closer to NEC stations.

All of this short-sited de-railing (pun intended) of train infrastructure years ago really hurt us.
Ohio and Indiana are both really interesting states with a lot of potential to be railroad states. You have a large population that is just dense enough to give you some interesting routings. Just a short list of routes that would make sense in Ohio and Indiana

Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati-Louisville

Cleveland-Indianapolis-St. Louis

Detroit-Toledo-Cincinnati-Louisville

Detroit-Fort Wayne-LaFayette-St. Louis

However I do think that Cleveland routes will be the larger of the routes ridership wise.

Back in the 1950s you had several Cleveland-New York trains and Cleveland-Chicago/St. Louis trains.
 

bms

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So the Ann Arbor Railroad has apparently been acquired by different freight operators, over the years, and used as a freight line today by company called "Watco." The track does indeed run from Ann Arbor in a straight line south to Toledo. Some day perhaps Amtrak will purchase these 50 odd miles of track and add a daily corridor service that would open up new possibilities for Michigan-Ohio travel.

There's also this Ann Arbor to Traverse City project: A2TC Rail Project | Groundwork Center

They claim there will be a train from Ann Arbor to Traverse City by 2025, hope it happens.
 

sttom

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Jan 23, 2019
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I always wondered why Chicago - Denver wasn't a more utilized market. Amtrak 5 has a great overnight service.
If only they could manage to electrify that corridor. Its very straight, and speeds could probably get high enough to have a HrSR service.
Under the current schedule, it takes about 18 hours to go from Chicago to Denver. That would be rough for an end to end trip during the day. It would make more sense as a Nightjet service with Chicago - Omaha day service along the old Rock Island route and a daytime Omaha - Denver run. Running more daytime trains like the Palmetto is a good idea, but you need to take run time into account. The Palmetto’s 12 hour run time is a bit rough for an end to end haul, 18 would be abysmal. For example to have a 10pm arrival time in Denver, you’re looking at a 4am departure time in Chicago. Even at highway speeds, it’s still about 15 hours.
 

Tlcooper93

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Under the current schedule, it takes about 18 hours to go from Chicago to Denver. That would be rough for an end to end trip during the day. It would make more sense as a Nightjet service with Chicago - Omaha day service along the old Rock Island route and a daytime Omaha - Denver run. Running more daytime trains like the Palmetto is a good idea, but you need to take run time into account. The Palmetto’s 12 hour run time is a bit rough for an end to end haul, 18 would be abysmal. For example to have a 10pm arrival time in Denver, you’re looking at a 4am departure time in Chicago. Even at highway speeds, it’s still about 15 hours.
This theoretical run that I surmised would only be viable if there were upgraded, electrified, tracks as to allow for HrSR service, as I wrote.
 

Michigan Mom

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There's also this Ann Arbor to Traverse City project: A2TC Rail Project | Groundwork Center

They claim there will be a train from Ann Arbor to Traverse City by 2025, hope it happens.
This is amazing! Embarrassed to say I didn't know this was in the works. The website says that track repairs were completed in 2019, so that answered the first question I had - they will use existing tracks. What it doesn't answer is why will it take another 4 years to begin service.
I was trying to trace the endpoint of the Ann Arbor RR tracks on the Apple "find my" app, looks like the tracks end just north of Owosso, which is east of Lansing/EL. In the process, I saw there are many more tracks in existence around MI that may be in use, or not. It was kind of fascinating. This country has missed so many opportunities for infrastructure development.
 

bms

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This is amazing! Embarrassed to say I didn't know this was in the works. The website says that track repairs were completed in 2019, so that answered the first question I had - they will use existing tracks. What it doesn't answer is why will it take another 4 years to begin service.
I was trying to trace the endpoint of the Ann Arbor RR tracks on the Apple "find my" app, looks like the tracks end just north of Owosso, which is east of Lansing/EL. In the process, I saw there are many more tracks in existence around MI that may be in use, or not. It was kind of fascinating. This country has missed so many opportunities for infrastructure development.
Here's a map from the State. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MI_Rail_Map_553909_7.pdf

Looking at that map, I'm surprised there is no passenger service between Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Seems like a no-brainer to link the state capital, it's two biggest cities, and several universities.
 

MisterUptempo

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Here's a map from the State. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MI_Rail_Map_553909_7.pdf

Looking at that map, I'm surprised there is no passenger service between Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Seems like a no-brainer to link the state capital, it's two biggest cities, and several universities.
Not for lack of trying, though. The Michigan Coast-to-Coast service has been seriously considered. Here's a link to a 2016 study.
Screenshot (1275).jpg
Coast-to-Coast has the potential of being transformational for other Michigan service as well.

If route option 2 were selected, it would connect Howell and Ann Arbor by rail, which was the purpose of WALLY commuter rail. That either makes WALLY more likely of operating or Coast-to-Coast serving as a viable substitute for it.

Also, I envision a new route being created to Grand Rapids. Chicago to South Bend and Elkhart on the NS Chicago Line, turning onto the Grand Elk, making a beeline to Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Those four sizable towns (South Bend, Elkhart, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids) seem like a natural for a connected rail route. The Pere Marquette would instead continue north from Holland to Muskegon.

Riders on both the new Grand Rapids trains and the Pere Marquette would be able to connect to destinations on both routes via the Coast-to-Coast, between Holland and Grand Rapids.
 

Willbridge

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Now if only a similar-routed train had run in the past to provide a template. 🤔 All it would need is a catchy name.
Well............ :cool: ... how about Three Rivers? Or back to the classics -- Pennsylvania Limited eastbound and the Manhattan Limited westbound.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
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Ohio and Indiana are both really interesting states with a lot of potential to be railroad states. You have a large population that is just dense enough to give you some interesting routings. Just a short list of routes that would make sense in Ohio and Indiana

Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati-Louisville

Cleveland-Indianapolis-St. Louis

Detroit-Toledo-Cincinnati-Louisville

Detroit-Fort Wayne-LaFayette-St. Louis

However I do think that Cleveland routes will be the larger of the routes ridership wise.

Back in the 1950s you had several Cleveland-New York trains and Cleveland-Chicago/St. Louis trains.
A good, comprehensive regional corridor plan would be great for a state like Ohio. It’s why I support Amtrak’s plan for new corridor service through Cleveland. I believe a 3C train would have more success and higher ridership if those passengers could make connections that take them elsewhere, and expanded service through NY and PA can accomplish that.

I agree that the lakefront station would have to go though. While I personally have a soft spot for it, and kinda like boarding a train under the lights of downtown, if you expanded rail service and used Cleveland as a regional hub, the current station would not be able to support it.
 
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