Eastbound Wolverine showing “sold out” July 19-October - possible schedule change?

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thully

OBS Chief
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Sep 2, 2011
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Ann Arbor, MI
I was looking at Wolverine availability the other day, and noticed something odd - on every day starting on July 19 until October 1st, ARROW is showing the eastbound 352 Wolverine (and only the eastbound - westbound shows availability as usual) as “sold out”.

This seems quite odd - any idea what’s going on here? Wonder if they may be replacing 352 with another train, possibly 354 and/or 350 (suspended during COVID), as I don’t think they’d show 352 as sold out for months if it was going to be running as scheduled. Also, the time frame seems to be in line for something like that - doesn’t a service change require a 60 day notice?

Hoping they do something - want to take a trip soon, but the limited schedule makes it difficult. Even just replacing 352 with 354 would be an upgrade, as it would restore connections between eastbound LD trains and the Wolverine. Keeping it as-is is just throwing potential business away, as even though daily LD service is returning, no one on the Wolverine line can make a same-day connection unless they’re willing to endure a 3 hour layover at 3am in Toledo to catch a bus from the LSL…
 

nullptr

Train Attendant
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Jan 16, 2020
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62
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Michigan
Here is a map provided with the tweet that announced the speed increase. Interesting that they say MDOT owns the track between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, isn't that owned by CN? Probably just an oversight.

1621272396003.png
 
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HammerJack

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Jan 19, 2019
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So they increased the speed, but don't touch the schedule because they anticipate other delays enroute? 🤦‍♂️
It’s 45 miles of track that’s going from 79 to 110. The time savings aren’t going to be huge. The train already gets delayed enough, so Amtrak is using this speed increase to allow for making up time. Worst case scenario, the train just sits at the next stop for a few extra minutes. Once Albion-Dearborn gets upgraded, I’m sure we’ll see a new timetable.
 

me_little_me

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I’m sure we’ll see a new timetable.
Well, at least after it has been in service for a while and long after people will be buying tickets - at least that's what is happening on the Crescent where new slower times are showing when you book but there are no new timetables. For the remainder of the services, well, someday timetables might come out so you don't have to pretend to make reservations to see when the train stops where and on what days.
 

west point

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Jun 9, 2015
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Until Amtrak / Michigan builds a flyover at Battle Creek to avoid CN the OTP will never be consistent.
 

amtrakpass

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getting to be a nice section of railroad. Just wish they were talking about 5 or 6 trains a day instead of 2 or 3. It seems ironic to me that states and the federal government seem more than willing to fund infrastructure improvements or new equipment but that last little mile of paying for a couple more trains a day the public can actually use and benefit from is a bridge too far. Especially when most of the other costs like track and signal maintenance, dispatching, administration and mgmt etc...are going to be the same whether you run 5 trains as when you run 2.
 

IndyLions

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Nov 6, 2016
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Brownsburg IN
getting to be a nice section of railroad. Just wish they were talking about 5 or 6 trains a day instead of 2 or 3. It seems ironic to me that states and the federal government seem more than willing to fund infrastructure improvements or new equipment but that last little mile of paying for a couple more trains a day the public can actually use and benefit from is a bridge too far. Especially when most of the other costs like track and signal maintenance, dispatching, administration and mgmt etc...are going to be the same whether you run 5 trains as when you run 2.
Well - the Amtrak “Connect US” plan calls for significantly increased frequencies on every existing corridor and a starting point of 3 daily round trips even on brand new corridors.

Now it is strictly a corridor plan and ignores LD, and is not aggressive enough in my estimation - but it would be a positive step for a lot of regions nonetheless.
 
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amtrakpass

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is the Amtrak Connect Us plan supposed to be paid for by the states or federal government or some cost sharing arrangement? If federal alone, that it is definitely a huge improvement in their planning. If it requires state funding to implement I am not sure that the words in their proposal would mean very much
 
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Burns651

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is the Amtrak Connect Us plan supposed to be paid for by the states or federal government or some cost sharing arrangement? If federal alone, that it is definitely a huge improvement in their planning. If it requires state funding to implement I am not sure that the words in their proposal would mean very much
I believe Amtrak is taking the same approach that the party guy did in "Annie Hall": "Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea."
 

John Bredin

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is the Amtrak Connect Us plan supposed to be paid for by the states or federal government or some cost sharing arrangement? If federal alone, that it is definitely a huge improvement in their planning. If it requires state funding to implement I am not sure that the words in their proposal would mean very much
It's a bit complicated. The idea is to start corridors with 100% federal capital funding, 100% federal operating funding for the first couple of years, and then an increasing share of state operating funding in later years. So it's all the things you said: federal funding alone in the first two years of operation, then cost-sharing, and eventually after a few years state funding alone. The idea presumably being that it would be harder for a state legislature to "kill" a service that's running and carrying their voters passengers than to keep a new service from being "born".

That timeline would be for each corridor. Presumably if & when the first corridors (knock on wood!) start becoming state-funded, newer corridors elsewhere would still be at the 100% federal stage. As I recall, the number Amtrak asked Congress to fund the program was $300 million annually. That's not enough for even one NEC-like service from scratch, of course, but it could create a few decent 79-mph or possibly 110-mph services each with a few daily round-trips.
 

amtrakpass

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If that is indeed the case that the full cost of a startup corridor including operating costs would be covered by the federal government that is an improvement even if it is phased out. Next thing I would like to see is no approval from the states required to start a corridor.
 
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