Quick day trip on the Wolverine - Too risky for catching the CONO?

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Cal

Engineer
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Jan 23, 2021
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I have almost a full day in Chicago next month before I have to catch the CONO, and would love to get on the Venture cars. With the Wolverine (select services) now equipped with them, would it be too risky to take a day trip out? If it's not, where do you suggest to stop?

I'm thinking taking 350 out to Kalamazoo, and then taking 353 back. 253 is scheduled to arrive at 2:20 PM in Chicago, surely plenty of time before the CONO. I'm also thinking about then trying to link the Wolverine and CONO reservations so if the Wolverine get's messed up we can be accommodated.

With the above plan I could also experience 110 mph running (In the Venture cars) and get to Michigan; a new state.
 

Bob Dylan

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I have almost a full day in Chicago next month before I have to catch the CONO, and would love to get on the Venture cars. With the Wolverine (select services) now equipped with them, would it be too risky to take a day trip out? If it's not, where do you suggest to stop?

I'm thinking taking 350 out to Kalamazoo, and then taking 353 back. 253 is scheduled to arrive at 2:20 PM in Chicago, surely plenty of time before the CONO. I'm also thinking about then trying to link the Wolverine and CONO reservations so if the Wolverine get's messed up we can be accommodated.

With the above plan I could also experience 110 mph running (In the Venture cars) and get to Michigan; a new state.
This should be EZ-PZ!( with the Disclaimer that stuff happens, so having Plan B ready is a good idea)
 

Maglev

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One a grand-circle trip of the US west (CS-TE-EB), I had a full-day layover in Los Angeles, so I booked a round-trip to San Diego. But my Coast Starlight was delayed four hours due to flash flood warnings, and I was worried that my Surfliner the next day might similarly be delayed, so I canceled the trip to San Diego. (Also, I didn't get to the hotel until 2 am, and wanted to sleep in.) Turns out the Surfliner I would have been on was delayed two hours due to locomotive problems, but would have still connected to the Texas Eagle-yet if I had been on that train sitting for an unknown length of time while it was delayed, I would have been very stressed.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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May 31, 2009
Messages
24,680
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Austin Texas
One a grand-circle trip of the US west (CS-TE-EB), I had a full-day layover in Los Angeles, so I booked a round-trip to San Diego. But my Coast Starlight was delayed four hours due to flash flood warnings, and I was worried that my Surfliner the next day might similarly be delayed, so I canceled the trip to San Diego. (Also, I didn't get to the hotel until 2 am, and wanted to sleep in.) Turns out the Surfliner I would have been on was delayed two hours due to locomotive problems, but would have still connected to the Texas Eagle-yet if I had been on that train sitting for an unknown length of time while it was delayed, I would have been very stressed.
I've had to catch the Chief in Fullerton when the Northbound Surfliner from San Diego was running Late, but of course with the Sunset not leaving till 10pm, it's much less of a risk to take a Day Trip from LAX.
 

Cal

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Would Kalamazoo or Battls Creek be a good place to take a day trip? Any experiences there? The crime rate looks high but I’d like to hear from people who have been there instead of just statistics
 

SarahZ

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KAL
Would Kalamazoo or Battls Creek be a good place to take a day trip? Any experiences there? The crime rate looks high but I’d like to hear from people who have been there instead of just statistics
I'm going to answer you publicly as well since others might have the same question. Basically, I'm just copy/pasting my message to you.

This regards Kalamazoo. I would NOT recommend Battle Creek, due to there not being anything to do downtown plus the crime rate.

-=-

Kalamazoo is perfectly fine for a day trip! :)

The area directly around the station itself is a little sketchy because it's near two homeless shelters, but you'll have no reason to walk north where it's kind of bad. It's a residential area and really obvious that you have no reason to be there. There is security at the station, both inside and out, and I've never been hassled.

Once you walk a block or two south of the station, you'll be right downtown, which has lots of shops and restaurants. Bronson Park is pretty nice. You might see some homeless people on benches, but again, I've never been hassled. The library is right there too.

Check out the pedestrian mall for sure. It's actually open to one lane of traffic now, but we still call it "the walking mall". :) It has tons of little boutiques and some great restaurants.
 
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