Quantcast

Wolverine reduced-service question

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
763
Location
suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
So I just realized today :oops: looking at the Chicago arrivals/departures on one screen (link) that in reducing Midwest service during Covid, Amtrak partially broke any connection between the Wolverine and points west of Chicago.

On the Hiawatha and Lincoln service, there's still trains both ways in the morning and afternoon/evening. On the Quincy and Carbondale services, they kept the morning inbound and afternoon/evening outbound; the 4pm Illini isn't ideal for Western connections but that was always the last corridor train. The Pere Marquette and Blue Water are each only one round-trip normally, so nothing changed there.

But then we turn to the Wolverine. Inbound Wolverine 351 gets to Chicago in time to connect to the Western trains, but they picked 352, leaving Chicago at 1:25pm before any Western trains have arrived, as the outbound Wolverine. :eek: So a person on the Wolverine line can make a same-day connection to go west of Chicago but can't make a same-day connection at Chicago from a Western train to go to Michigan. If they'd picked 354 as the "surviving" outbound Wolverine instead of 352, it still wouldn't be ideal as the train would leave Chicago at 5:50pm, but at least there'd be a valid connection from the Western trains.

So did the State of Michigan have to agree to this, or did/does Amtrak have sole discretion on which Wolverines to keep running?
 

Steve4031

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,912
Location
Chicago
I am not sure how the decision making was done. IMHO it appears that most of the decision making was based on the need for Michigan residents to travel too and from Chicago. There was no consideration for making additional connections.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,434
Looks like service with 3 Wolverines a day begins on 4 Oct 2021 according to Arrow.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
264
Location
Cleveland
I did a test booking MKE-DET, which said no same day train connection is available. I can't believe Amtrak isn't guaranteeing that connection, considering #330 arrives in Chicago at 7:57 a.m. and #332 arrives at 9:34 a.m. The eastbound #352 to Detroit leaves at 1:25 p.m.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,436
Location
Chicago, Illinois
I did a test booking MKE-DET, which said no same day train connection is available. I can't believe Amtrak isn't guaranteeing that connection, considering #330 arrives in Chicago at 7:57 a.m. and #332 arrives at 9:34 a.m. The eastbound #352 to Detroit leaves at 1:25 p.m.
I doubt Amtrak is not guaranteeing it because of a risk of a missed connection. Sometimes Amtrak just seems to forget that certain connections are possible.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
264
Location
Cleveland
I doubt Amtrak is not guaranteeing it because of a risk of a missed connection. Sometimes Amtrak just seems to forget that certain connections are possible.
I think you're right. It's a failure of leadership that a railroad is so unaware of its own services that it falsely tells passengers it has no service between major cities.
 

Trogdor

Conductor
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
5,584
Location
Here
Often, connections in Arrow are built around specific trains in order to prevent a crazy number of options from showing up. In the case of MKE-DET, the connection would have been 334-352 (or 338-354). The idea being that if someone searches an MKE-DET connection, 99% of the passengers wouldn’t want to see 330-352, 332-352, 330-354, 332-354, 334-354, 336-354, when realistically, there were two optimal connections.

Since most of the service on both routes was suspended, the remaining trains weren’t in the connection table.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,678
Location
Palm Beach County
I did a test booking MKE-DET, which said no same day train connection is available. I can't believe Amtrak isn't guaranteeing that connection
Just think...back in the Turboliner era, they ran thru trains between Milwaukee and Detroit (and St. Louis)...:(
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
2,340
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
Operationally, it was easy, using the through track at CUS...🙂
I assumed that, however was more thinking about the benefits or disadvantages of using the rolling stock for those extended routes. For example, one benefit would be cafe cars on the Hiawatha services. Are all those states part of the Midwest "car pool" as far as equipment goes, or does Michigan (or Wisconsin) do its own thing?
 

Steve4031

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,912
Location
Chicago
How many turbo train set did they have? I really enjoyed riding those. This run through service could be re introduced once there are enough Siemens Cars. IMHO a run through service from Milwaukee to Detroit and a return could be feasible as well as a roundtrip from Milwaukee to St. Louis.
 

Steve4031

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
5,912
Location
Chicago
I was thinking the same thing about food service on the Milwaukee to Chicago segment. The issue is time keeping. If a train from Detroit or St. Louis arrives Chicago late, then the continuing service to Milwaukee is delayed and then subsequent trips are delayed. So steps to improve time keeping on all routes would be important in the success of run through services.
 

MikefromCrete

Conductor
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,643
Location
Crete, IL
I assumed that, however was more thinking about the benefits or disadvantages of using the rolling stock for those extended routes. For example, one benefit would be cafe cars on the Hiawatha services. Are all those states part of the Midwest "car pool" as far as equipment goes, or does Michigan (or Wisconsin) do its own thing?

Michigan is part of the Midwest car order. Wisconsin is not.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,678
Location
Palm Beach County
How many turbo train set did they have? I really enjoyed riding those. This run through service could be re introduced once there are enough Siemens Cars. IMHO a run through service from Milwaukee to Detroit and a return could be feasible as well as a roundtrip from Milwaukee to St. Louis.
Here's a couple of links to their story...
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,313
The only problem with run thru trains is the need for routine and required daily maintenance work. Think loco daily servicing as well. Not easy to get around those FRA requirements.
 

Palmetto

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
2,128
Location
Miami
The only problem with run thru trains is the need for routine and required daily maintenance work. Think loco daily servicing as well. Not easy to get around those FRA requirements.
And from what I've been reading, Chicago has been doing a notoriously poor job in maintaining anything.😣
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,678
Location
Palm Beach County
The only problem with run thru trains is the need for routine and required daily maintenance work. Think loco daily servicing as well. Not easy to get around those FRA requirements.
If the servicing has to be done in Chicago, they could get around that by running the train through one way, and on a terminating train the other way. Or even through on a round trip, followed by a terminating trip.
 
Top