Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak extra trains’

No Extra Amtrak Service to Michigan for Thanksgiving

November 1, 2019

Think Thanksgiving and images of turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie come to mind along with football games on TV and extra Amtrak trains to Michigan.

Well, you can scratch the latter from this year’s list of Thanksgiving traditions.

Amtrak will not be operating extra service to Michigan this year as it has in recent years.

The carrier said this week that rather than operate additional trains on its Pere Marquette (Chicago-Grand Rapids) and Wolverine Service (Chicago-Detroit) routes, it will instead assign additional coaches to existing trains.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told Trains magazine that Amtrak made the decision to scrap the extra trains after reviewing ridership data from last year that found travel demand is spread out more evenly across more days than it has been previously.

The passenger carrier also decided to drop additional holiday service to Michigan because of poor on-time performance on host railroad Norfolk Southern in Chicago and northwest Indiana.

NS freight train interference accounted for 58 percent of the 20,143 delay minutes incurred by Amtrak trains traveling on the NS Chicago Line between Chicago and Porter, Indiana, where the routes to Michigan peel off.

About a quarter of the delays have been incurred by Wolverine Service No. 352, which departs Chicago at 1:20 p.m.

“If we try to put additional trains on those tracks and delays occur, this could have a cascading effect delaying outbound trains because inbound equipment didn’t arrive on time,” Magliari said.

So Amtrak will add an additional coach to all Wolverine Service trains operating between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

Other trains operating before and after that time period will also gain additional coaches.

Amtrak plans to add a coach to two Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis round-trips, the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, Illini, and all Chicago-Quincy, Illinois, trains.

Extra trains will operate between Chicago and Quincy, and Chicago and Normal-Bloomington, Illinois, on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

But falling by the wayside are the additional Chicago-Holland, Michigan, and Chicago-Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thanksgiving holiday trains.

Extra Amtrak Trains Set for Midwest Thanksgiving Travel

November 15, 2018

Amtrak will operate additional trains in the Midwest between Nov. 20-25 to accommodate an expected surge of Thanksgiving holiday travelers.

Other Midwest corridor trains are expected to operate with increased capacity.

During the holiday travel period, reservations will be required for travel aboard the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service trains.

Holders of monthly or 10-ride tickets are exempt from the reservations requirement, but seating is not guarantee.

On the Wolverine Service corridor, additional trains will operate on Nov. 21, 24 and 25 between Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with intermediate stops in the Michigan cities of New Buffalo, Niles, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Jackson.

Extra No. 356 will depart Chicago at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Ann Arbor at 2:25 p.m. It will depart Ann Arbor at 4:28 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 8:04 p.m.

On the Pere Marquette route, extra No. 372 is scheduled to depart Chicago at 10 a.m. and arrive in Holland, Michigan, at 2:11 p.m. with intermediate stops in St. Joseph and Bangor, Michigan.

No. 373 is scheduled to depart Holland at 3:10 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:27 p.m. These trains will operate on Nov. 21 and 25.

An extra section of the Carl Sandburg will operate between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois, on Nov. 21 and 25.

No. 385 is scheduled to depart Chicago at 11:30 a.m. and make all scheduled intermediate stops en route to Quincy, where it is set to arrive at 3:53 p.m.

No. 384 is scheduled to depart Quincy at 1 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:22 p.m.

On the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, extra Lincoln Service trains will operate between Chicago and Normal, Illinois, on Nov. 21 and 25.

Extra No. 309 is scheduled to depart Chicago at 10:30 a.m. and make all scheduled intermediate stops en route to Normal-Bloomington, where it is set to arrive at 12:58 p.m.

No. 308 is set to depart Normal at 1:15 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 3:41 p.m.

Extra Trains Set for Holland Tulip Festival

April 4, 2018

The Michigan Department of Transportation is sponsoring additional Pere Marquette service in May to a tulip festival in Holland, Michigan.

Amtrak will operate extra trains on May 5 and 12 departing Chicago Union Station at 7:05 a.m. and returning at 8:24 p.m. The schedule is set up to allow a day trip to the Tulip Time Festival.

The extra train to Holland will stop at Hammond-Whiting, Indiana, at 7:30 a.m., and make intermediate stops in St. Joseph and Bangor before arriving in Holland at 11:29 a.m.

The return trip to Chicago will leave Holland at 5:50 p.m. The trains will operate as Nos. 374 and 375.

In a news release, MDOT said the festival has been heralded as America’s “Best Flower Festival” and “America’s Best Small-Town Festival,” with more than 5 million tulips in bloom.

Fares on the extra service will range between $26 and $48 each way.

All regular Pere Marquette trains also will stop at Hammond-Whiting on May 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Amtrak Adds Michigan Thanksgiving Trains

November 9, 2015

In cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Amtrak is adding additional trains on two of its three Michigan corridors.

Wolverine Extra No. 356 will depart Chicago at 9:30 a.m. and make intermediate stops in Michigan at New Buffalo, Niles, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Jackson before arriving in Ann Arbor at 3:14 p.m.

The equipment will turn back and become Wolverine Extra No. 359, departing at 4:05 p.m. for Chicago with the same intermediate stops as No. 356. No. 359 is scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 7:50 p.m.

Nos. 356 and 359 will operate on Nov. 25, 28 and 29.

An extra section of the Pere Marquette will operate on Nov. 25 and 29 between Chicago and Holland, Michigan.

No. 372 will depart Chicago at 10 a.m. and make intermediate stops in St. Joseph and Bangor before arriving in Holland at 2:11 p.m.

The equipment will turn back and depart Holland at 3:10 p.m., making the same intermediate stops before arriving back in Chicago at 5:27 p.m.

Amtrak is encouraging passengers to plan for Thanksgiving travel and book their reservations now in order to obtain the best availability and pricing.

The travel days that are most likely to sell out are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday.

Other than on Thanksgiving Day, morning trains typically have more available seats than those in the afternoon and evening.

Amtrak to Operate 18 Extra Michigan Trains

November 5, 2014

Amtrak will add 18 extra trains to its Michigan service to handle demand during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

The extra sections of the Wolverine Service [Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac)] and Pere Marquette [Chicago-Grand Rapids] will operate between Nov. 26 and Dec. 1.

Wolverine extra Nos. 354 and 357 will operate between Chicago and Kalamazoo, Mich., while Nos. 356 and 359 will operate between Chicago and Ann Arbor.

Two extra sections of the Pere Marquette will operate on Nov. 26 and Nov. 30 between Chicago and Holland. Schedules of the daily Pere Marquette have also been adjusted during the Thanksgiving travel period.

The daily schedules of the Wolverines and the Chicago-Port Huron Blue Water will remain unchanged during the travel period.

Amtrak said in a news release that to accommodate the expected surge of holiday riders nationally it will operate every available passenger car in its fleet and is scheduling extra trains and adding capacity on several routes.

The busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday. Schedules for the extra Michigan trains can be seen at:

Click to access Amtrak-Chicago-Michigan-Thanksgiving-ATK-14-098,0.pdf

Handling the Holiday Rush on Amtrak

December 3, 2013

Amtrak trains radiating from its Chicago hub were sold out and some carried extra coaches to accommodate the Thanksgiving weekend crowds, Trains magazine reported.

Additional cars were added to the New Orleans-bound City of New Orleans, but no additional equipment could be spared from the Northeast or West Coast.

Therefore, Amtrak skillfully used crew and equipment scheduling to operate extra sections of some trains.

One set of Horizon equipment operate extra nine round-trips on the Wolverine Service route. An additional Chicago-Quincy, Ill., round-trip ran on Sunday by short-turning the morning end-point arrivals into midday departures.

There were some minor glitches during the holiday travel period. Wednesday eastbound extra No. 356 to Ann Arbor, Mich., lost an hour and a half due to congestion, which delayed westbound No. 359’s departure as well.

Equipment problems in Chicago on Sunday delayed train No. 356’s departure by 39 minutes, but the westbound trip left Ann Arbor on time.

Long loading times at Chicago suburban stops on the first westbound train to Quincy combined with freight and Metra commuter train congestion to create a domino effect of delays throughout the day for extra Nos. 384 and No. 383.

On the Chicago-St. Louis route, No. 300’s schedule from St. Louis was moved up 35 minutes in order to provide enough time for the train set of Amfleet I cars enough time to make a run to Bloomington-Normal, Ill., and back to Chicago before going out as regular train No. 307 at 7 p.m.

On the Pere Marquette route between Chicago and Grand Rapids, Mich., morning inbound train No. 371 operated an hour and a half earlier and No. 370 to Grand Rapids departed later by a same amount of time to enable the set of four Superliners to make a midday round-trip to Holland, Mich. Grand Rapids is 25 miles from Holland, but the trip takes 45 minutes due to the route’s infrastructure.