Amtrak Summer Travel Options Reduced on Wolverine During Track Upgrades
The good news: Amtrak and MDOT are working to improve tracks between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac.
The bad news: During the summer of 2016, travelers will have reduced options for travel. Monday-Saturday, only two trains will be available. On Sundays, the usual three trains will run between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac.
Travelers should plan ahead and check schedules carefully. The Ann Arbor Amtrak station on Depot Street remains the best location for serving the travel needs for Ann Arbor passengers. We look forward to the improved ride!
Read more details from Amtrak here and call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245):
Ann Arbor Station Project Delays Remain Unexplained for Over One Year
In May 2015, Eli Cooper, the Transportation Program Manager for the City of Ann Arbor, presented the final Purpose and Need statement on the Ann Arbor Station, and indicated that it had been sent to project staff of the Federal Railroad Administration for review. Now, in May of 2016, with no response on the project, MLive reporter Ryan Stanton has investigated. His article, Emails shed some light on Ann Arbor train station project delays, but questions remain, indicates that much has been discussed outside the realm of public view. Much remains undisclosed. We continue to await further information from the City of Ann Arbor. We continue to support use of the current Ann Arbor Amtrak location as a site for expansion or replacement of the existing station.
We strongly encourage you to read the article.
Ypsilanti Train Stop: What Will it Mean for Ann Arbor?
Recent articles in MLive indicate the potential for Ypsilanti to re-establish a passenger rail stop in the current Depot Town area. More options for riders seems like a good idea!
What are the implications for the proposed Ann Arbor Amtrak Station?
We don’t know right now, but service at Ypsilanti for either Intercity travel or possible commuter use must be considered in the plans for Ann Arbor’s Amtrak Station. With nearby passenger access, there may be less need for parking both in Ann Arbor and in Ypsilanti. Coordinating feeder bus lines with train arrivals/departures will be important, too, and will also play in to likely lowered needs for parking.
The Ypsilanti project may benefit from a raised ADA-accessible platform of the design that is in place at the Ann Arbor Amtrak Station.
We will follow the plans for Ypsilanti service, and support solid coordination of efforts with our neighbors, to assure success of both plans.
MDOT’s Fiscally Responsible Approach to Rail Upgrades
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reviewing proposals to upgrade to double tracks for passenger service on the Wolverine line, which runs between Chicago and Pontiac. The east-west route of the Wolverine is the only passenger line that serves Ann Arbor. More frequent trains, as described in the article below, would mean less need for large waiting areas for people arriving/departing. Planning for volume of passengers and frequency of trains helps to assess needs for space in Ann Arbor.
From the South Bend Tribune article:
“MDOT officials considered double-tracking all of the Wolverine route, but decided against it, according to Michael Frezell, an MDOT spokesperson.
A capacity analysis concluded that double-tracking the entire corridor in Michigan was not necessary to accommodate full build-out service…”
Great to know that MDOT is being careful with its review and decision-making process. Worth reading!
Photo: Public Domain
Added Wolverine Line Train Service for Thanksgiving Holiday
Ann Arbor Amtrak Station, 325 Depot Street
Great news! Amtrak will run additional trains on the Wolverine Line for travel during Thanksgiving week! The three daily roundtrip trains that run east- and west-bound from Ann Arbor’s Amtrak station will continue as usual. On November 25, 28, and 29, service will be augmented by the Woverine Extra, a roundtrip train that will run between Chicago and Ann Arbor. Board at Ann Arbor’s Amtrak Station on Depot Street and enjoy the additional holiday service.
Get to the Depot Street station by AAATA bus, taxi, have a friend drop you off, or walk. Then relax enjoy the trip.
Check on schedules here: http://www.amtrak.com/train-schedules-timetables
For up to the moment information on arrival and departure times: http://www.amtrak.com
Amtrak Press Release: http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/408/238/Amtrak-CHI-hub-Thanksgiving-ATK-15-062.pdf
Level Boarding Ramp and Platform Will Assist Passengers of All Abilities
On July 23, 2015, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ann Arbor Amtrak Station held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of a ramp with an extending platform that allows passengers of all abilities to board trains at the level of the car’s floor. Testing and tuning of the platform function continued. On October 1, 2015, the platform was opened for regular use. Progress for Ann Arbor passengers!
MLive Article, July 23, 2015: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/07/new_disability_platform_opens.html