Wolverine to Toronto?

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Jetlink
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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Jetlink »

I don't think the actual documents that you posses are the issue. The issue, and it is prevalent on the other trains that cross the border, is that in the post 9-11 world border crossing is a more cumbersome process. It takes time. A lot of time for each person to present documents and speak to a US Customs official, or their Canadian equivalents. So even if you have a passport, nexus card, EDL, Passport Card, etc. The core issue remains. It isn't the availability of documents or even passenger legitimacy; but rather it is the time that is being taken to inspect and determine those. The hassle and delay factor. The trains would be certainly be delayed by the customs-immigration process and that is the core of the issue.
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justalurker66
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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by justalurker66 »

chapmaja wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 12:48 am
One doesn't need a passport to enter Canada. For Michigan residents, the EDL is still a legal document allowing travel to and from Canada. A Nexus card can also be used, as can other documents, including but not limited to a passport.
Not everyone who could use such a service would be a Michigan resident. Nexus is good for regular travelers who cross the border often (commuter level). An EDL (where available) reduces the number of documents one needs to carry but one still has to deal with customs. (I am an American citizen who was born in Canada to American parents - that seems to throw off the border guards.)

Canada isn't the hardest country to enter or exit but the crossing isn't trivial (although I prefer Port Huron to Detroit as a crossing point).

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by chapmaja »

PatAzo wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:12 pm
Streety McCarface wrote:
Steve B wrote:
It'd miss Flint, but if they wanted it could easily serve Kitchener and Stratford. All VIA trains run on the same track from Komoka through the London station to just east of there, where the line through Stratford diverges.
Speaking of blue water service through Flint, is there any particular reason why train service hasn't been extended to Saginaw?
Money.
Does Amtrak run a bus service from Flint to Saginaw to connect to the Blue Water? I don't see a need for Amtrak to run to Saginaw, as the population in Saginaw isn't going the correct direction to require the service.

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by DaveO »

chapmaja wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:06 pm
Does Amtrak run a bus service from Flint to Saginaw to connect to the Blue Water? I don't see a need for Amtrak to run to Saginaw, as the population in Saginaw isn't going the correct direction to require the service.
Yes https://www.amtrak.com/michigan/michigan-connections

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by CSXBOY »

I honestly would love this. Judging I've been to Canada quite a bit ever since getting my passport a year ago. It's not even that hard to cross. The Sarnia and Sault Ste Marie borders are are a beeze to cross. Windsor/Detroit you gotta know what you are doing it can be quite difficult if you're not familiar with it. Also didn't Amtrak have an international train years ago this discontinued shortly after 9/11? How many a day did they run? Did they ever take the Michigan line? Just curious

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

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CSXBOY wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 2:42 pm
I honestly would love this. Judging I've been to Canada quite a bit ever since getting my passport a year ago. It's not even that hard to cross. The Sarnia and Sault Ste Marie borders are are a beeze to cross. Windsor/Detroit you gotta know what you are doing it can be quite difficult if you're not familiar with it. Also didn't Amtrak have an international train years ago this discontinued shortly after 9/11? How many a day did they run? Did they ever take the Michigan line? Just curious
For years Amtrak ran a Chicago/Port Huron/Toronto train via Flint called the International. The ran an Amtrak train set and a VIA Rail train set (sometimes with FPA4 cab units). This ended with 911 because of tightening up the border, if I recall.

Way before that, ending around 1979 or 1980, Amtrak ran a Detroit to New York City round trip Train, the Niagara Rainbow, via the Detroit River Tunnel, Windsor, Niagara Falls and Buffalo daily. That ended when Conrail abandoned/sold their Canada Southern Line throught Ontario about that time.

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by CSXBOY »

Gotcha. Did the Via units ever make it across the border when they ran the international? Or did they power swap for Amtrak in Port Huron? How did that work before 911?

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Saturnalia »

CSXBOY wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:08 pm
Gotcha. Did the Via units ever make it across the border when they ran the international? Or did they power swap for Amtrak in Port Huron? How did that work before 911?
Both trainsets went all the way, in a true pooled equipment setup.
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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

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CSXBOY wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:08 pm
Gotcha. Did the Via units ever make it across the border when they ran the international? Or did they power swap for Amtrak in Port Huron? How did that work before 911?
There is some discussion of the operation of the joint VIA/Amtrak International and equipment if you read through this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=38023

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

Amtrak and Via would alternate providing the locomotives and or cars for the International. It wasn’t uncommon to see VIA F40s hauling Superliners and Amtrak P40s hauling LRCs.
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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Buster Manning »

That was pre-ITCS......IF this service comes back, it will have to have the state owned Changers on it

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Steamlogger »

Here is a link to a new YouTube upload showing the International at East Lansing, Michigan, in June of 1992.
https://youtu.be/xxIA-fa0THY

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Steve B »

Manistique wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:19 pm
CSXBOY wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2023 2:42 pm
Way before that, ending around 1979 or 1980, Amtrak ran a Detroit to New York City round trip Train, the Niagara Rainbow, via the Detroit River Tunnel, Windsor, Niagara Falls and Buffalo daily. That ended when Conrail abandoned/sold their Canada Southern Line throught Ontario about that time.
That train ran from 10/31/74 to 1/31/79 and died because New York dropped its share of the subsidy, though certainly it would have been ultimately doomed by the gradually decaying track & eventual abandonment. Conrail didn't sell the line until 1985.

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by GP30M4216 »

I don’t know if I quite believe “just 2 years,” but it’s exciting to know VIA RAIL leadership is onboard:

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.7249572

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by JStryker722 »

GP30M4216 wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2024 11:19 pm
I don’t know if I quite believe “just 2 years,” but it’s exciting to know VIA RAIL leadership is onboard:

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.7249572
I think the truth is probably closer to 3 years, 4 max. You really only have 2 big things plus 2 moderate ones to contend with: building a customs facility inside the Windsor Via Rail Station, upgrading the Essex Terminal Railway between The CP Windsor Sub and the Via Rail Chatham Sub, making sure there is enough Chargers available to have locomotives on BOTH ends of the #353 & #350 trainsets (since it's the midday Amtrak trains that's going to be diverted across the border according to the plan), and certifying Amtrak crews to make the run to the Windsor Station.

As a side opinion: at least at first, I would think making Dearborn the last stop in Michigan before Windsor so the trains can go straight for the tunnel instead of trying to pull off the awkward backup move if they tried to serve the current Detroit Amtrak Station would NOT be a bad idea in terms of operational efficiency. Dearborn is close enough to Detroit to make those who really wanna use the service drive out to catch the train to Windsor. The Station has plenty of free parking, it can handle it.
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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Steve B »

JStryker722 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:28 am
GP30M4216 wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2024 11:19 pm
As a side opinion: at least at first, I would think making Dearborn the last stop in Michigan before Windsor so the trains can go straight for the tunnel instead of trying to pull off the awkward backup move if they tried to serve the current Detroit Amtrak Station would NOT be a bad idea in terms of operational efficiency. Dearborn is close enough to Detroit to make those who really wanna use the service drive out to catch the train to Windsor. The Station has plenty of free parking, it can handle it.
The idea is to have the diverted pair stop by the MC Depot instead of New Center, anyone's guess whether passengers would actually use the building or a small new shelter. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari: "We appreciate the willingness of Ford properties to discuss use of the area outside the building for possible platforms to support a service connecting to Canada". https://www.axios.com/local/detroit/202 ... in-service

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by DaveO »

Do they expect and will Michigan continue to provide a subsidy for that train which becomes less attractive to Michigan residents/taxpayers?
Remember that was a factor in the Blue Water replacing the International.
Then there is the apparent thinking at ICE that every train rider is a criminal. Not a good vibe when you need paying passengers.

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Steve B »

DaveO wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2024 8:10 am
Do they expect and will Michigan continue to provide a subsidy for that train which becomes less attractive to Michigan residents/taxpayers?
Remember that was a factor in the Blue Water replacing the International.
Then there is the apparent thinking at ICE that every train rider is a criminal. Not a good vibe when you need paying passengers.
Why would it be less attractive to Michigan riders? You're providing a one-seat train ride to/from Windsor-Detroit & stations west, which hasn't been possible since 1979 with Detroit and who knows how long for the other stations. And cross-platform transfer from Windsor to Toronto trains. A lot more convenient than fumbling with the Qline, tunnel bus and Windsor city buses.

Unlike the International, 98% of the trip would still be in the US, only the last several miles in Canada.

Amtrak already has trains entering Canada: Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Cascades. Customs manages to deal with those trains, it can deal with this one.

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

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detroit-royal oak-troy-pontiac stations no longer on route

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Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread post by Ypsi »

DaveO wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2024 8:10 am
Do they expect and will Michigan continue to provide a subsidy for that train which becomes less attractive to Michigan residents/taxpayers?
Remember that was a factor in the Blue Water replacing the International.
Then there is the apparent thinking at ICE that every train rider is a criminal. Not a good vibe when you need paying passengers.
Sure why not. In 2022 440,026 riders rode from Amtrak Wolverine Stations. Of these 112,518 came from PNT, ROY, TRM, and DET. That accounts for 25.5% of total ridership. You won't "loose" these riders necessarily if one turn doesn't go up there, they will just adapt to the new options they are provided, just like this summer. I would argue that people that would live in service range of PNT, ROY, and TRM are also not the target customer for a Windsor connection anyway as they live close enough to drive to Windsor rather than take a train. We should not stagnate growth or innovation for the sake of cities with a small percentage of the total ridership. In theory if successful an international train could just become its own train rather than taking away a wolverine round trip.

You could also consider DET and DER to be close enough to each other that IF you wanted to take the train from Detroit to Windsor you could consider driving to DER which takes 19 minutes from DET (which has more and better parking anyway) or even take transit (1 hour but it is an "option"). I don't know exactly how many times you have crossed the boarder on transit, but in general it has been no better or worse than crossing in a car in my experience both riding trains and taking an intercity bus.

To me this would be "one step" closer to an actual replacement for the international with a "one seat" ride to Toronto. Every other international route is state supported, so there is likely merit to having a state supported international from Chicago to Toronto. I think If it was a smooth one seat ride, you could see a decent market for not only those from Chicago using a service like this internationally, but those who live on the route in Michigan using it as well. To me it gives the Michigan Line service three larger city options for its trains with Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto all being on the same "system".
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