Wolverine to Toronto?

Anything pertaining to railfanning in Michigan.

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:58 pm

Man o' War wrote:
NSSD70ACe wrote:
Steve B wrote:It might be easier to get permission from the various RRs for a Windsor routing rather than through Mt. Clemens. The vast majority of the Windsor route already has passenger trains on it, and minimal freight traffic from Windsor to London on VIA-CN. It seems unlikely CN would want to accommodate passenger trains on 51 miles in Michigan, plus the Sarnia tunnel, that don't have them now.

CP got an "A" this spring from Amtrak for passenger train handling. That would bode well for the Detroit tunnel and adjoining trackage. CN got a "D."


I’ve seen all this talk about just bringing the International back. Here’s the problem(s):

Statistically, the BTL-PTH corridor is not as popular as the BTL-DET corridor. The only two “big cities” you really hit are Lansing and Flint. On the Wolverine route, you get Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit. AA alone beats out both Lansing and Flint in terms of ridership. Link is from 2017 but I doubt it’s changed much since then. https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/proj ... IGAN17.pdf

You’d have to traverse over CN’s primary route between Chicago and eastern Canada. We all know about the land barges and the delays to the Blue Water. Not only would you avoid the problematic CN for the A-rated CP, you also wouldn’t be paying trackage rights over the southern corridor because it’s Amtrak operated. Why pay more for a route with less ridership and more delays? Yes, the AML has bad OTP right now but I expect it to increase once the upgrades and equipment changeovers are completed.

Forget the old International routing.


You still have that somewhat cumbersome logistical issue of getting from the Detroit station to the tunnel trackage. Leaving the route to travel up to what would essentially be a stub ended stop, and then having to return to West Detroit would kill much time. If it ever were to come to fruition, perhaps the best alternative for Detroit riders would be to travel to Dearborn to board for Toronto. By the time studies are made, and money is found, and participating railroads are happy, most reading this thread will be quite a bit longer in tooth - if not passed into the next dimension. And oh yeah, maybe that new Ford Motor place over on Michigan Avenue could serve as a boarding place for Detroiters. Wouldn't that be a novel idea...

Man o' War


Unsure if sarcasm or not about MCS, but Ford intends to keep four tracks in place for Amtrak and I believe they are studying the idea. It would open up a potential first route for the SEMCOG guys too, when/if that happens.

Until then, I would make the assumption that Detroiters would travel to Dearborn.

NS3322 wrote:
NSSD70ACe wrote:Statistically, the BTL-PTH corridor is not as popular as the BTL-DET corridor. The only two “big cities” you really hit are Lansing and Flint. On the Wolverine route, you get Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit. AA alone beats out both Lansing and Flint in terms of ridership. Link is from 2017 but I doubt it’s changed much since then.


While I agree with your thoughts, do not forget that both East Lansing and Flint only have 1 round trip per day. AA and the rest on the Wolverine route have 3 round trips per day.


Agreed on that, and I do think there is room for improvement on that route. MSU students like taking the train but it arrives during the start of classes to head west and gets back after CATA stops running headed east. During my time there, I heard many students saying they would take the train if they could, but the timing isn’t practical. That would definitely boost ridership, at least for Lansing.

Beyond that, you also have to consider that most of the stops on that route are smaller towns, not metro areas. There would likely be more demand traveling to Toronto from AA or Detroit than most places on the BW route. It’s an essential service, but not one I would consider a good candidate for an international route at this time.
If the Conductor is in charge of the train, then why is he promoted to Engineer?
NSSD70ACe
The Conrail Guru
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:34 pm
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Ypsi » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:49 pm

NS3322 wrote:
NSSD70ACe wrote:Statistically, the BTL-PTH corridor is not as popular as the BTL-DET corridor. The only two “big cities” you really hit are Lansing and Flint. On the Wolverine route, you get Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit. AA alone beats out both Lansing and Flint in terms of ridership. Link is from 2017 but I doubt it’s changed much since then.


While I agree with your thoughts, do not forget that both East Lansing and Flint only have 1 round trip per day. AA and the rest on the Wolverine route have 3 round trips per day.


I mean the wolverines have three trips because the ridership is there. If there was ridership on the other train that would probably (who knows its the railroad) be more trips. An overlooked factor is the surrounding cities of the Wolverine corridor cities in SEM. Obviously all of the Detroit/ Dearborn Suburbs, Ypsilanti, canton, even cities like Plymouth are much larger than the cities neighboring Lansing or flint.
"Ann Arbor 2373 Calling... Milkshake. Over"

All Aboard Amtrak: Northbound, Southbound, and My Hometown
User avatar
Ypsi
The Bestest Railroadfan... fan
 
Posts: 5252
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby justalurker66 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:01 pm

NS3322 wrote:While I agree with your thoughts, do not forget that both East Lansing and Flint only have 1 round trip per day. AA and the rest on the Wolverine route have 3 round trips per day.

Additional frequencies can increase ridership (giving times that are more convenient for some travelers without taking away times that are more convenient for others). But there is a limit on the demand. It isn't hard to end up with less ridership on existing trains without enough overall gain to cover the cost of equipment and manpower for the second or third frequency.
User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 1423
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby DaveO » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:38 am

You're up against NS trying to add additional trains around the bottom of Lake Michigan.
I think that will need a fix before you see any additional trains through that stretch.
DaveO
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Ypsi » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:14 am

Honestly given the current ridership I would personally just extend one train st to and from Toronto. Which set is beyond me, but you could probably justify running a set to Pontiac, a set to Toledo, and a set to Toronto. As dumb as that is and sounds it could make sense for Michigan travelers to and from both destinations. Would never happen but here’s a senecio that’s fun to imagine and make up. Note this is just a fun exercise and is in no way meant to represent what I think will happen or what is realistic. It’s fun to speculate on passenger trains for me, so take this for what you want.

350-355: Chicago-Toronto. An altered 350-355 schedule makes an early morning run out of Chicago for Toronto. Looking at current TT’s it’s 4 hours 30 mins Chicago to Detroit and 4 hours 5 minutes Windsor to Toronto. Let’s say everything is sorted and down and even with a boarder crossing its a 9 hour total run. Leave Chicago at 0500 CT, get to Detroit at 1030 ET, and then Toronto at 1500 ET. Change crews get the train turned/ swap ends and depart back for Chicago at 1700 ET, get to Detroit at 2100 ET, then Chicago at 0100 CT. It’s a long fun and the BETTER way to do it would be two train sets, but for. Sake I’m looking at it like they attempt to run the sets and rotations as is. Keep in mind equipment could be a factor as it was when the first P42’s came out and Canadian/ VIA crews were not certified on them (or something along those lines). This kept F40PH’s on the international routes in the beginning.

354-353: Chicago-Toledo. Altering the schedule slightly so 354 can serve as the Toledo connection to 48 and 30. This eliminates the Ambus and allows for better connecting times. Currently 354 would arrive to Toledo if they made a turn for there shortly after 0100. With a slightly earlier schedule you could arrive into Toledo at 2330 and enough time to make a 30 connection and a 48/448 connection. Returning you would depart Toledo later in the morning and make the connection with 29 and 49/449. 353 would depart after the arrivals of the WB trains at around 0800. This puts it into Detroit around 0930 which is 1 hour 15 mins ahead of current schedule. This could be altered by serving more or all stops in route to get to Chicago not too much earlier than the current time card.

352-351: Chicago-Pontiac. 352 would get minor adjustments based on other EB trains, and 351 would depart Pontiac even earlier than it does. This would be because of an earlier 353 as described above, and to get a train tonto Chicago for early morning CT. An 0330 ET departure could get the train to Chicago by 0815 CT which could help bring in more riders looking for a day trip. For those looking to go north after 354, there could be a dedicated City bus style service on Woodward making a 354 connection and serving the stations NB.

And there’s a goofy railfan idea for how to move people between Pontiac, Toronto, Toledo, and Chicago. Take it for what you want, just fun ideas. Gets trains where people want to go without adding traffic on NS.
"Ann Arbor 2373 Calling... Milkshake. Over"

All Aboard Amtrak: Northbound, Southbound, and My Hometown
User avatar
Ypsi
The Bestest Railroadfan... fan
 
Posts: 5252
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby chapmaja » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:24 am

Ypsi wrote:Honestly given the current ridership I would personally just extend one train st to and from Toronto. Which set is beyond me, but you could probably justify running a set to Pontiac, a set to Toledo, and a set to Toronto. As dumb as that is and sounds it could make sense for Michigan travelers to and from both destinations. Would never happen but here’s a senecio that’s fun to imagine and make up. Note this is just a fun exercise and is in no way meant to represent what I think will happen or what is realistic. It’s fun to speculate on passenger trains for me, so take this for what you want.

350-355: Chicago-Toronto. An altered 350-355 schedule makes an early morning run out of Chicago for Toronto. Looking at current TT’s it’s 4 hours 30 mins Chicago to Detroit and 4 hours 5 minutes Windsor to Toronto. Let’s say everything is sorted and down and even with a boarder crossing its a 9 hour total run. Leave Chicago at 0500 CT, get to Detroit at 1030 ET, and then Toronto at 1500 ET. Change crews get the train turned/ swap ends and depart back for Chicago at 1700 ET, get to Detroit at 2100 ET, then Chicago at 0100 CT. It’s a long fun and the BETTER way to do it would be two train sets, but for. Sake I’m looking at it like they attempt to run the sets and rotations as is. Keep in mind equipment could be a factor as it was when the first P42’s came out and Canadian/ VIA crews were not certified on them (or something along those lines). This kept F40PH’s on the international routes in the beginning.

354-353: Chicago-Toledo. Altering the schedule slightly so 354 can serve as the Toledo connection to 48 and 30. This eliminates the Ambus and allows for better connecting times. Currently 354 would arrive to Toledo if they made a turn for there shortly after 0100. With a slightly earlier schedule you could arrive into Toledo at 2330 and enough time to make a 30 connection and a 48/448 connection. Returning you would depart Toledo later in the morning and make the connection with 29 and 49/449. 353 would depart after the arrivals of the WB trains at around 0800. This puts it into Detroit around 0930 which is 1 hour 15 mins ahead of current schedule. This could be altered by serving more or all stops in route to get to Chicago not too much earlier than the current time card.

352-351: Chicago-Pontiac. 352 would get minor adjustments based on other EB trains, and 351 would depart Pontiac even earlier than it does. This would be because of an earlier 353 as described above, and to get a train tonto Chicago for early morning CT. An 0330 ET departure could get the train to Chicago by 0815 CT which could help bring in more riders looking for a day trip. For those looking to go north after 354, there could be a dedicated City bus style service on Woodward making a 354 connection and serving the stations NB.

And there’s a goofy railfan idea for how to move people between Pontiac, Toronto, Toledo, and Chicago. Take it for what you want, just fun ideas. Gets trains where people want to go without adding traffic on NS.



I like it.
chapmaja
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 699
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Streety McCarface » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:03 am

justalurker66 wrote:
NS3322 wrote:While I agree with your thoughts, do not forget that both East Lansing and Flint only have 1 round trip per day. AA and the rest on the Wolverine route have 3 round trips per day.

Additional frequencies can increase ridership (giving times that are more convenient for some travelers without taking away times that are more convenient for others). But there is a limit on the demand. It isn't hard to end up with less ridership on existing trains without enough overall gain to cover the cost of equipment and manpower for the second or third frequency.

The support for the service is strong in Toronto, and surprisingly strong in KW and London. There are benefits of running both an extra Blue Water and extending a Wolverine. Given the existing presence of VIA along both corridors, an additional Blue Water train might be more challenging to accommodate (especially under the Port Huron-Sarnia tunnel), but will likely be much faster if track upgrades are made on the Canadian side, plus it could run on tracks that see little service today. The Wolverine service would be faster from day one and could very easily run through the non-converted CP tunnel, but there's not much room to add service on the Canadian Side, plus it wouldn't be able to add much-needed service to Flint, Kitchener, and Stratford.

Ultimately, the biggest challenge would be figuring out the border situation. Maybe they could have half the cars as pre-cleared cars with another half used as local cars, with one car being used as a border patrol post for both Canadian and US officers. Not sure how well this practice would work or how they'd handle evacuations or accessibility concerns, but it could definitely speed up border crossings.
User avatar
Streety McCarface
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:53 pm
Location: Canuckistan

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Steve B » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Streety McCarface wrote:The Wolverine service would be faster from day one and could very easily run through the non-converted CP tunnel, but there's not much room to add service on the Canadian Side, plus it wouldn't be able to add much-needed service to Flint, Kitchener, and Stratford.


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.
Steve B
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: East Lansing

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Streety McCarface » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:46 pm

Steve B wrote:
Streety McCarface wrote:The Wolverine service would be faster from day one and could very easily run through the non-converted CP tunnel, but there's not much room to add service on the Canadian Side, plus it wouldn't be able to add much-needed service to Flint, Kitchener, and Stratford.


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?
User avatar
Streety McCarface
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:53 pm
Location: Canuckistan

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby PatAzo » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:12 pm

Streety McCarface wrote:
Steve B wrote:
Streety McCarface wrote:The Wolverine service would be faster from day one and could very easily run through the non-converted CP tunnel, but there's not much room to add service on the Canadian Side, plus it wouldn't be able to add much-needed service to Flint, Kitchener, and Stratford.


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.
PatAzo
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:20 pm

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby Steve B » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:18 pm

Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit is a higher priority than running something up to the tri-cities. Although "higher priority" is an exaggeration. More like "slightly conscious" of it. The first few years after Amtrak started would have been the best window of opportunity.
Steve B
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: East Lansing

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:04 pm

Steve B wrote:Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit is a higher priority than running something up to the tri-cities. Although "higher priority" is an exaggeration. More like "slightly conscious" of it. The first few years after Amtrak started would have been the best window of opportunity.


Getting CN to allow anything more at this point would cost an arm and a leg for what would likely be mediocre performance. The BW has a nasty habit of getting hit with delays right after they leave PTH, before Lapeer. I think it’s eased some compared performance YTD, but it’s still far from great.
If the Conductor is in charge of the train, then why is he promoted to Engineer?
NSSD70ACe
The Conrail Guru
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:34 pm
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby KenB » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:41 am

It is a good idea BUT, getting through Windsor would be a big problem and really how much traffic would there be now that one need a passport to go to/from Canada? and U.S. Customs can be a real pain.
There was a study for a Detroit Holland train. While it is a great idea the way it is implememted is the question. At the meeting they did not like my plans for this service, and it is a SERVICE, not a train. Need to change that mindset.
To run this you need a train out of Holland and Detroit in the morning daily. Need to run at least 60 mph,. 79 where you can. Need to run down C&O to Michigan Ave and use Michigan Ave connection to get to Detroit station. Need State to force State employees out of their State automobiles between Lansing and Detroit.
This way people out of Detroit could go to Holland, spend the day and still get home by 2300 also people from Holland could access Lansing and points East and still be home by 2300. Have a buss connection between Howell and Ann Arbor and a buss from Plymouth to Metro Airport.
If operated on time daily, reasonable price and MARKETING, this could work out. Would not really be a lot of cost to implement service. C&O is single track CTC. Not much traffic (one train each way a day). Cost to get speed up and depots.
If the State wanted to this service could be up and running by 2022 with further up-grades continuing into 2025.
KenB
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 1283
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:43 pm
Location: Dearborn, Mich.

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:05 pm

I would ride a train from Holland or Grand Rapids to Lansing and back in my current work situation. Convenient service would include early morning trains in each direction for the benefit of commuters and at a minimum additional late in the day trains each way. Logical stops would be downtown centers and airports along the route (GR Ford, Lansing, DTW Metro if some shuttle can ever be established). It doesn't even have to faster than driving. It needs to be reliable.

But back to the Chicago-MI-Toronto routing at hand: I like a lot of what Ypsi suggested. I've been examining the final International schedule from late 2003, before the route was discontinued in April 2004 in favor of the current arrangement. Check it out here: http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=20031027&item=0086. While the International ran via Sarnia, I believe a similar schedule could be achieved via Dearborn and Windsor, when considering the current 350 EB schedule (4hr 57min, the slowest of the three Wolverines) and a Windsor-Toronto run time of 4hr 7min as per VIA train 76. In fact, such an International train could basically replace both of these with a continuous run. The Canadian portion would have to be moved back, but perhaps not by much - maybe 45 minutes to an hour, arriving in Toronto at 7pm. An hour and a half from Dearborn to Windsor seems reasonable IF the connection from the tunnel to the Chatham Sub can be made workable. Do not delay with a stop in Detroit at the New Center station.

Returning WB from Toronto, the International could replace VIA train 71, with a departure of 6:45am and arriving in Windsor at 11:02am. Reverse the route back through the border and it becomes a later-running 353, perhaps departing Dearborn at 1pm, which would arrive in Chicago around 5pm CT. A thruway connecting bus could grab passengers from Pontiac, Troy, Royal Oak and Detroit to board at Dearborn WB, while a similar bus could bring passengers to those stations from the EB run. Then you maintain the mid day connectivity to those communities. A bus might even be faster than the train at mid-day.

To expedite customs toward Canada, have CBP agents board the train at Jackson to begin to process international passengers. Passengers boarding at AA or Dearborn could be asked to arrive early and pre-screened before boarding the train. This should minimize delays with processing eastbound. Westbound might be a little more tricky but I'm sure it can be managed in a similar manner.

This would allow existing equipment to be used with originating runs in Chicago and Toronto each day, which seems more realistic. The other equipment would need to be rearranged but just slightly. 352 would still turn as 351 as it currently does. 354 would overnight as 355 which would require an additional equipment set in rotation, but if Amtrak and Via share equipment as they did at times in the past, the pool of cars increases. But as a side note, I remember riding the International (Michigan portion only) on Superliners in 2003, and it was awesome with the larger legroom. 11 hours in a Horizon doesn't sound so enjoyable. :roll:

Here are links to the current Amtrak and Via schedules, FYI:
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/timetables/Michigan-Services-Schedule-070819.pdf
https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/schedules/summer2019/22-23_Windsor-London-Toronto.pdf
https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/schedules/summer2019/20-21_Toronto-London-Windsor.pdf

All aboard!! :lol: :lol:
GP30M4216
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 3538
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:35 pm
Location: Holland, MI

Re: Wolverine to Toronto?

Unread postby NS3322 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:37 pm

GP30M4216 wrote:I would ride a train from Holland or Grand Rapids to Lansing and back in my current work situation. Convenient service would include early morning trains in each direction for the benefit of commuters and at a minimum additional late in the day trains each way. Logical stops would be downtown centers and airports along the route (GR Ford, Lansing, DTW Metro if some shuttle can ever be established). It doesn't even have to faster than driving. It needs to be reliable.


I could see this working as a commuter train service. There is already a bus service from East Lansing to DTW ("The Michigan Flyer").
Power/rolling stock could be as simple as DMU cars, like those running in WES service in Oregon. Or it could run more conventional, like Metra.

WES Commuter Train:
Image

Metra Commuter Train:
Image
User avatar
NS3322
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 753
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:08 pm
Location: CP-LEVITT/CP-147

Previous

Return to Michigan Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Hogger1225, MSN [Bot] and 6 guests

x