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Friday, May 11, 2012

Amtrak plans for Michigan service improvements

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Momentum is building for improved Amtrak service to and from Michigan with a series of positive developments for intercity rail passengers.

Amtrak Wolverine Service and Blue Water passengers can now expect the return to normal travel times from Kalamazoo to near Dearborn with the completion of track and crossing improvements performed by Norfolk Southern Railway to eliminate the speed restrictions imposed by NS in March.

Also, Amtrak will issue schedules effective May 21 for the Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago Wolverines (Trains 350-355) and the Port Huron-East Lansing-Chicago Blue Water (Trains 364 & 365) accounting for the speed increase this year to 110 mph on the Amtrak-owned Michigan District in Michigan and Indiana. Permanent schedule changes are pending approval of NS for the Chicago to Porter, Ind., segment of the route and from CN, which owns the Blue Water route from Battle Creek to Port Huron and the Wolverine route between Pontiac and Detroit.

"Amtrak looks forward to working with the FRA, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana to improve this corridor and better connect these vital cities in the Midwest with travel times far better than driving, more comfortable and productive than flying and with a smaller carbon footprint than either of those modes," said Joe Boardman, Amtrak president and CEO.

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