Amtrak adds extra trains for Michigan holiday travel

January 8, 2013

Just prior to the Christmas holiday–on December 13–Amtrak announced that with the encouragement of the Michigan Department of Transportation it would add an extra daily round trip to the Chicago-
Ann Arbor segment of its popular Wolverine route.

The 304-mile Chicago-Detroit-Pontiac route normally is served by three daily round trips. The national passenger railroad said the extra daily round trip would operate only on the 234-mile Chicago Ann Arbor segment and would run on December 21,22 and 23 and on December 28,29 and 30.

The Chicago-Ann Arbor segment of the route is particularly busy during holiday periods because of the large number of students from the Chicago area who are enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Amtrak noted that during the 2012 Thanksgiving break its ridership on the Wolverine corridor was up 17 per cent over 2011, due in part to extra trains operated between Chicago and Ann Arbor.

On Amtrak’s total nationwide system, most of which does not enjoy additional holiday frequencies, Thanksgiving ridership this year was up 1.9 per cent.

An Amtrak spokesman said the impact of the additional Christmas Wolverine frequencies could not be assessed until the railroad issues its monthly route-by-route performance report in mid-January.

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