Michigan: Rerouting trains through Kalamazoo could speed Amtrak travel to Chicago for Grand Rapids riders

May 2, 2016

Written by  Nick Manes, MiBiz.com

Investments in rail infrastructure eventually will expedite the time it takes for Amtrak passengers to commute from Kalamazoo to Chicago, potentially cutting travel times by a half hour. Website Insert Passenger Trains Very Well copy

Investments from Amtrak, the Michigan Department of Transportation and similar stakeholders in Indiana and Illinois to upgrade the track from Detroit to Chicago will allow trains to travel at up to 110 mph along the route and trim an hour off the commute between the two metros. For passengers in Kalamazoo, they could take Amtrak’s Wolverine line to Chicago in less than two hours once all the upgrades are complete.

Now stakeholders in Grand Rapids would like to explore options to connect Amtrak service to Kalamazoo to reduce travel time for riders compared to the current Pere Marquette line that goes through Holland and down the lakeshore.

According to MDOT Communications Manager Michael Frezell, local partners have discussed the idea of rerouting some of the Chicago-bound trains through Kalamazoo, but not in any sort of definitive way, saying “it isn’t a priority.” 

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