Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 For jjaba...Detroit/Chicago train information Previous Next
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1030
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi there.....

I didn't want to clog up the other thread, but I garnered this info on Detroit/Chicago train service in the '60's on the Grand Trunk:

Afternoons out of Detroit (Brush Street)
Train #21, departs Detroit @ 11:45 am, arrives at Durand, 1:15pm, connecting with #17 from Toronto (The Maple Leaf), arriving in Chicago at 5:00 pm.

Going backwards, train #17 (The Maple Leaf) departed Chicago at about 10:00am, arrived in Durand at 3:40pm, with passengers transfering to Train #56 which departed Durand at 3:45 and arrived at Brush Streed at 5:10pm.

These two day trains (#21 and #56) were great. You could ride to Durand and back and still be home in time for dinner. OR you could hop #56 at Royal Oak on a Saturday afternoon, bum around Brush Street for 40 minutes ("Let's get a picture of the Lansdowne...") and ride the last commuter back for the Shoppers Special price of 75 cents.

I don't have the timings on the night train, but #57 departed Detroit somewhere around 10pm for its connection with the International Limited (#156) in Durand, and the reverse connection (#22) arrived in Detroit as the first of the morning commuter runs, but with limited stops.

The Mohawk, "overnight" service between Detroit and Chicago left Detroit (Train #165) at 4:30 pm and arrived in Chicago at 10:29pm. #166 worked about the same schedule in reverse. I don't know his for sure, but I think both had sleepers that could be occupied all night at both Dearborn Station and Brush Street, so you not only got a trip but a (small) motel room all at once.

Somewhere around here I've got some information about Amtrak's decision to use the NYC route. I'll see if I can dig it up......
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 324
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 5:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The NYC route had five trains daily in the 50's and the fastest running time was 4 hrs 45 minutes. The Twilight Limited was the fanciest of the five.

The Pennsylvania had Chicago-Detroit trains as well, namely the Red Arrow. Time was 5 hrs 20 minutes.

I seem to remember that the Wabash also provided a train as well from Detroit to Chicago, but I think you had to change trains as on the GT.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1031
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 7:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought the Red Arrow was Detroit/New York City. You might be thinking of the joint Pennsylvania/Wabash "Detroit Arrow", or the "Mid City Express".

The GTW Mohawk was instituted when the CN was making a major push on passenger service in the late '60's, about the time CN introduced the Rapido service in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. It was thru service, with no change in Durand. Prior to the Mohawk, a Durand change was needed to the International and the Maple Leaf.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1297
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 7:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Working in GTW's favor was better track, the MSU campus, South Bend, and the northern suburbs of Detroit. But PC had a shorter route, U-M, Western Michigan U, and a larger population overall.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1032
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Working against the PC was their "roach coach" reputation. Amtrak chose the route because of the population base.
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 4563
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The NYC route had five trains daily in the 50's and the fastest running time was 4 hrs 45 minutes. Amazing.

Instead it takes about the same time to get to midtown Manhattan and we get squeezed between the screaming baby and the sneezing four hundred pounder. No escape to the club car. No room to stretch the legs.
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Hybridy
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 220
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 10:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

EMBRACE THE MEGABUS

$1 EACH WAY
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Flyingj
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Username: Flyingj

Post Number: 95
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 1:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hybridy, it's $1.50 with taxes & those tix go so quick it ain't funny. That, and Megabus pulled the L.A.-Phoenix route. There's enough Bonus Codes out there on Amtrak, combined with Amtrak Guest Rewards beats the pants off the Greydog. Those sleeper/motel dealies sound really smart, hopefully a maniac wouldn't board the traincars while you slept

http://www.michiganrailroads.c om/RRHX/NamedTrains/NamedTrain sMenu.htm
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2162
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 7:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My '57 Official RR Guide also has airline schedules. jjaba, my son, you could book Capital Airlines Flight #145 at 9:05AM and it would land you at Midway an hour and 9 minute's later. TurboProp, baby!
Tickets are available at their ticket offices at 1203 Washington Blvd (WO 3-8900), the General Motors Building, and the National Bank Building.
Me? Back then, I'd stick with the choo-choo. What's the big hurry?
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1299
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, it's pretty sad that even with the 95 MPH stretch west of Kalamazoo, Amtrak still can't beat (let alone match) the fastest Det-Chi running time of 50+ years ago. Freight train congestion, and perhaps more station stops than the fastest NYC train had, is to blame.

I have a 1924 Michigan Central RR timetable, and it lists TWELVE passenger trains in EACH direction between Chicago and Detroit!

(Message edited by Burnsie on February 28, 2008)
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Drankin21
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Username: Drankin21

Post Number: 185
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Took me 8 hours to get from Birmingham to Chicago in December. Including having to get off of the train in Michigan City to get onto buses for the remainder of the trip. I thought I was p'd off but......

Then it took 8.5 to get back.

I am never riding Amtrak again.
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Otter
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Username: Otter

Post Number: 27
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 9:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Flyingj,

Any suggestions on where to find some of those bonus codes? I know it may sound like a noob question but I haven't been able to find any, though my ticket prices are fine without them. I prefer driving (faster, usually cheaper, my own schedule, I can take my bike) but sometimes it's nice to take the train.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3937
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 9:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Go onto amtrak.com, and click on Hot Deals. They usually have the Michigan trains heavily discounted.

Frommers.com also seasonally updates the list of Amtrak discount codes.
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Pkbroch
Member
Username: Pkbroch

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 12:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On friday, January 18,2008, my family took the amtrak from Dearborn to Chicago. The train which starts at Pontiac was 45 minutes late. The train went direct from Dearborn station to union station in downtown Chicago. There are not bus connections on this route, it goes direct. Trains leave in the early morning, noonish and late afternoon. It took about 6.5 hours.

Cheap compared to flying, ability to move around in train cars, don't have to take your shoes off, and you have leg room. Also many hotels in Chicago charge for parking and cabs are reasonable and public transportation is good. As for parking in the main park of Chicago, think New York.
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Flyingj
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Username: Flyingj

Post Number: 96
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 2:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Otter, I should add whilst Danindc is correct those can go faster than $1 Megabus.com fares(the $25 Los Angeles-Orlando fare on the Sunset Ltd comes to mind), Here it is, just think of these things as a box of used batteries-some work, some don't, you can figure out which on Amtrak's website. And while it's all good some say it's best to buy your tickets from the self-service kiosk, as I personally have no proof you're not an Iceland Air stewardess the Station Agent at the ticket window might be more demanding ;-) Oh, there's another thread in that last link on sleeper cars, the prices are prohibitive at the reservation level but you might luck into some leeway @ horse trading once onboard at a steep discount;

http://flyertalk.com/forum/sho wthread.php?t=768474&page=9
http://forums.slickdeals.net/s howthread.php?p=9546046#post95 46046
http://www.frommers.com/articl es/3770.html
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/ viewfromthewing?cat=14
http://www.fatwallet.com/forum s/travel-deals/531178/?start=1 60
http://discuss.amtraktrains.co m/index.php?s=5cbff989714911de 5faef1f8c0309ab1&showtopic=624 2&st=60&start=60
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Busterwmu
Member
Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 429
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you look right now, there are currently great deals on Michigan Line trains 350 and 355. Also deals on the Blue Water (Chicago-Kzoo-Lansing-Flint-Po rt Huron) and Pere Marquette (Chicago-Holland-Grand Rapids).

It's unfortunate that it takes about an hour to get from Birmingham to Dearborn on the train but really only a half hour by car. Many people from the northern and western 'burbs just drive to Dearborn and Ann Arbor to get on the train rather than experience the scenic and lengthy trip through the D via Milwaukee Jct, Vinewood and West Detroit.

As for the high speed territory west of Kalamazoo, since the 95mph territory was initiated, the timetables have not been updated to reflect this, and it pretty much realistically serves as "padding" right now. If a train gets off the NS mainline at Porter On-Time and doesn't lose any time west of Kalamazoo, it will usually arrive into Kalamazoo 12-15 minutes ahead of schedule. As Kalamazoo is a busy station stop, it allowed them to do all their station work during this time and depart exactly at the time indicated on the schedule. If the train is late, it just makes up any time lost (again, up to 12-15 minutes), and continues on its way. Maybe when the boosts up to 105mph and eventually 110 take place, the times will be shortened on the timetable, but not yet.

Don't forget that the C&O also had their fleet of Pere Marquettes which ran between Detroit and Grand Rapids and GR and Chicago. No sleepers, but they were pretty nice for coach trains.

DouglasM, thanks for those details on the GTW passenger runs. Interesting stuff...
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Drankin21
Member
Username: Drankin21

Post Number: 188
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 4:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pk,

We had to get on buses due to a "train malfunction". Whatever the heck that is...
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Douglasm
Member
Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1033
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 5:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I should thank a couple of friends of mine for the schedule information. I didn't have it at hand....what I'd give for a 1966 Official Guide....and they were kind enough to e-mail it to me.....
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Busterwmu
Member
Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 430
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All Aboard!

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