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  1. #1

    Default Amtrak Requests Federal Support to Restore Detroit-Toronto Rail Service

    A friend I know whose into railway stuff always reads the Annual Amtrak appropriation request.

    When he saw the line Restoration of Detroit-Toronto service, he thought I might take an interest (he was right); and i thought this group might as well.

    The request, oddly, has no specific funding attached yet.

    Report is here, with line item on Page 7:

    https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/p...nt-Request.pdf

    The table is attached below:

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    There are lots of obstacles to this being implemented, ranging from cost to customs.

    I wonder where this came from, hadn't heard about this coming forward at all.
    Last edited by Canadian Visitor; March-26-19 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2

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    So would the train tunnel be fitted for the amtrak train? This would be a win win for international travel from Detroit to Canada and en route to Europe. I could see opposition in the way but hopefully that would be mowed over by those who are funding this project

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    So would the train tunnel be fitted for the amtrak train? This would be a win win for international travel from Detroit to Canada and en route to Europe. I could see opposition in the way but hopefully that would be mowed over by those who are funding this project
    The tunnel is still in use today; there's no reason it couldn't accommodate an Amtrak train.

    The issue is more in first getting the tunnel owner to agree (Borealis and CP Rail)

    Then there's the fact VIA's Windsor station is not located on that track alignment, so if a Windsor station were desired, it would have to be built (I'm not sure one is needed)....

    Then they would need permissions from assorted track owners in Ontario.

    Am I'm not sure how they would see funding for the trip while on the Canadian side; or if, as with the Maple Leaf service (NYC to Toronto) they would envision VIA's staff taking over on the Canadian side.

    So a few things to deal with, but is certainly a physically do-able route.

  4. #4

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    Where do you think the station would be? The tunnel comes out by MCS but there isn't passenger service on that line.

  5. #5

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    It would generate revenue for Detroit as well as Michigan if a Detroit to Toronto line is installed. That would be just as big as having a second bridge. Detroit need to be treated more as an pseudo international city instead of just a motor city being that Canada is right there on 3 miles across the pond.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWylie View Post
    Where do you think the station would be? The tunnel comes out by MCS but there isn't passenger service on that line.
    How about at MCS?

  7. #7

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    Incredible waste of money. Passenger trains lose a lot of money. If there's a perceived need simply have the tunnel bus make a non-stop run to the Windsor Via station from the Rosa Parks terminal, advertise it heavily and see what the demand really is.
    By the way anyone who wants to take that train now can simply drive to the Via terminal and park or take the tunnel bus across and take a $10 cab.
    Last edited by 401don; March-26-19 at 05:27 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    By the way anyone who wants to take that train now can simply drive to the Via terminal and park or take the tunnel bus across and take a $10 cab.
    Route 2 of Windsor's bus transit system connects both the Tunnel Bus and the VIA station.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWylie View Post
    Where do you think the station would be? The tunnel comes out by MCS but there isn't passenger service on that line.
    Ford has said it's not developing all over the platform lands in the case that the region ever funds commuter service and/or cross-border inter-city service. It would take nothing to reuse the station as the current Amtrak service travels the same line just up to west of the station (West Detroit junction). It's a far more direct route, in fact, than the New Center movements. The only reason that station exists is that Oakland County didn't want to totally lose rail service; that could easily be picked up/replaced by commuter service to the New Center station, whereas MCS could be used for inter-city service.

  10. #10

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    Righto! That makes too much sense! Hah.
    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    Incredible waste of money. Passenger trains lose a lot of money. If there's a perceived need simply have the tunnel bus make a non-stop run to the Windsor Via station from the Rosa Parks terminal, advertise it heavily and see what the demand really is....

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zacha341 View Post
    Righto! That makes too much sense! Hah.
    This would not show the true demand.. Convenience and experience and user preference induce further demand. It would be wrong to assume that the same people who would take the Windsor bus and then have to transfer again before getting to the Via Station for ANOTHER transfer would be the only ones who would make their way to MCS and jump on a train. At most it would be one transfer for a large population along the Michigan corridor. If commuter rail were implemented to continue rail operations from Pontiac to Detroit, then that again would be only one transfer from home to Toronto for those along the Woodward corridor.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Visitor View Post
    The tunnel is still in use today; there's no reason it couldn't accommodate an Amtrak train.
    <SNIP>
    So a few things to deal with, but is certainly a physically do-able route.
    This is true... the only issue with the train tunnel is that it doesn't have the clearance for double stacked cargo shipping containers. But it should be totally adequate for passenger service.

    Sadly in the day before the post 9/11 border security controls, it would have been cool to have a Chicago-Detroit-Toronto-Montreal service, since they are all lined up in a near straight line. But it wasn't an in demand route then.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexlin View Post
    Ford has said it's not developing all over the platform lands in the case that the region ever funds commuter service and/or cross-border inter-city service. It would take nothing to reuse the station as the current Amtrak service travels the same line just up to west of the station (West Detroit junction). It's a far more direct route, in fact, than the New Center movements. The only reason that station exists is that Oakland County didn't want to totally lose rail service; that could easily be picked up/replaced by commuter service to the New Center station, whereas MCS could be used for inter-city service.
    Lines to Toledo, Flint, Port Huron and Ann Arbor/Jackson all can connect to the MCS tracks as well. If we ever get commuter rail, plus the addition of Amtrak lines to Chicago and Toronto, MCS could be a busy station again.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Why would Amtrak pay for Canada's rail service? The Detroit-Toronto route is like 99% in Canada, and ridership would be mostly Canadian. Last I checked Canada has Via Rail.

    Also, good luck with this under Dotard. Pretty much all pending U.S. transit projects are at a standstill until the orange cancer is removed.

  15. #15

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    This should be implemented as soon as possible.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Why would Amtrak pay for Canada's rail service? The Detroit-Toronto route is like 99% in Canada, and ridership would be mostly Canadian. Last I checked Canada has Via Rail.

    Also, good luck with this under Dotard. Pretty much all pending U.S. transit projects are at a standstill until the orange cancer is removed.

    Who is the real dotard?

    This year, at least 10 rail transit lines are expected to open across North America..An additional 28 projects are currently or planned to be under construction in 2019. Of these 38 systems, 29 are in the U.S., seven in Canada, and two in Mexico.
    It is clear that cities are committed to investing in improving their public transportation options and making living without a car more feasible,” says Yonah Freemark, who studies transportation and politics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Voters in 34 states approved more than $40 billion for transportation in November’s election, according to a report issued by the Eno Center for Transportation. Of 34 measures primarily directed toward transit, all but five passed.

    Notice it reads Voters in 34 states approved.

    http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire...ansit-projects

    What exactly does that have to do with it being at a standstill at the federal level,if anything it is clear that now IS the time at the federal level to get it done.

    The feds cannot force states to implement transit options.

  17. #17

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    This is an exciting possibility that could mesh well with Ford's Michigan Central plans. And it would not just be good for Detroit-Toronto but for an efficient direct route to and from NYC.

    In the seventies I took a train back from NYC to Detroit. I rolled up the Hudson Valley to Albany, then followed the old Eire Canal route across upstate NY, crossed at Niagara, passed through southern Ontario without stopping, then recrossed via the tunnel and emerged directly into Michigan Central.

    I vaguely recall some sort of onboard customs check.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    This is an exciting possibility that could mesh well with Ford's Michigan Central plans. And it would not just be good for Detroit-Toronto but for an efficient direct route to and from NYC.

    In the seventies I took a train back from NYC to Detroit. I rolled up the Hudson Valley to Albany, then followed the old Eire Canal route across upstate NY, crossed at Niagara, passed through southern Ontario without stopping, then recrossed via the tunnel and emerged directly into Michigan Central.

    I vaguely recall some sort of onboard customs check.
    I'm afraid the track for that trip is long gone. That was the old Canada Southern Track.

    http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/passenger.htm

    Its been 75% or more removed, including the section in downtown Niagara Falls.

    Today, assuming you could get the same customs treatment, it would definitely be a longer trip.

    It might still be faster than the connection on the south side of Lake Erie, but I can't imagine by much.

  19. #19

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    Very interesting. I'd love to see something like this. I hate the drive to Toronto. But If I could take one to Niagara I'd be a happy man.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Also, good luck with this under Dotard. Pretty much all pending U.S. transit projects are at a standstill until the orange cancer is removed.
    I'm surprised to see it get added to the budget under his administration.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    So would the train tunnel be fitted for the amtrak train? This would be a win win for international travel from Detroit to Canada and en route to Europe. I could see opposition in the way but hopefully that would be mowed over by those who are funding this project
    as someone traveling to Toronto tomorrow for an INTL flight I would LOVE to be able to hop on a train from Detroit and skip the driving
    I could drive to Windsor and take the train but at that point I am just going to drive the whole way

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintersmommy View Post
    as someone traveling to Toronto tomorrow for an INTL flight I would LOVE to be able to hop on a train from Detroit and skip the driving
    I could drive to Windsor and take the train but at that point I am just going to drive the whole way
    That's also part of the problem. Lots of people from Toronto I know fly out of Detroit to Fla. etc. but it's a nuisance to get from downtown Detroit to the airport and back compared with just driving all the way yourself. When the Gordie Howe bridge opens hopping onto the 401 will be even more convenient. Add in the time in both Toronto and Detroit and the stops in London, etc. and it's hard to make a case for the train unless you live right downtown in either city.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintersmommy View Post
    as someone traveling to Toronto tomorrow for an INTL flight I would LOVE to be able to hop on a train from Detroit and skip the driving
    I could drive to Windsor and take the train but at that point I am just going to drive the whole way
    I would take the train if the schedule worked. At least you don't have to worry about traffic jams.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by 401don View Post
    When the Gordie Howe bridge opens hopping onto the 401 will be even more convenient.
    That's a understatement! They extended the 401 just for the Gordie Howe Bridge. You'll legit already be on the 401. Its so exciting!

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  25. #25

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    Given that Ontario has extended the 401 to the new bridge, I'd expect 401 signage in Michigan.

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