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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Given that Ontario has extended the 401 to the new bridge, I'd expect 401 signage in Michigan.
    Does anybody know if in Port Huron (the end terminus of both I-69 and I-94)... if it mentions the 402 Freeway before heading over the Bluewater Bridge?

  2. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Given that Ontario has extended the 401 to the new bridge, I'd expect 401 signage in Michigan.
    It would be pretty difficult to not figure out that the new bridge will be the logical route. It will be faster for both commercial and passenger vehicles. The downside of course is that Detroit/Windsor will lose some stopover visitors from outside the Metro area. I used to spend a fare bit of time on the Windsor riverfront and a lot of vacationers had stopped overnight or just to see the city for a couple of hours. Those people will be long gone over the Gordie.

  3. #28

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    While I am all for Detroit-Toronto train service, I strongly believe a VIA rail extension/Windsor reroute is a better option for this than restarting a new Amtrak route.

    Yes I know the existing VIA rail terminus/ Windsor station is not on the tracks leading to the tunnel. VIA would have to be rerouted to make this work. But to put it bluntly, I believe it to be a much better use of US tax dollars to simply pay Ontario to relocate the Windsor station, reroute the last few miles of their route to the tunnel, and have VIA rail trains extend their service to the Detroit Amtrak station. Then anyone using Chicago-Detroit Amtrak simply gets off in Detroit, and transfers in Detroit onto VIA, and away they go to Toronto.
    Last edited by Atticus; March-27-19 at 07:44 PM.

  4. #29

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    Does anyone know when Amtrak DID have a Detroit/Toronto trip? When I went on my Senior trip to Toronto in 1974 we had to bus to Sarnia and get on a Via Rail train to Toronto because there was no direct service. Customs officers got on the bus to review the students. We were told to just say we were from the US and shut up, but our exchange students from Brazil were smart asses and had to shout out that they were from Sao Paolo so we all got hauled off the bus and nearly missed our train.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcole View Post
    Does anyone know when Amtrak DID have a Detroit/Toronto trip? When I went on my Senior trip to Toronto in 1974 we had to bus to Sarnia and get on a Via Rail train to Toronto because there was no direct service. Customs officers got on the bus to review the students. We were told to just say we were from the US and shut up, but our exchange students from Brazil were smart asses and had to shout out that they were from Sao Paolo so we all got hauled off the bus and nearly missed our train.
    I gather there was a Chicago-Toronto Express via Detroit until 1964 (not old enough to know, but google-fu suggests this)

    Detroit to Niagara Falls (and on to NYC), (Amtrak Niagara Rainbow) lasted through 1979.

    'The International' (Chicago to Toronto via Pt.Huron/Sarnia had an interruption from '71-'82 and then lasted until 2004.

    I'm sure at one point there were several other Detroit-Toronto connections, but this will be pre-Amtrak and pre-VIA and is a bit hard to track down.

    I don't see any evidence of Amtrak/Via ever having offered this connection.

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    Does anybody know if in Port Huron (the end terminus of both I-69 and I-94)... if it mentions the 402 Freeway before heading over the Bluewater Bridge?
    No, there is no freeway signage indicating what one will encounter once they have crossed the great St Clair River chasm. Nothing about the routes, city, or province on the other side . . .simply labeled "Canada". Perhaps mistaken, but I don't believe the name of the bridge (Blue Water) is even referenced in 94/69 signage.
    Last edited by Onthe405; March-28-19 at 11:35 AM.

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onthe405 View Post
    No, there is no freeway signage indicating what one will encounter once they have crossed the great St Clair River chasm. Nothing about the routes, city, or province on the other side . . .simply labeled "Canada". Perhaps mistaken, but I don't believe the name of the bridge (Blue Water) is even referenced in 94/69 signage.
    There's a simplicity to such signage, I have to admit. Yet here's hoping that a 401 sign makes it state-side this time.

  8. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    There's a simplicity to such signage, I have to admit. Yet here's hoping that a 401 sign makes it state-side this time.
    Agreed. I always found it kind of ridiculous not to have signs telling you what important road you are headed toward just because the road is a Canadian road and not an American road. Even if MI sign-makers don't know how to make the Ontario highway signs, I'll bet Ontario would be happy to provide them.

  9. #34
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    What would be the reasoning for cash-strapped and constantly under Congressional-threat Amtrak paying for a Via Rail route? I'm still not clear.

    If there's a want/need to upgrade the Toronto-Detroit corridor, obviously that should be a Via Rail project. The current route is entirely in Canada. Even if you added Detroit it would be in U.S. territory for like a mile.

  10. #35

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    Amtrak has been talking about this since at least 1997. I think it's just automatically thrown in the wish list every year. Certainly nobody at the state level has been talking about it seriously, at least not in public. And some form of state support would inevitably be needed. Amtrak's Niagara Rainbow through Michigan and Ontario was killed in 1979 at least partly due to lack of support from the state of New York.

    Trains into Windsor could exit the VIA line just east of Jefferson Blvd. onto a CN beltline. They'd then proceed down past Ford's Essex Engine plant, then curve to the west and flow in to the CP Railway to the tunnel. All the switches and track are in place and used, though some upgrades would be needed on the beltline.

    Another option would be for VIA trains to veer at George Ave. onto the Essex Terminal, which would also need repairs, to the CP line.

  11. #36

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    As for the question of why Michigan would support an Ontario passenger train, the service would likely be set up as an extension of an existing train from Chicago.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsie View Post
    As for the question of why Michigan would support an Ontario passenger train, the service would likely be set up as an extension of an existing train from Chicago.
    Just a new story on this from CBC. Doesn't bring a lot new to the table, though there's a little bit of flesh added to the bone.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/winds...onto-1.5084297

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    What would be the reasoning for cash-strapped and constantly under Congressional-threat Amtrak paying for a Via Rail route? I'm still not clear.

    If there's a want/need to upgrade the Toronto-Detroit corridor, obviously that should be a Via Rail project. The current route is entirely in Canada. Even if you added Detroit it would be in U.S. territory for like a mile.
    The reason behind it is it is seamless to the traveler. They book the ticket with the agency serving your point of origin, no need to switch trains or buy tickets from two different agencies. The Amtrak trains that currently cross into Canada switch out crews. While in the US, Amtrak crews the train and while in Canada, VIA Rail crews take over using the Amtrak's assets. People who want to travel from Toronto to NYC, would book the trip with VIA Rail. While you are on the same physical train, it operates as VIA #97 to the border than switches to an Amtrak #464 and vice-versa.

  14. #39

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    https://www.bridgemi.com/detroit-jou...entral-station

    Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority has authorized $30,000 for a study exploring return of Amtrak to MC Depot. It will probably just join the other studies on the shelf, but you have to start somewhere.

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
    The reason behind it is it is seamless to the traveler. They book the ticket with the agency serving your point of origin, no need to switch trains or buy tickets from two different agencies. The Amtrak trains that currently cross into Canada switch out crews. While in the US, Amtrak crews the train and while in Canada, VIA Rail crews take over using the Amtrak's assets. People who want to travel from Toronto to NYC, would book the trip with VIA Rail. While you are on the same physical train, it operates as VIA #97 to the border than switches to an Amtrak #464 and vice-versa.
    It is interesting that folks do not seem to understand this concept.. think about the airlines.. when you fly on a Delta flight, it is also partnered with loads of other airlines.. you might be flying with people who bought all of their flight and on Aeromexico even though you are on a Delta jet.

  16. #41
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroit View Post
    The reason behind it is it is seamless to the traveler.
    What traveler? On what basis do you surmise that Amtrak travelers in Michigan are itching to travel further on Via Rail in Ontario?

    It's an odd argument, because Amtrak doesn't carry many passengers on the Detroit-Chicago route, and the biggest intermediary passenger load, by far, is Ann Arbor. Why would you assume Michigan students are itching to ride Via Rail, and why are they presently unable to do so, and even if it were the case, why would U.S. taxpayers pay for Via Rail's main route?

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    What traveler? On what basis do you surmise that Amtrak travelers in Michigan are itching to travel further on Via Rail in Ontario?

    It's an odd argument, because Amtrak doesn't carry many passengers on the Detroit-Chicago route, and the biggest intermediary passenger load, by far, is Ann Arbor. Why would you assume Michigan students are itching to ride Via Rail, and why are they presently unable to do so, and even if it were the case, why would U.S. taxpayers pay for Via Rail's main route?
    Students from the Toronto area heading to Detroit or Ann Arbor for school would be a fairly large group

  18. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWylie View Post
    Students from the Toronto area heading to Detroit or Ann Arbor for school would be a fairly large group
    And we know for a fact Canada's middle class has more disposable income than the American middle class making tourism from at least Ontarians ripe for harvest. Flying seems too much for a short distance (trust me, I've done DTW-YYZ and will never again do that) and driving is passe. So how about a seamless train ride into Detroit. Sure they could go to Windsor, and many probably already do, but then they need a car or rideshare or they try to take the tunnel bus, and voila another mess.

  19. #44

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    Just drive across the Ambassador bridge and take the ViaRail train from Windsor to Toronto. Nice little station, easy parking, no huge crowd. No TSA there to grope you before you board. Spend a few bucks more for the first class car and you won't regret it - they wine and dine you all the way there with great food and open bar. Best of all the trip takes about the same amount of time as driving and when you get there, you don't need a car to get around.
    Last edited by Pat001; April-12-19 at 04:35 PM.

  20. #45

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    In the report linked below, an Amtrak person stated the following:

    “Amtrak is exploring places it can modernize and expand its services and network,” the company said, in a statement to Daily Hive.


    “A Chicago/Western Michigan – Detroit – Toronto corridor is one of the services where we see promise. We look forward to working with the administration, Congress, our state partners, and other stakeholders to consider these proposals in more depth.”


    Amtrak said, like them, the Michigan Department of Transportation has shown interest in service between Michigan and Ontario “for quite some time.”


    https://dailyhive.com/toronto/amtrak...ice-april-2019

    I bolded that last bit as I think it suggests a portion of Amtrak's reasoning.

    The oft-made assumption is that this service would be aimed at those squarely in Detroit. While that undoubted plays a role, it may well have other aims.

    Attracting those from Southern Ontario/Toronto to Detroit/Michigan is an obvious target; in particular, University students for school, where Michigan already confers preferred tuition rates.

    Aside from the motivations of stakeholders which are to drive up the ability to attract students, tourists and businesses...

    Amtrak is both in the business of pleasing its stakeholders (like the State of Michigan, and attracting their funds) but also in improving the financial metrics of their routes.

    While that could mean making a profit, it more likely means reducing subsidy per passenger though higher margin pricing options, and higher seat occupancy rates.

    For Bham, this might mean flipping the proposition of Amtrak subsidizing VIA riders to Amtrak poaching VIA riders to bolster its performance numbers.

    Of course this is all speculation until the business case shows up, presumably in a submission to Congress this fall.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    What traveler? On what basis do you surmise that Amtrak travelers in Michigan are itching to travel further on Via Rail in Ontario?

    It's an odd argument, because Amtrak doesn't carry many passengers on the Detroit-Chicago route, and the biggest intermediary passenger load, by far, is Ann Arbor. Why would you assume Michigan students are itching to ride Via Rail, and why are they presently unable to do so, and even if it were the case, why would U.S. taxpayers pay for Via Rail's main route?
    Good planning doesn't only involve following the market... but sometimes it includes LEADING the market.

    Nobody may be 'itching', but if it makes sense, they may get the itch. An Ann Arbor 19 year-old might just find Toronto more intriguing than Chicago, for example. Or perhaps there's a ORD->YYZ demand that might better be served by downtown-to-downtown service.

    I'm impressed that Amtrak is thinking like this. How unbureaucratic.

    Sometimes lead, don't follow.

    Maybe Amtrak can make itself relevant yet.

  22. #47

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    I am right now contemplating taking trains from Toronto Pearson to Windsor, wishing the Via went all the way to Detroit. The trip would take about 4 hours, and round trip tickets about US$114 when we need them. They can be had for cheaper. Great deal.

    There are no direct flights to Detroit from where we are, and tickets when we need them cost $470 more each, with two stops on the return. Best case scenario. Thanks Delta.

    But the Via isn't very viable for us either. Besides stopping in Windsor, there'd be long waits for the train in Toronto, and on the way back at the airport.

    This is fixable with more trains and the rail extension we're discussing. Or attracting more airlines to DTW.

    Until then, we're stuck with high prices and bad options from Delta and their near-monopoly.
    Last edited by bust; April-14-19 at 02:13 AM.

  23. #48

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    They’re also talking about starting up Toledo-Detroit service again.

    https://www.13abc.com/content/news/T...nML2ufvpwJsv2k

  24. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by bust View Post
    I am right now contemplating taking trains from Toronto Pearson to Windsor, wishing the Via went all the way to Detroit. The trip would take about 4 hours, and round trip tickets about US$114 when we need them. They can be had for cheaper. Great deal.

    There are no direct flights to Detroit from where we are, and tickets when we need them cost $470 more each, with two stops on the return. Best case scenario. Thanks Delta.

    But the Via isn't very viable for us either. Besides stopping in Windsor, there'd be long waits for the train in Toronto, and on the way back at the airport.

    This is fixable with more trains and the rail extension we're discussing. Or attracting more airlines to DTW.

    Until then, we're stuck with high prices and bad options from Delta and their near-monopoly.
    Curious, where are you?

  25. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downriviera View Post
    They’re also talking about starting up Toledo-Detroit service again.

    https://www.13abc.com/content/news/T...nML2ufvpwJsv2k
    That service will be useless unless they decide to instead go with the available, more direct railroads from Toledo to both Detroit and Ann Arbor:

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