Will Michigan Ever Get High Speed Train Service?
Train service in Michigan has been getting a lot more attention recently. The nightmarish Amtrak train from Pontiac to Chicago took 19 hours instead of its usual 5.5 hours. That was due to numerous issues from engine failure to loss of electricity, heat, toilets not flushing, a medical request to stop...and apparently a deer strike which caused much of the issues (full details in my story, here.)
That same issue has happened before. Passengers think they're in for a low-maintenance easy trip to sit back and relax... Then, the exact opposite happens. This got me to thinking will Michigan ever get reliable high speed train service?
According to information published in May 2021, yes ... sorta, kinda. Supposedly, Amtrak trips between Detroit and Chicago were supposed to increase from 79 miles per hour to 110mph. That stretch would be added to an existing 110mph stretch between Kalamazoo and Porter, IN.
More recently (August 2022), another infusion of investment money was released from the U.S. Department of Transportation to further upgrade rail service so speeds can be increased along most of the remaining route from Pontiac & Detroit to Chicago. That will take some time to roll-out/build, of course.
The idea of reliable high-speed rail is very attractive. You could catch a train instead of a plane to get to Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit... name-your-city. That alone would allow you to work, nap, have an adult beverage or play games with the kids for a long-weekend. The biggest benefit could be same day travel -- early train out, back home for dinner at an affordable price. There's an organization dedicated to growing high speed rail service -- The High Speed Rail Alliance. That group insists Michigan already has a significant amount of infrastructure to make this happen. Now, will anyone at the government level cut the red-tape to get it moving?
More from the Mitten, here!