Amtrak proposal would connect Chicago to Toronto by closing gap between Windsor and DetroitSame bad idea, new year. And quite a few people are getting six figure salaries for rinse/repeat.
The train is a Chicago Metro-to-Detroit Metro operation. Quite a few riders have either Chicago or Detroit metro areas as destination and the exurbs as originating points, such as New buffalo, Kalamazoo or Battle Creek. I was a frequent user and rarely did I go Chicago-Detroit. I flew often on that route. But when I was in New Buffalo or Niles, the Wolverine was a good way to get to business in Chicago, Detroit, and Jackson.
By extending it to Toronto, you are adding all kinds of potential for delay such as border crossings and more class-I handoffs. You are also scooping up another corridor with unlike ridership and merging them.
here's what happens:
1. It's always late
2. Because Amtrak refuses to cut/add coaches in response to demand, you are either under-capacity for Chicago and Michigan or over-capacity for SW Ontario.
3. Both Amtrak and Via will look at this as a five hour operation, and equip it as such. In reality, this is a 5:40 Michigan train and a 4:30 Ontario train, plus at least an hour for customs, so now you have an 11 hour train just like the International once was. Then they put you on short-distance corridor coaches and give you an amcafe with $10 microwave cheesebugers.
But all of this is historical record from the days of the International. It sounded cool but it was a dog.
The new Acela: It's not Aveliable.