CHICAGO – Amtrak is temporarily adjusting the schedule for the Pere Marquette service on the Chicago-Grand Rapids route to accommodate major track work planned by CSX Transportation, the owner of the train’s route in Michigan.
The temporary schedule will begin Aug. 14 and continue through at least Sept. 7.
The changes will compensate for anticipated delays due to the track work. Amtrak is contacting current reservation holders to inform them of the schedule adjustments and will announce when the normal schedule will be resumed.
The westbound Pere Marquette will be scheduled to operate one hour earlier from all stations. In addition, the temporary schedule (attached) adds 30 minutes to the trip times of Train 370 (eastbound) and Train 371 (westbound).
“While we recognize this temporary schedule change might cause some inconvenience for our passengers, they will eventually benefit from the track improvements with a smoother ride and improved reliability,” said Don Saunders, Amtrak Central Division General Superintendent. “We will work closely with CSX to ensure the project is completed as quickly as possible.”
In the month of July 2006, a total of 11,256 passengers used the service, up 4 percent from the previous July. Ridership for the fiscal year-to-date (October 2005 through July 2006) was 83,248, an increase of 7.4 percent from the same period a year ago.
The train often operates at full capacity, so passengers are reminded of the need to obtain reservations in advance from Amtrak.com, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, using a Quik-Traksm Ticket Express automated ticket machine (including the Grand Rapids, Holland, Saint Joseph and Chicago stations) or through a travel agent.
The Pere Marquette is financed primarily through funds made available by the Michigan Department of Transportation and with the support of Westrain, a grass-roots group representing the communities along the corridor. For more information about Westrain, visit http://www.gvmc.org/transportation/Westrain.shtml