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E-M:/ Gas Prices.....Fwd: [midwesthsr] Amtrak to reduce travel times in Michigan

Enviro-Mich message from "Dave DeRight" <dderight@hotmail.com>

Passing along some good news, below, that will help give Michigan citizens 
more control in their regional travel choices which is key to having some 
control over gas prices.  For a paltry five dollar investment in a 
membership to this organization based in Chicago you'll help quicken this 
effort to implement faster and more frequent train service along the I-94 
corridor between Chicago and Detroit.  Send an email to Rick to learn more.

Dave DeRight
Kalamazoo, MI
Member, Transportation Action Strategy for Kalamazoo County

From: midwesthsr@aol.com
Reply-To: midwesthsr-owner@yahoogroups.com
To: midwesthsr@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [midwesthsr] Amtrak to reduce travel times in Michigan
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 15:25:46 EDT

For Immediate Release

Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition
Rick Harnish, Executive Director

Cell: 312-339-0116
Email: Midwesthsr@aol.com

Amtrak to reduce travel times in Michigan

On April 29, Amtrak will reduce travel times between Chicago and Detroit by
15 minutes.

The travel time reductions are made possible, in part, by assigning 
newest and fastest locomotives to the route, demonstrating Amtrak’s 
commitment to the Chicago to Detroit corridor.

Also, the evening train towards Chicago will be shifted to a more passenger
friendly time slot.  Service at Dowagiac to and from Chicago will double and
Dowagiac will gain direct service to Lansing.

"We applaud Amtrak for taking these steps," said Rick Harnish, Executive
Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition.  "Schedule length is a 
factor when deciding to drive or take the train."

Currently, the average travel time between Chicago and Dearborn (the first
Detroit area stop) is 5 hours 23 minutes.  As of April 29th, the average 
will be reduced to 5 hours 11 minutes. The average Chicago to Detroit times
will go from 5 hours 55 minutes to 5 hours and 40 minutes.

"We are very glad to see this improvement, but it is only the first step,"
said Harnish. "We would like to see the running time drop below 5 hours
between Chicago and Dearborn in the fall.  Removing another 15 minutes from
the schedule is a very reasonable goal, and can be accomplished without any
further investment."

– more –

"We would also like to see the addition of an early morning arrival and a
late evening departure in Chicago," Harnish added.  "These additional 
coupled with the faster schedules, will make the service an attractive 
for both business and leisure travelers."

Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation have developed a plan
for dramatically improved service on the route.  The plan calls for nine
trains in each direction per day, covering the route in 3 hours 30 minutes.
The Chicago to Detroit corridor is also a major component of a plan to
develop a network of fast, frequent trains serving nine states in the 

"Congestion related delays on both highways and in the air have demonstrated
a need for increased travel capacity.  Fast, frequent rail service is a very
affordable way to add needed capacity quickly," said Harnish.  "Advanced 
service will also provide superior access to both Detroit’s Metro airport 
Chicago’s O’Hare airport."

A related milestone was reached on April 18th.   On that day, the 
Train Control System, being developed by Amtrak and the Michigan DOT, was
made operative between Michigan City, IN and Kalamazoo, MI.  This paves the
way for increased operating speeds and further travel time reductions in the
Spring of 2002.
The Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition is a membership based, non-profit 
advocating the development of a network of fast, frequent, comfortable 
connecting Midwestern cities and airports.

Rick Harnish
Executive Director
Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition
PO Box 805878
Chicago, IL 60680

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