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Cleveland-Toledo-Detroit rail link

The Toledo Metro Area Council of Governments and the Ohio Rail Development Commission rolled out the Ohio and Lake Erie Rail Hub Plan to the public beginning autumn 2004.

The proposal includes a plan to improve passenger rail between Southeast Michigan and Northern Ohio including the Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland corridor.

Other areas to be service by the proposed rail hub include Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Cleveland, Erie, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

There were a series of hearings in late 2004 and early 2005.

For more information visit: OHIO & LAKE ERIE REGIONAL RAIL OHIO HUB STUDY WEBSITE or www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail. Call (419)241-9155.

Amtrak Timeliness Study Results

September, 2004

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) has conducted a timeliness study for AMTRAK trains serving the state of Michigan. The study period covers September 1 through September 30, 2004. Data for the study was obtained directly from AMTRAK’s website-based train status database.

Data was collected by four MARP members who were each assigned specific trains: Blue Water-Kaz Fujita; Pere Marquette-John Langdon; Wolverine eastbound-Jim Wallington; and Wolverine westbound-Mike Whims. MARP wishes to thank these members for their valuable efforts.

The study was prompted by continued complaints from passengers regarding AMTRAK’s timeliness performance. A preliminary study conducted by MARP in June-July, 2004 indicated serious timeliness delays, some of which were considered perhaps due to startup problems on the Blue Water and other non-recurring events. The September study is both a confirmatory study and a baseline against which future studies will be compared.

The results of the September study indicate that serious deficiencies exist in AMTRAK’s ability to deliver timely service on Michigan’s ten (10) daily trains. On average, an eastbound passenger could rely on reaching a train’s final Michigan destination city on-schedule only 36% of the time, and a westbound passenger could rely on an on-schedule arrival in Chicago only 9% of the time.

The September study results indicate that performance varies from train to train. The westbound trips are clearly less reliable than eastbound, and the somewhat subjective honor of the worst performance is shared by the Blue Water westbound and the Wolverine mid-day westbound #353 trains. In fact, anyone who rode the #353 Wolverine train never reached Chicago on time during September.

This report includes a summary sheet of performance data by train, followed by the actual data collected by each member. Although data format used by each member differs, a standard convention is utilized where (+) indicates lateness. Also, an early arrival is counted as on time in the summaries. A cancelled train (due to freight problems for instance) was not counted in the averaging.

      MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS				
                 September, 2004 AMTRAK Timeliness Study Results				

BLUE WATER West #365 			Dp PTH	Dp LNS	Dp BTL	Ar CHI
% of time train met schedule		90%	20%	7%	3%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	0.8	32.8	45.0	71.8

BLUE WATER East #364 			Dp CHI	Dp BTL	Dp LNS	Ar PTH
% of time train met schedule		87%	10%	0%	30%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	7.5	27.4	37.6	39.4

PERE MARQUETTE West #371 		Dp GRR	Dp HOM	Dp NBM	Ar CHI
% of time train met schedule		100%	7%	3%	10%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	0.0	6.3	18.6	25.5

PERE MARQUETTE East #370 		Dp CHI	Dp NBM	Dp HOM	Ar GRR
% of time train met schedule		90%	28%	24%	31%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	0.4	14.3	16.3	14.3

WOLVERINE early West #351 		Dp PNT	Dp DET	Dp BTL	Ar CHI
% of time train met schedule		69%	0%	0%	10%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	5.1	18.9	33.1	32

WOLVERINE mid-day West #353 		Dp PNT	Dp DET	Dp BTL	Ar CHI
% of time train met schedule		38%	0%	0%	0%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	14.7	26.6	46.0	42.5

WOLVERINE evening West #355 		Dp PNT	Dp DET	Dp BTL	Ar CHI
% of time train met schedule		79%	18%	3%	23%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	7.5	19.6	30.4	28.3

WOLVERINE early East #350 		Dp CHI	Dp BTL	Dp DET	Ar PNT
% of time train met schedule		80%	17%	30%	30%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	9.8	25.3	29.5	31.9

WOLVERINE mid-day East #352 		Dp CHI	Dp BTL	Dp DET	Ar PNT
% of time train met schedule		83%	23%	17%	20%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	3.8	25.3	30.6	29.1

WOLVERINE evening East #354 		Dp CHI	Dp BTL	Dp DET	Ar PNT
% of time train met schedule		90%	20%	33%	30%
Ave. departure from schedule (min.)	1.1	15.6	15.1	16.3

Data source: AMTRAK