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Guest Captain Slow

Wolverine/Hiawatha Transfer

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Guest Captain Slow

Hello everyone,

 

I am getting ready to book a trip from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Milwaukee. The route I would prefer to take would be the 351 Wolverine, arriving in Chicago at 10:32am (local time). I would then board the 333 Hiawatha, departing Chicago 33 minutes later at 11:05am. This would be my first Amtrak trip with a transfer, so I'm not quite sure how much time is typically enough. I know the host railroads that the Wolverine uses have been given an F rating by Amtrak in their most recent report card, so I do worry about making the connecting train to Milwaukee. My next option would be to get in to Chicago at 10:32am and then take Hiawatha 335 to MKE (2hr, 33min layover). I know that rails can be unpredictable from one day to the next, and that late trains tend to make up time on the way, but would 33 minutes be enough?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Normally I'd say it wouldn't be enough time, but since the Hiawatha is an unreserved train, it doesn't really matter how much time is given for the transfer in Chicago to the Hiawatha train. If you miss the 333 Hiawatha, your ticket will work fine, without modification, on the 335 Hiawatha. I'd suggest booking the "tighter" connection and simply boarding the first Hiawatha that leaves after you arrive.

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Unreserved tickets make connections easy, so as was said, worst comes to worst you just board the next Hiawatha. And if you arrive early enough, just hop onto the earlier Hiawatha. So there really isn't anything to worry about, as the worst case scenario is just boarding a later train.

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Guest Captain Slow

Awesome, I didn't know that! Thanks, everyone!

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The only 'trick' to know is that the Wolverine trains arrive on the dead end tracks at the south side of the station, and that the train to Milwaukee leaves from the north side tracks. So you'll have to go through the station to get to the waiting area for the Hiawatha. If you walk at a normal pace but slowed down by slower passengers, I'd plan on 10 minutes to make the connection.

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Does anyone else thing this would be a good candidate for a through service? [i know about the limited number of through tracks at CUS.]

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Does anyone else thing this would be a good candidate for a through service? [i know about the limited number of through tracks at CUS.]

Any lateness on the part of the Wolverine would mess up the Hiawatha schedule. I don't see any need for it. Why inconvenience CHI-MIL riders?

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Does anyone else thing this would be a good candidate for a through service? [i know about the limited number of through tracks at CUS.]

Some time ago, maybe 30 years already, maybe more, the Hiawatha service trains DID run through to Carbondale, IL, if I recall. Maybe it was to Springfield. The memory is getting worse by the day. That was using the French Turboliners (not the New York Rohr Turboliners). I really liked riding them when I was living in Milwaukee and traveled regularly on business.

 

These days, with the amount of financial support that Wisconsin is providing for Hiawatha operation, I rather doubt they'd like to see 'their' trains used for state-run Illinois service.

 

Additionally, if one looks at the schedule for the Hiawathas, there isn't much time at all for layover in CHI. If, for example, a Wolverine (or any other through train) were more than an hour late, that would then 'cascade' into making the Hiawatha that it would become be late, and screw up Hiawatha service until the end of the day. No...I think Wisconsin would prefer to keep 'their' trains captive, and therefore keeping reliable schedules.

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Guest dogbert617

Remember to check out the regular departure and arrival delays for Amtrak trains, on this website. For example, these are departure delays for #351 out of Ann Arbor: https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/archive/html/history.php?train_num=351&station=Arb&date_start=01%2F01%2F2018&date_end=07%2F30%2F2018&df1=1&df2=1&df3=1&df4=1&df5=1&df6=1&df7=1&sort=schDp&sort_dir=DESC&co=gt&limit_mins=&dfon=1

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