Amtrak's Chicago to Toronto train service is closer to becoming a reality

Aug 14 2019, 11:22 am

Amtrak is considering a proposal that would see its Wolverine service extend from Chicago to Toronto.

The proposal was presented and discussed during the Michigan Rail Conference this month, which comes just five months after the concept was initially proposed in an Amtrak grant request.

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A presentation slide shared by the Michigan Department of Transportation during the conference said Amtrak is proposing extending at least one Chicago-Detroit-area Wolverine train into Ontario, where it could continue as a VIA Rail corridor service from Winsor/Walkerville into Toronto.

According to the slide, Amtrak says the idea would require construction of a border processing facility, a “slot” through rail tunnel between Detroit, and upgrades to existing train stations along the way.

Marc Magliari, a spokesperson for Amtrak, told Daily Hive the everything still is in “a conceptual stage” and many details will be looked at during a feasibility review.

According to Magliarai, the train company’s current authorization is set to expire at the end of the 2020 fiscal year, which is on September 30, 2020.

With that, Amtrak said it will submit a comprehensive reauthorization proposal to US Congress this year that “will build on current successes and support” its mission and goals as defined by statute.

“Amtrak is exploring places it can modernize and expand its services and network,” said Magliari.

“A Chicago/Western Michigan – Detroit – Toronto corridor is one of the services where we see promise. We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, our state partners, and other stakeholders to consider these proposals in more depth.”