325 Depot Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1021 (734) 994-4906
Amtrak's "Wolverine" service, which runs between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, passes through Washtenaw County 3 times daily in each direction. Historically, trains stopped in Ypsilanti, and large groups (such as Scout troops) could make arrangements for stops in Chelsea, but currently Amtrak only provides service to Ann Arbor's Depot Street station. The station replaced the older Michigan Central Depot, which is now the home of the Gandy Dancer restaurant.
Service to and from Chicago is about four and a half to five hours of travel, though Amtrak is working to increase the intercity speed on this line from 79mph to 110mph, which would save one to two hours on the entire trip.. Despite a reputation for lateness, the train is particularly popular for trips to Chicago by tourists or to the west side of the state by students headed home for holidays, and trains are frequently full.
Amtrak provides service to the east coast, including New York (upstate and City), Boston, Philly, and DC from its Toledo station; local riders can catch a connecting bus shuttle from the Ann Arbor depot to Toledo for that service.
The Wolverine Line
Schedule effective March 15, 2012.
- Train 350: Chicago 7:30 am -> Ann Arbor 1:04 pm
- Train 352: Chicago 12:16 pm -> Ann Arbor 5:45 pm
- Train 354: Chicago 6:00 pm -> Ann Arbor 11:32 pm
- Train 351: Ann Arbor 7:48 am -> Chicago 11:24 am. Serves Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Chicago.
- Train 353: Ann Arbor 12:29 pm -> Chicago 4:16 pm. Serves Jackson, Albion, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Niles, New Buffalo, Hammond-Whiting, Indiana, and Chicago.
- Train 355: Ann Arbor 7:17 pm -> Chicago 11:03 pm. Serves Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Dowagiac, Niles, New Buffalo, Michigan City, Indiana, Hammond-Whiting, Indiana, and Chicago.
Full schedules are available on Amtrak's website.
See Amtrak delays.
According to data provided by MDOT and Amtrak, Michigan's rail ridership has grown steadily since 2001, after slumping in the late 1990s; each of the past few years have set new record highs for ridership. From 2005 to 2006, the Wolverine line's ridership grew 7.9%, while Amtrak's Pere Marquette (Chicago to Grand Rapids) and Blue Water (Chicago to Port Huron/East Lansing) saw ridership increases of 5.7% and 10.9%, respectively. In 2007, statewide totals grew a further 2.7%, to 1,383,090.
The Wolverine line is provided as part of Amtrak's core national service, while the State of Michigan provides financial support to the Pere Marquette and Blue Water lines. The 2006-07 subsidy was expected to be 12% lower than 2005-06's due to the ridership increase.
Commuting from Detroit to Ann Arbor by train
The Hamtramck Star has an account of a week's worth of commuting from Hamtramck to Ann Arbor via the Detroit Amtrak station.
Riding the train to Ann Arbor makes for a long day especially in the heat. Amtrak employees are helpful, friendly, and don't seem to hate their jobs. I didn't encounter any agitated passengers like you find in airports. Round-trip fares ranging from $20-$27 are too expensive it to be economically feasible for anything but emergencies. The train leaves Ann Arbor too late (6:47pm) to get home at a reasonable time. This commute wasn't ideal but I did bicycle an extra 8 miles each day and managed to read a novel on the train.
Connections to bus services
Amtrak station (AATA Stop) AATA Route 17 see schedule
Summit and Beakes (AATA Stop) AATA Route 1 see schedule
- Wolverine route schedule: http://www.mitrain.com/wolv.html
- MARP Statistics: http://www.marp.org/index.php?page=scorecard
- MDOT Rail Statistics: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/railstats/
- Wikipedia: Ann Arbor (Amtrak station)
In the news
- Amtrak station gets bus: AATA launches route on Monday that will go to Depot Street, Ann Arbor News, December 2008