January 11, 2022
Crain’s Detroit Business
Jan. 7, 2022
A proposed agreement between railway operators would create a new passenger train route between Detroit, Windsor, and Toronto.
Amtrak has agreed to expand its services as part of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited’s acquisition of railroad investment company Kansas City Southern, which offers freight and passenger traffic in the United States and Mexico, according to a Thursday news release.
Amtrak, the Washington, D.C.-based passenger train operator that stops in Michigan cities including Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Ann Arborm and Detroit, will expand its routes in the Midwest and South under its agreement to use more of Canadian Pacific’s rail lines. Canadian Pacific is mostly a freight railway.
Canadian Pacific and Amtrak plan to start up passenger service through a rail tunnel under the Detroit River, connecting Michigan stops directly with Windsor and Toronto, and then to other Canadian cities through Rail Canada.
Amtrak will also increase frequency between Chicago and Milwaukee, and Milwaukee and St. Paul, Minnesota.
The plan can only move forward once Canadian Pacific gets approval for its $27 billion Kansas City Southern deal from the federal Surface Transportation Board. It would create the first unified rail network stretching from Canada to Mexico.
There’s a lack of public transit between Detroit and Canada, despite the proximity. Transit Windsor does have a small bus route that goes through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, but service has been suspended “until further notice” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the city of Windsor’s website.
— Bloomberg contributed to this report.