News & Reviews News Wire Equipment issues, derailment lead to Wolverine cancellations (updated)

Equipment issues, derailment lead to Wolverine cancellations (updated)

By Trains Staff | February 1, 2023

| Last updated on February 6, 2024

Departures of several other trains also delayed because of equipment problems

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Passenger train on straight track
Amtrak’s Wolverine passes under a former Michigan Central coaling tower in Michigan City, Ind. One Wolverine round trip has been cancelled Wednesday and Thursday because of equipment issues. David Lassen

CHICAGO — Citing “ongoing equipment issues,” Amtrak has cancelled one round trip of Wolverine service between Chicago and Detroit on Thursday, following similar cancellations today (Wednesday, Feb. 1), as well as other disruptions because of a Canadian National derailment Tuesday night in Detroit.

Equipment problems are also being cited for a series of delays on other Chicago-based trains.

Canceled on Thursday are train No. 350, a 6:45 a.m. departure from Chicago, and train No. 355, a 5:28 p.m. departure from Pontiac, Mich. Alternate transportation will be provided, according to the Amtrak Alerts Twitter feed. It is the second straight day both trains have been cancelled because of unspecified equipment issues

This follows the cancellations today (Wednesday, Feb. 1) of train No. 352 because of Tuesday’s CN derailment, which also led to the termination of train No. 351 in Detroit rather than Pontiac. The Detroit Free Press reports eight cars of a CN train derailed in southwest Detroit about 11:45 p.m., with one car left “leaning over the rail bridge.” The cars involved were empty; no injuries were reported. CN said the derailment had been cleared by this morning.

Also cancelled today because of mechanical issues was Milwaukee-Chicago Hiawatha train No. 340, the 5:45 p.m. departure. Amtrak said alternate transportation would be provided for passengers making connections in Chicago, while local passengers would be accommodated on train No. 342, the 7:35 p.m. Hiawatha.

Equipment issues were also cited for late departures today from Chicago for the westbound California Zephyr, which departed 1 hour, 21 minutes late;  the Empire Builder, which left 54 minutes late and was 1 hour, 29 minutes late by the time it reached Milwaukee; and Illini No. 393, which departed 2:35 minutes late.

The problems are continuing on Thursday morning, Feb. 2, with the Amtrak Alerts Twitter feed already listing late departures for Hiawatha No. 329, the 6:10 a.m. departure for Milwaukee, which left 1 hour, 5 minutes late, and Lincoln Service train No. 301, the scheduled 7:15 a.m. departure for St. Louis. Both are blamed on mechanical issues.

— Updated on Feb. 2 at 7:30 a.m. with additional delayed departures.


12 thoughts on “Equipment issues, derailment lead to Wolverine cancellations (updated)

  1. Winter weather in Chicago and equipment issues again. This is an ongoing problem with Amtrak. Read past issues of Trains and you will read about problems in the Chicago yard going back many years with bad winter weather. They either need more standby engines and cars or more people to do the work to turn around the existing trains. Otherwise we will be reading about this issue next year or any other year with very low temperatures and snow.

  2. @John Rice – no, I wouldn’t expect to hear anything but BS from Amtrak. It would be nice, however, to see some enterprising journalist actually do their job and go find out what is happening and then report it, instead of acting as a stenography service for whatever government agency they happen to be reporting on. It shouldn’t be all that difficult to develop reliable sources among Amtrak shop forces and others who know the truth.

    1. That would require hiring and paying a reporter. Free lancers don’t make a lot in the magazine space. There are very few publications left who host their own reporters. Hundreds of them have columns, but there are very few gumshoes willing to hit the streets for the real story. Journalism majors get better pay working for a local TV affiliate running sting operations on restaurant inspections, abuse at baby day care centers, or being on the scene at yet another warehouse fire so they can interview the fire chief.

      As for the dailies like NYT, WaPo, NYP and their ilk, those journalism students prefer to have the news come in on their email inbox or from a phone call from a political apparatus. Who me? You want me to actually go out and interview…… like people? Just tell them they can WhatsApp me what they want to say.

    2. Journalists? Really? What’s a journalist? What is a newspaper? The following newspapers are read in Queensborough and Nassau: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Long Island Newsday, and USA Today — and not one of them dug up even one among George Santos’ fourteen million lies before the election. We might as well live in North Korea.

      A few months ago, I posted a note on these pages about the Siemens Venture cars sitting under the Chicago Post Office unused, and the Siemens locos breaking down in service. In reply, someone suggested I contact a newspaper tip line. Which I did. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Nothing was published.

  3. It would be interesting to know what effect these various Amtrak cancellations, due to “equipment issues” (and other “issues”) are having on the Michigan corridor(s) and others? I would imagine it must have a detrimental impact on ridership …..

  4. Odd that equipment issues are affecting all these trains out of Chicago. It would be nice if the nature of the equipment issues was specified. Is it vandalism, armed thugs threatening Amtrak cleaning crews, severe weather, failures caused by reduced maintenance, more Charger problems, or what? As a potential rider, I would like to have that information so I can evaluate the situation and make the choice of available transportation modes that I believe will get me to my destination safely and reasonably on time.

    1. Mr Rice, the standard airline statement on equipment delays are “It will be corrected to the pilots satisfaction”.
      This tells the passengers that a knowledgeable professional will not only be making the decision, but the individuals making the decision will be on board the aircraft.
      Railroads are not quite in the same category. As if something goes wrong on a railroad train it is not necessarily going to fall out of the sky.

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