Amtrak putting Pere Marquette train on new schedule

Amtrak released a new schedule Monday for the Pere Marquette train operating between Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Amtrak said the new schedule aims to better serve the Chicago area and increase employment opportunities in Grand Rapids.

This new schedule will be effective beginning May 4. It will allow longer time for those traveling to Chicago in order to attend sporting events, art and other cultural events.This schedule also allows for workers to travel by train to Chicago. The current schedule has a six-hour delay between arrivals and departures. With the new schedule, the train is set to arrive at approximately 9:00 a.m in Chicago and departs at 6:30 p.m. It is scheduled to arrive in Grand Rapids around 11:40 p.m. with stops in St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Bangor and Holland, Michigan.

With the new schedule, eight to 10 positions will be added to the Grand Rapids station. The company employed 237 Michigan residents in 2014.

The new schedule also allows passengers to utilize connecting trains to reach other destinations within Michigan including Kalamazoo, East Lansing, Flint, Bay City and St. Ignace.

Last year, the Vernon J. Ehlers Station opened in Grand Rapids that allowed a crew base to be established.

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