A post with three groups of train signals, red and green, is prominent in the foreground. There are more signals above the track in the background.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Train travel has gone off a cliff in Michigan and the rest of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the shutdown does have an upside for Amtrak’s Michigan lines.


Economic developers see an opportunity to take advantage of future high speed rail service in Southwest Michigan. 

Rebecca Thiele / WMUK

Each month, “Why’s That?” takes a question you ask about Southwest Michigan and tries to find an answer. You can submit your idea for the show and, through Sunday, vote on our topic for November.

Listener Laurel Eppstein asked our question for October. Eppstein lives in Comstock Township, and she hears trains pass by often.

"Amtrak trains that travel through Battle Creek will hit speeds of 110 mph within three years, Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Rail Director Tim Hoeffner said." (Battle Creek Enquirer)

"Lansing — Amtrak and the state expect to have a speed control safety system along 283 miles of tracks in a year and a half as part of their effort to get faster passenger trips averaging a little more than four hours between Detroit and Chicago." (Detroit News)