Amtrak proposes service between Detroit and Toronto

Jan 7, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information on rail within Canada.


There could soon be an easier way to travel between Detroit and Toronto if Amtrak has its way.

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The U.S. rail company announced it would support a combination between Canadian Pacific Railway in Canada and Kansas City Southern Railway in the U.S.

Canadian Pacific acquired Kansas City Southern Railway in December 2021. The company has big plans for the future.

There is a proposal to add passenger service between the two cities through the Detroit River Tunnel and connect Amtrak to Canada’s VIA Rail. There’s no exact timeline for when this project would start or be completed.

“[Canadian Pacific Railway] has been an excellent host of Amtrak intercity passenger service year after year and has established itself as a leader in the railroad industry,” said Amtrak president Stephen Gardner in a statement on Jan. 6. “We welcome CP’s commitment to our efforts with states and others to expand Amtrak service and are pleased to have reached an agreement formalizing CP’s support of Amtrak expansion in the Midwest and the South.”

Amtrak has been forging ahead with big plans, in part due to a president who is a fan of the rail line.

Last year, Amtrak said it would invest billions in new green train cars. And part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed into law earmarked money for projects such as fixing problematic areas along the busy Northeast Corridor and expanding service outside of major metropolitan areas.

While an Amtrak route connecting the two major cities may be a ways off, there are still several ways to travel between Detroit and Toronto.

  • Driving: It’s about a four-hour drive from Detroit and Toronto using the Detroit Windsor Tunnel. The cost is $5 for commercial vehicles but is lowered to $4.25 if using the DWT Mobile App.
  • Flying: Delta Air Lines and Air Canada offer nonstop flights between Detroit and Toronto. Delta’s SkyMiles program uses dynamic pricing, but one-way flights start at 10,500 SkyMiles. Rates through Air Canada’s Aeroplan program start at 9,500 points.

There is also an intercity passenger rail offered inside Canada with service between Windsor, just over the border on the Detroit River, to Toronto’s Union Station. Via Rail Canada offers multiple departures in the morning and afternoon for about $40 each way. It’s a four-hour ride to Toronto.

Featured photo by Brady Baker/Getty Images.

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