The service is timed to appeal to Michigan residents who live along an Amtrak line with 110 mph diesel trains, unfortunately not running on commuter-convenient schedules. Thus legal secretary Maria Hirschfield is on Mr Insull's last interurban.
The Niles woman was among the passengers on the South Shore railroad's inaugural "Sunrise Express" train. The new weekday service travels between South Bend and Chicago in under two hours, with one train in the morning and another in the afternoon.Other South Bend passengers seemed similarly enthusiastic.
Hirschfield goes to Chicago three times a week for her secretarial job at a law firm in the West Loop. The express service means she'll be able to cut more than 40 minutes off her morning commute, and she'll save time again on the way back to South Bend.
"When I told my boss about the express, we were both thrilled," Hirschfield said from her seat on the train Monday morning. "So was my husband, because I'll get home a little earlier at night."
The Limited's other stops are Dune Park and East Chicago, where there's a sizable park-and-ride lot at the Indianapolis Boulevard station, and improved travel times. "The new train will lop more than 10 minutes off the usual East Chicago to Millenium station run and 20 minutes off the ride from Chesterton's Dune Park." A Northwest Times editorial says, "Thank you, South Shore, may we have another?" Once upon a time, there were two such rush-hour limiteds, but the idea of skipping Hammond, Gary, and Michigan City is new.
Get some warmer weather, and those long late spring evenings in Indiana, and a trip report on the Evening Hot Shot will be in order. A return to Chicago in time to catch the last scoots west is possible.