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Busy travel day by road, air & rail

Posted at 8:31 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 12:25:07-05

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year as people head to their Thanksgiving holiday destinations.

Not only will there be many travelers on the road and in the air, but also on the rails as well.

Amtrak at the Capital Area Multimodal Gateway in East Lansing was prepared for the surge of riders at the station Wednesday morning with extra trains.

Hundreds were lined up for the 8:40 train with a final destination to Chicago. Passengers waited in the cold for the train to arrive eager to get to their destination on this busy travel day.

"This is an extremely busy day. We've got about 225 people estimated to be getting on the train here in East Lansing alone. There's going to be around 450 people on the train when it makes its final leg to Chicago," said Tim Hoeffner, Director of MDOT Office of Rails.

Officials estimate around two-thirds of the passengers on the train have ties to Michigan State University.

Last year, Amtrak carried more than 22,000 customers in Michigan during this period. Similar customer counts are anticipated this year.

Sunday is also expected to be a busy travel day with students and faculty returning for Monday classes.

It was also a busy morning at the Capital Region International Airport. Airline watchers expect Wednesday will be the second busiest day of the holiday period behind only Sunday.

Lines were for the most part short and quick, making traveling through here pretty easy. That is, until flyers got to their connecting flights.

"Chicago is always a hectic airport. The hardest thing is getting connecting flights, the right timing of it. I never have problems in Lansing, but I have problems in Chicago," said Will Diamond, an MSU Student.

If you're getting ready to travel to your holiday destination on Wednesday, it's recommended you give yourself plenty of time to get through security and to your destination.

This is one of the busiest times of year and it's also one of the deadliest. Of the eleven people who died on Michigan roads last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, six were killed in alcohol or drug-related crashes.

Michigan State Police will be out on the highways to encourage safe and responsible driving and to write tickets to drivers who aren't following those suggestions.