Category Archives: News

Take Action Against Late Trains!

A message from Rail Passengers Association

“Poor service and bad dispatching practices from many host railroads are causing chronic and excessive delays for millions of riders who rely on the Amtrak system. In 2021 alone, freight trains caused 900,000 minutes of delay to Amtrak passengers—equivalent to traveling to the moon and back 100 times!

Interference by freight trains is the most common source of delay for Amtrak passengers and the largest cause of poor on-time performance of Amtrak trains. If we want the trains to run on time, we need to ensure these freight railroads follow existing legal requirements to give priority to passenger trains and run their systems on time.

We need you to ask your elected officials to hold host railroads accountable. Help us protect passengers’ right to on-time trains!”

Head over to RPA’s page to sign on to a letter informing our Senators and Representatives! 

MDOT 2022-2026 Transportation Program

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Five-Year Transportation Program (5YTP) is a state-required document that presents a high-level overview of planned investments in transportation programs and projects over a five-year period. Produced annually, each 5YTP overlaps across a four-year interval, while adding a fifth year of projects. This document provides information on investments for the five-year period spanning 2022-2026.

MDOT public open houses July 26 and 28 – New Detroit facility

MDOT public open houses July 26 and 28 to discuss the New Center Intermodal Facility (NCIF) in Detroit 

Detroit, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a virtual and in-person open house on the upcoming New Center Intermodal Facility (NCIF) in Detroit. NCIF is a proposed project that would combine an intercity bus station with the existing Amtrak train station at M-1 (Woodward Avenue) and Baltimore Street in the New Center neighborhood of Detroit. 

Interested residents
Community leaders
Local businesses
MDOT staff and consultants  

Virtual open house:
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Click here to join the Zoom virtual open house
Join by phone
Meeting ID: 849 6980 0747
Passcode: 174900

In-person open houses:
Thursday, July 28, 2022
8 – 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Fisher Building
3011 W Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202

Please note that I-94 will be closed, impacting access routes to the Fisher Building.

Accommodations can be made for persons who require mobility, visual, hearing, written, or other assistance for participation. Large print materials, auxiliary aids or the services of interpreters, signers, or readers are available upon request. Please contact Orlando Curry at 517-241-7462 or complete Form 2658 for American Sign Language (ASL) located on the Title VI webpage: Requests should be made at least five days prior to the meeting date. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodation or an effective alternative, but accommodations may not be guaranteed. 

Project information:
The current Amtrak train station and Howard Street intercity bus station have become expensive to maintain due to their age and are not up to standards for accessibility and safety. The NCIF will establish a regional transportation hub providing multimodal access and convenient connectivity with a focus on meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities. It will provide high-quality passenger amenities and public space improvements to enhance the customer and pedestrian experience in the project area.

Public input:
MDOT is currently seeking public input to discuss how the NCIF best serve the community. The virtual open house will be recorded and posted on the project website along with an online survey to provide feedback. Comments can be submitted via an online comment form, e-mail, phone, and in person at the public meeting. 

Monica Monsma
MDOT Environmental Services Section
425 West Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909

2022 Michigan Rail Conference: Aug 1-3

Celebrating its 10th year, the Michigan Rail Conference returns to the Upper Peninsula. Convening at Bay College in Escanaba, the conference opens with the traditional Student Scholarship Golf Outing and reception on August 1, continues with the main program on August 2, and winds up with field visits on August 3.

 Highlights include of the program include: 

  • Peter Anastor (MDOT Office of Rail) will join Rick Harnish (High Speed Rail Alliance) and Brian Buchanan from WATCO to give us a Michigan update. 
  • Discussing next steps for PTC will be Amtrak’s Chris Jagodzinski, along with John Rickoff (Lake State Railway) and Rachel Klumpp (Canadian National). 
  • Amtrak’s Director of Host Railroads, Lizabeth Brubeck, will join Thomas Fryer (AB Rail) and Dan Schulte (Quandel Consultants) to speak about improving on-time-performance. 
  • A familiar face, Tim Hoeffner (now with Quandel Consulting), along with Nikkie Johnson (MDOT Passenger & Freight Development Manager), and Pasi Lautala (Michigan Tech Rail Program) will discuss funding opportunities in the infrastructure bill. 
  • FRA Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell is the keynote speaker. 

The Conference is a “hybrid” affair this year — you can attend in person or virtually.  




Report a blocked RR crossing

Fresh Tweet in from MDOT Rail!

Do you know that you can report a blocked RR crossing in the @USDOTFRA -created portal? They use the information you share to work together with railroads and others to come up with short and long-term solutions. Report your blocked crossing here: