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News

01/22/24

TEXRail Success, Celebrates Huge Milestone

Trinity Metro Reflects on TEXRail Success, Celebrates Huge Milestone Read the Metro Magazine article.

12/08/23

MARP Position on Service to Toronto

Proposed Chicago-Detroit-Windsor-Toronto Service The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) strongly supports new through passenger rail service between Chicago and Toronto VIA Detroit. Read more here:

10/25/23

State of Michigan Presents Tribute to MARP

A highlight of MARP’s 50th Annual Meeting held at Durand Union Station on October 14, 2023 was a formal Tribute presentation honoring MARP for 50 years of advocacy for passenger train service in our state. The Tribute, pictured below, was presented to John DeLora and John Guidinger, founding chair, and current chair, respectively, of MARP by Em Lefko, Chief of … Continue reading State of Michigan Presents Tribute to MARP

10/16/23

Blog Post: MARP’s 50th Annual Meeting: Brightline and Beyond

Corey Rowe, a Board member of Transit Riders United, wrote a wonderful blog post on the annual meeting. It can be found here: https://coreyrowe.me/2023/10/16/marp

09/20/23

August/September 2023 Edition of OnTrack

Click here for the August/September issue

08/14/23

CrossRail Chicago: High Speed Rail in America

08/09/23

Illinois took an important step for our whole country

Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois took an important step for our whole country. Read more about the news from the Highspeed Rail Alliance below.  

06/05/23

News: Plans to boost service – Kalamazoo to Pontiac

Click to read the Bridge Michigan story.

05/31/23

News: Michigan may spend big on trains

Read the latest Bridge Michigan story.

05/05/23

$100M Suggested in Early MI Budget

Click below to read the MLive Article

04/26/23

MARP Supports Invest Midwest Project

03/02/23

Milwaukee-Twin Cities Amtrak service may start

Expanded Amtrak service from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities could start sometime later this year, even as prospects for new routes to Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire remain uncertain, Wisconsin’s top rail official says. Read the story

03/01/23

Daily Long-Distance Service Study

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study Summary of Regional Working Group Meetings – Round 1 View Summary View Project Website  

02/24/23

Mechanic Street to close on Feb. 27

Mechanic Street to close on Feb. 27 for railroad bridge construction work in Jackson  LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will close Mechanic Street to resume improvements around a railroad bridge. This work is part of the Jackson Railroad Bridges Replacement Project to replace two century-old railroad bridges over Jackson and Mechanic streets. The project … Continue reading Mechanic Street to close on Feb. 27

01/18/23

East Lansing Station Hosts

The MARP Station Host program consists of a group of five dedicated volunteers who staff the East Lansing Station mornings for the departure of the westbound train. First time travelers always have questions, and the ticket and parking kiosk can be challenging for some. While we do have a new and clean station that serves … Continue reading East Lansing Station Hosts

12/28/22

Weigh in on north-south rail

Next Year’s Northern Michigan Rail Study Will Welcome Critics, Concerns By James Bruckbauer Transportation & Community Design Program Director Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities The idea of creating a passenger rail connection to northern Lower Michigan reached an exciting milestone this year when state and federal lawmakers announced funding support for the next phase of … Continue reading Weigh in on north-south rail

11/05/22

FRA Long-Distance Service Study

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is conducting an Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study to evaluate the restoration of daily long-distance intercity rail passenger service and the potential for new Amtrak long-distance routes. This study will ultimately create a long-term vision for long-distance passenger rail service and identify capital projects and funding needed to implement that … Continue reading FRA Long-Distance Service Study

10/31/22

Talking Michigan Transportation podcast

Tim Hoeffner, unplugged: What’s the future for passenger rail service in Michigan? On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation about passenger rail service in the state. Tim Hoeffner, a former director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail and now a consultant with Quandel and Associates, is the guest. Listen … Continue reading Talking Michigan Transportation podcast

08/31/22

Detroit’s New Center Intermodal Facility

Over the last few months, the project team has worked to more clearly define the elements of the New Center Intermodal Facility (NCIF). Early design decisions include: Bus station entrance/exit on Amsterdam Street instead of Woodward Avenue (buses turning out of the bus station onto Woodward Avenue and cars driving down Woodward Avenue would have … Continue reading Detroit’s New Center Intermodal Facility

08/19/22

Recorded Presentation: Chicago Access Program

  High Speed Rail Alliance “This presentation covers the Chicago Access Program, a group of high-impact projects that will increase capacity and improve reliability for trains entering and exiting Chicago. Amtrak is taking the lead on this program that will improve Chicago Union Station, create more routes into the city and open up a variety … Continue reading Recorded Presentation: Chicago Access Program

08/16/22

Lawmakers Accelerate Northern Michigan Rail

AUGUST 15, 2022 |AUTHOR: JAMES BRUCKBAUER ESSENTIAL STUDY FUNDED The effort to connect people and businesses in northern Michigan to the rest of the state and country with modern passenger train service reached a huge milestone recently with new funding through state and federal agencies. In July, Michigan state lawmakers, led by northern Michigan’s Senator … Continue reading Lawmakers Accelerate Northern Michigan Rail

08/08/22

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 … Continue reading Take Action Against Late Trains!

07/29/22

MDOT 2023-2027 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 … Continue reading MDOT 2023-2027 Transportation Program

07/18/22

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

07/16/22

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 … Continue reading 2022 Michigan Rail Conference: Aug 1-3

04/08/22

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: https://www.fra.dot.gov/blockedcrossings/  

04/01/22

Amtrak Service Alert! – Michigan City Station Closing

Michigan City, IN, Station Closing Effective April 4, the Michigan City, IN, station will be closed and no longer served by Amtrak. More frequent Amtrak service is available in New Buffalo, approximately 15 minutes east, along with free parking and trains on both our Wolverine and Blue Water routes, sponsored by the Michigan Department of … Continue reading Amtrak Service Alert! – Michigan City Station Closing

03/29/22

New Poll: Americans Want Passenger Rail!

New Poll: 78% of Americans Want Increased Investments in Passenger Rail in the U.S.! Read all about the news and see the full survey results on the Rail Passengers Association’s website.    

02/28/22

2022 MTU Summer Rail Engineering Program

With funding from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Michigan Tech, Penn State Altoona and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign have teamed up to offer up to 80 high school students across the U.S. an exciting opportunity to learn more about rail transportation and engineering in Summer, 2022. All applicants who are accepted for the program will … Continue reading 2022 MTU Summer Rail Engineering Program

02/02/22

New Midwest Venture Cars

The new venture cars are getting a lot of attention! Recently the High Speed Rail Alliance posted about the new trains along with a review of the fleet from The Points Guy, a website devoted to travel. Rail supporter, Seth Reynolds, also rode the new train and shared pictures from the inaugural run of the new Midwest … Continue reading New Midwest Venture Cars

01/06/22

CP commits to support Amtrak service expansions in two U.S. regions

From an Amtrak press release: WASHINGTON, D.C., and ​CALGARY, Alberta – Amtrak and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) today announced an agreement with Amtrak supporting the proposed combination of CP and Kansas City Southern (KCS) railways. “CP has been an excellent host of Amtrak intercity passenger service year after year and … Continue reading CP commits to support Amtrak service expansions in two U.S. regions

05/19/21

Amtrak increasing train speeds between Kalamazoo and Albion

Fast facts: – Effective May 25, the maximum speed of Amtrak Midwest trains will increase to 110 mph between east of Kalamazoo and west of Albion on 45 miles of MDOT-owned track.  – Key infrastructure improvements and accelerated speeds will improve the safety and on-time performance of Amtrak Wolverine and Blue Water trains. – An … Continue reading Amtrak increasing train speeds between Kalamazoo and Albion

02/04/21

Comments on Michigan Mobility 2045 State Long Range Transportation Plan

Comments on Michigan Mobility 2045 State Long Range Transportation Plan submitted by Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) John Guidinger, Chair February 4, 2021 The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) is pleased to have this opportunity to comment on the Michigan Mobility 2045 State Long Range Transportation Plan. Our comments follow the order of … Continue reading Comments on Michigan Mobility 2045 State Long Range Transportation Plan

06/25/20

Grand Rapids-Chicago Amtrak Pere Marquette trains return June 29-30, 2020

Beginning June 29 and 30, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation are restoring the daily Pere Marquette round-trip trains between Grand Rapids and Chicago in response to anticipated demand. This Amtrak MidwestSM service was temporarily suspended on March 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The train will originate in Chicago on June 29 and … Continue reading Grand Rapids-Chicago Amtrak Pere Marquette trains return June 29-30, 2020

09/17/18

My Amtrak Story: From Milwaukee to San Francisco

From Progressive Railroading: https://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/article.aspx?id=55555&source=pr_digital3/22/17& By Gina Doyle Fifty-one hours train time — plus 90 minutes from Milwaukee to Chicago. When my husband and I told friends and family about our plans for travel from Milwaukee to San Francisco, we got one of two responses: “Are you crazy? Why would you want to spend so much … Continue reading My Amtrak Story: From Milwaukee to San Francisco

01/06/17

Passenger rail service in northern Michigan being studied: Part two

by John Amrhein, Michigan State University Extension Part one of this Michigan State University Extension article introduced a feasibility study of passenger rail in northern Michigan being conducted by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and discussed current passenger rail service in Michigan. The potential value of such a service becomes clear as we review … Continue reading Passenger rail service in northern Michigan being studied: Part two

10/24/16

Twelve Twenty-Five: The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive

Please join us for an early evening hosted by MSU Archives and MSU Press featuring an enlightening retelling of the history of a World War II-era steam locomotive and the determination of two generations of volunteers to keep it running! Kevin P. Keefe will be speaking October 26, in Conrad Hall, Room 102, from 5:00-7:00 … Continue reading Twelve Twenty-Five: The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive

10/18/16

Dowagiac man leading efforts to fund repairs to local train station

From Dowagiac Daily News: For the past five winters, the bright white lights hanging from the roof of Dowagiac’s historic train depot have shined like a warm beacon during cold evenings downtown. That brilliant visage may soon burn out, though, without some generosity from the local community. Dowagiac’s Ron Leatz has recently began a new … Continue reading Dowagiac man leading efforts to fund repairs to local train station

08/22/16

Metro Detroit leaders reach regional transit deal

From The Detroit News: An eleventh-hour deal was struck Aug. 2 by the top elected leaders in Metro Detroit to save a $4.6 billion transportation millage proposal to help fund regional rapid transit. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Tuesday that a “deal to make the deal” had been reached. “It’s a huge breakthrough … Continue reading Metro Detroit leaders reach regional transit deal

08/16/16

Bells & Whistles: Trains Return To Traverse City

It’s not your imagination: You’ve been hearing and seeing more trains in and around Traverse City. And if Chris Bagwell and James Bruckbauer have anything to say about it, the local tracks will be getting even busier. For years since the Grand Traverse Dinner Train ceased operation in 2006, area tracks were rarely used; the … Continue reading Bells & Whistles: Trains Return To Traverse City

07/06/16

Port Huron train station no longer staffed

From The Port Huron Times-Herald: Port Huron’s Amtrak station is no longer staffed starting July 1. The station waiting area at 2223 16th St. will remain open to passengers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. Amtrak personnel on the train will assist passengers boarding and departing at the station. The train leaves Port Huron at 6:20 … Continue reading Port Huron train station no longer staffed

07/01/16

Great Dome Car Scheduled to be on the Amtrak Pere Marquette for Four July Weekends

Spectacular 360-degree views, made possible by windows on all four sides and curving up into the roof, are a feature of the Amtrak Great Dome car, which will be assigned to the Amtrak Pere Marquette train on four weekends this July. Officially known as car 10031 “Ocean View,” it is the only Dome Lounge car in the … Continue reading Great Dome Car Scheduled to be on the Amtrak Pere Marquette for Four July Weekends

06/20/16

Clara’s restaurant in downtown Lansing to close

An iconic restaurant in downtown Lansing will be closing its doors for good. Clara’s Lansing Station employee tells News 10 in Lansing the restaurant will officially close on June 26th. The restaurant is a restored former train station. The restaurant has served the downtown Lansing area for decades. According to the restaurants website, “active restaurateurs … Continue reading Clara’s restaurant in downtown Lansing to close

05/17/16

Michigan Auditor General praises commuter car deal

MDOT’s handling of the controversial commuter rail cars was correct, and will potentially save up to $1,680,000 a year. BY LARRY KRIEG Remember the dust-up about how Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) was “wasting public funds” by leasing and refurbishing rail cars? These were the cars purchased by Great Lakes Central Railroad (GLC) from Chicago’s … Continue reading Michigan Auditor General praises commuter car deal

04/06/16

South Shore Line to Allow Bikes on Board Starting April 2nd

From Curbed Chicago: The South Shore Line’s long prohibition against bicycles will come to an official end in less than two weeks. Starting April 2, up to 40 bikes per train will be allowed on weekend days through the end of October as part of a one year pilot program. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation … Continue reading South Shore Line to Allow Bikes on Board Starting April 2nd

04/06/16

Transportation officials discuss light rail systems for Ann Arbor

From Crain’s Detroit Business: Plans for a light rail system linking parts of Ann Arbor are being discussed by city and local transportation officials. Details were released Wednesday at the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor News reported that The Ann Arbor Connector could cost $500 million to $700 million and would run through downtown Ann … Continue reading Transportation officials discuss light rail systems for Ann Arbor

04/06/16

Quicken names M-1 Rail as QLine

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The name of the new M-1 Rail streetcar line in Detroit will be QLine, Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans Inc. announced Thursday. The name was one of several trademarked by Quicken, as first reported by Crain’s last year. Quicken is paying $5 million over 10 years for the naming rights to the … Continue reading Quicken names M-1 Rail as QLine

02/16/16

Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fares for the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine trains

Don’t sit in your house and wait for warm weather. See the fun activities Michigan has to offer this winter by planning a Pure Michigan Snow Day and taking advantage of the hot savings Amtrak is offering on their Michigan trains! From now until March 31, Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fare for the … Continue reading Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fares for the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine trains

02/16/16

Port Authority approves plan for combined train, bus station

From The Toledo Blade: The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza will soon be hosting a triple-decker of transportation — trains, buses, and Subway. That is, Amtrak, Greyhound, and Subway, the sandwich shop. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors early today voted to approve new leases for the ground level of the MLK Plaza … Continue reading Port Authority approves plan for combined train, bus station

12/19/15

Rail advocates want double tracking between Detroit and Chicago

From the South Bend Tribune What’s the best way to achieve faster, more frequent Amtrak train trips between Chicago and Detroit — including stops in Niles, Dowagiac, Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor? Leaders of two rail transportation advocacy groups say double-tracking the entire track along that approximately 300-mile route, called Wolverine Service, is the answer. The … Continue reading Rail advocates want double tracking between Detroit and Chicago

12/19/15

Mt. Pleasant could be a stop on railway to Traverse City, Ann Arbor

From the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun: There are almost 300 miles between Ann Arbor to Traverse City. With a potential railway reconnecting some of Michigan’s largest cities and regions, Mt. Pleasant could be stop on that journey. Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, a Traverse City based non-profit organization, presented the project at Monday’s city commission … Continue reading Mt. Pleasant could be a stop on railway to Traverse City, Ann Arbor

11/09/15

Amtrak adds 10 extra trains to handle Thanksgiving travel in Michigan

Amtrak will operate 10 extra trains in Michigan for the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday in addition to its regularly scheduled service. On Nov. 25 and 29, an extra eastbound morning train will depart Chicago bound for Grand Rapids and an extra westbound evening train will depart Grand Rapids bound for Chicago. On Nov. 25, 28 and … Continue reading Amtrak adds 10 extra trains to handle Thanksgiving travel in Michigan

11/08/15

Quirky Lansing railroad tower on the move

From The Lansing State Journal: Model train lovers hope to preserve a piece of Lansing’s railroad history by relocating and restoring a narrow two-story tower that once stood next to the Lansing Union Station that is now Clara’s Restaurant. I’ve craned my neck more than a few times as I wondered about the history of … Continue reading Quirky Lansing railroad tower on the move

11/06/15

High-speed rail not the right solution for Canada: Via CEO

From the Financial Post: That the push for new high-speed train systems in Ontario and Alberta is gaining momentum just as the federal Liberals prepare to take office with plans to double infrastructure spending is surely more than a coincidence. But the head of Canada’s dominant passenger rail service, Via Rail Canada, says high-speed rail … Continue reading High-speed rail not the right solution for Canada: Via CEO

10/25/15

Transport Canada sets Oct. 30th as deadline to submit business plans for operation of Algoma Central passenger service

From the Sault Star: Three companies who have expressed interest in operating the passenger train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst have been provided with the numbers they need to complete full business case proposals. The proposals are due Oct. 30, 2015. Tom Dodds, chair of the stakeholder committee tasked with making a recommendation to … Continue reading Transport Canada sets Oct. 30th as deadline to submit business plans for operation of Algoma Central passenger service

10/22/15

Mt Pleasant could get shuttle train

From The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun: What started as a brainstorming conversation on how to transport people from one end of Mt. Pleasant to another has morphed into the possibility of a shuttle train that would operate within the city. The shuttle, which is only a concept now but could come to fruition within two … Continue reading Mt Pleasant could get shuttle train

10/22/15

Plan to rebuild Chicago Union Station finally starts to roll

From Crain’s Chicago Business:   After years of studies and collective hand-wringing, a coalition of local government units and Amtrak today is announcing the first real steps to finally rebuild the crowded and outmoded Union Station. On tap immediately are a new passenger lounge and repairs to the stately but leaky 219-foot-long skylight that covers … Continue reading Plan to rebuild Chicago Union Station finally starts to roll

10/22/15

VIA restores early Saturday train to Windsor Oct. 31

From the Southwestern Ontario Transportation Alliance: VIA Rail Canada is reinstating the early morning train from Windsor and Chatham to Toronto on Saturdays starting on Oct. 31, 2015. The early evening service from Toronto to Windsor on Fridays will also be reinstated, providing extra capacity at this peak travel time. Both services had been suspended … Continue reading VIA restores early Saturday train to Windsor Oct. 31

10/01/15

First day of service for Amtrak’s experimental platform in Ann Arbor

Amtrak and RLE International (an engineering firm) worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation to develop an innovative system for getting people easily onto trains. People needing wheels for their mobility have been a special concern, given that many trains’ floors are several feet above the level of the platform at most stations around the … Continue reading First day of service for Amtrak’s experimental platform in Ann Arbor

10/01/15

Amtrak passengers will have to pay for extra baggage

From Mashable: If you have taken Amtrak for any longer distance trip, you may have noticed something: People bring baggage. Some people bring a lot of baggage, in comparison to what you might see on an airplane. So much baggage, in fact, that Amtrak is going to actually start enforcing some limits — and some … Continue reading Amtrak passengers will have to pay for extra baggage

09/18/15

Troy, Grand Sakwa settle suit on transit center property cost

From The Troy Sentinel: While the city and Grand Sakwa Properties have settled on the cost of the property that the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center sits on, who will reimburse the city for the additional cost is not yet clear. While the city paid Grand/Sakwa $3.1 million Sept. 3 and the lawsuit was dismissed, Oakland … Continue reading Troy, Grand Sakwa settle suit on transit center property cost

09/18/15

SEMCOG awarded $250,000 grant for Bus Rapid Transit project

From The Royal Oak Daily Tribune: The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments will receive $250,000 in federal funding to support the development of a Bus Rapid Transit project along Woodward Avenue, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday. SEMCOG is among 21 organizations nationwide that will receive a share of $19.5 million in grants from … Continue reading SEMCOG awarded $250,000 grant for Bus Rapid Transit project

08/30/15

MDOT to stop paying for idle railcars

From the Detroit Free Press: The Michigan Department of Transportation, responding to criticism from lawmakers and taxpayers after the Free Press reported the state agency is paying more than $1 million a year to lease railcars it can’t even use, is finalizing an agreement to halt the payments on Sept. 30, according to the state’s … Continue reading MDOT to stop paying for idle railcars

08/26/15

Michigan Central Station owner floats idea of moving his business operations to the abandoned building in Detroit

From the Detroit Free Press: Over the years, dreamers have recommended all sorts of schemes for the old Michigan Central Station, from casinos to vertical agriculture. But it may turn out that the best new use may be closer to the station’s original purpose — a transportation hub. Matthew Moroun, son of depot owner Manuel … Continue reading Michigan Central Station owner floats idea of moving his business operations to the abandoned building in Detroit

08/25/15

New search starts for Algoma Central Railway passenger rail operator

From the Sault Star: Now’s the time for companies that have expressed interest in running passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst to put their plans in writing for evaluation. Last Friday, the Algoma Central Railway passenger service stakeholders working group issued a request for proposal for a new operator. The service stopped … Continue reading New search starts for Algoma Central Railway passenger rail operator

08/22/15

Final draft of Ann Arbor train station study awaits state, federal review

From The Ann Arbor News: Ann Arbor officials said back in May the Ann Arbor Station study was nearing the final stretch and a recommendation was expected in the next month or so on a preferred location for a new Amtrak station in the city. More than three months later, nothing has been announced, but … Continue reading Final draft of Ann Arbor train station study awaits state, federal review

08/20/15

Talgo to keep Wisconsin trains, get $10 million more in settlement

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin taxpayers will end up paying $9.7 million more for two state of the art train sets — for a total of roughly $50 million — but leave the trains with their Spanish manufacturer, under the settlement of a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit. The settlement, which still needs to be approved … Continue reading Talgo to keep Wisconsin trains, get $10 million more in settlement

08/19/15

Ontario man looks back at 52-year railroad career

From the Detroit Free Press: “To ride in the cab of a Hudson doing 80 miles an hour is the experience of a lifetime,” Roger Weaver said. He should know. He spent 52 years as a railroad man, working for the New York Central’s great passenger steam engines before diesels took over in the late … Continue reading Ontario man looks back at 52-year railroad career

08/19/15

Niles Amtrak stabbing suspect faces 8 new charges

From The South Bend Tribune: The Saginaw man who allegedly stabbed four people on an Amtrak train coming into Niles last December was arraigned Wednesday on eight new charges. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next Tuesday on the new charges, as well as the four initial charges against him. Michael Darnell Williams, 44, … Continue reading Niles Amtrak stabbing suspect faces 8 new charges

08/18/15

Detroit-Windsor rail tunnel project put on hold

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The $400 million effort to build a new rail tunnel underneath the Detroit River has been put on hold because its private-sector backers say the business case for new tunnel doesn’t exist. “It’s idle for now,” said Marge Byington Potter, executive director of corporate affairs for the Continental Rail Gateway. The … Continue reading Detroit-Windsor rail tunnel project put on hold

07/22/15

Grand Rapids, Detroit train idea taking shape

From The Detroit News: Passenger train service between Detroit and Grand Rapids could be reinstated in the next decade if state transportation experts determine the public has an appetite for a new line and can figure out how to pay for it. Supporters say the idea of connecting Michigan’s two largest cities by train is … Continue reading Grand Rapids, Detroit train idea taking shape

07/15/15

Operation Lifesaver awarded grant to boost rail safety education and awareness

The state is getting a new grant to boost rail safety education. Michigan Operation Lifesaver has been awarded $8,400 from Operation Lifesaver, Inc., in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration. It is part of the nonprofit safety group’s ongoing “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign. The money will be used to boost awareness on … Continue reading Operation Lifesaver awarded grant to boost rail safety education and awareness

07/15/15

New East Lansing Station to open this summer

From the Lansing State Journal: The new Amtrak station near Harrison and Trowbridge roads will be complete this summer (2015). The station, which is part of the new $6.3 million Capital Area Multimodal Gateway, will be three times larger than the existing station on the property. It will have an enclosed lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows … Continue reading New East Lansing Station to open this summer

07/15/15

Algoma Central Railway stakeholders back to the table

From the Sault Star: ACR passenger rail service officially ceases Wednesday, July 15, 2015. It’s the second time this year that passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario has been threatened to come to a screeching halt. Last week’s announcement that Railmark had not been able to meet the precondition of securing … Continue reading Algoma Central Railway stakeholders back to the table

07/13/15

Stakeholders steamed passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie, Hearst to cease

From the Sault Star: SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO – Al Errington is simply steamed that passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst will cease July 15. “We need somebody with the financial resources and the personnel resources to operate that passenger train well,” said a “very aggravated” Errington, Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) … Continue reading Stakeholders steamed passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie, Hearst to cease

06/24/15

Algoma Central Railway passenger service still in trouble

From Soo Today: The city of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario has accepted a recommendation to not sign a final agreement with Railmark Canada regarding the operation of the passenger rail service between the city and Hearst. Railmark has failed to produce a required line of credit. “One of the preconditions (for the city to sign) … Continue reading Algoma Central Railway passenger service still in trouble

06/22/15

M-1 Rail helps get Woodward developments rolling

From The Detroit News: Rail may be a year away from ferrying passengers from downtown to Midtown, but housing developments already are popping up along the Woodward Avenue route: an early sign the streetcar service could play a major role in eradicating blight along the 3.3-mile line. It’s been a hard-fought battle to fund and … Continue reading M-1 Rail helps get Woodward developments rolling

06/22/15

Algoma Central Railway supporters: Don’t sign that railway deal

From Soo Today: After more than a year of lobbying to keep passenger service running between the Sault and Hearst, a local working group is now recommending the city not sign a funding agreement with the successful proponent. In a report to council included in the agenda for the June 22, 2015 regular meeting, Tom … Continue reading Algoma Central Railway supporters: Don’t sign that railway deal

06/18/15

More passenger train service may be arriving in Sarnia

From the Sarnia Observer: The audience at a Sarnia Golf and Curling Club luncheon hosted by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce applauded Wednesday when the head of Via Rail announced plans to add more trains between Sarnia and London. “You’ve made my day,” Sarnia rail advocate Jim Houston told Via CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano after … Continue reading More passenger train service may be arriving in Sarnia

06/15/15

PTC installation on Wolverine route should be done in late 2016 or early 2017

From The Detroit News: 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. Michigan Department of Transportation rail chief Tim … Continue reading PTC installation on Wolverine route should be done in late 2016 or early 2017

06/09/15

M1 Rail CEO: Future expansion depends on federal money

From M-Live: The $140 million lightrail project underway in Detroit has received more than $100 million in philanthropic money from donors, M1 Rail President and CEO Matt Cullen said Monday. But such money could not be depended on for an expansion of the 3.3-mile streetcar system – whether to Pontiac, Ferndale or even just to … Continue reading M1 Rail CEO: Future expansion depends on federal money

06/08/15

M-1 Rail picks Pennsylvania bidder in $32M streetcar deal

From the Detroit Free Press: M-1 Rail has selected a Pennsylvania company to design and build its Detroit streetcars that would start hauling passengers up and down Woodward Avenue late next year, and perhaps someday to Cobo and the GM Renaissance Center. Brookville Equipment of Brookville, Pa., will supply the six streetcars as well as … Continue reading M-1 Rail picks Pennsylvania bidder in $32M streetcar deal

06/08/15

I-94 expansion will cost $3 billion through 2036

From Crain’s Detroit Business: Rather than asking Congress for a project-specific lump sum, the Michigan Department of Transportation will rely on its regular annual federal transportation funding to pay for a $3 billion widening and repair of I-94 through Detroit. That’s why the project, slated to see freeway construction work begin in 2019, isn’t expected … Continue reading I-94 expansion will cost $3 billion through 2036

06/03/15

MDOT looks to defer lease payments on unused commuter-rail cars

From Progressive Railroading: The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking to temporarily forgo payments on 23 unused commuter-rail cars it leased from the Great Lakes Central Railroad (GLC). Under an agreement still in progress, GLC would eliminate MDOT’s lease payments on the cars for up to five years. The railroad would then assure the … Continue reading MDOT looks to defer lease payments on unused commuter-rail cars

06/01/15

Transportation experts eye four major proposed Michigan rail routes

From the Great Lakes Echo: Michigan’s transportation organizations are studying planes, trains and automobiles. More options for public transit could play a huge role in the state’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining people young and old, Michigan transportation experts say. They’ve recently launched four studies to assess the feasibility of new Michigan rail routes. The … Continue reading Transportation experts eye four major proposed Michigan rail routes

05/22/15

MARP Vice Chair Jim Wallington interview on WPHM radio

MARP Vice Chairman Jim Wallington was on WPHM, 1380 AM in Port Huron, on May 18 to discuss the state of Amtrak and the recent Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia. Here’s a link to listen: http://www.wphm.net/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=7239836

05/17/15

Traverse City nonprofit is the engine pulling for passenger rail service from Ann Arbor

From Crain’s Detroit Business: It’s an idea with appeal: Riding the rails north from Ann Arbor to Traverse City, maybe for a summer weekend — and no highway congestion to contend with, there or back. The Michigan Land Use Institute hopes to make that a reality. The Traverse City-based nonprofit is spearheading a campaign to … Continue reading Traverse City nonprofit is the engine pulling for passenger rail service from Ann Arbor

05/17/15

Algoma Central Railway passenger service transition is a work in progress

From the Sault Star: The third-party operator selected to run the ACR passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst is working through the conditions required to formally seal the deal. Economic Development Corp. CEO Tom Dodds said Railmark’s owner B. Allen Brown is working through conditions needed to ink the final agreement that … Continue reading Algoma Central Railway passenger service transition is a work in progress

05/12/15

In case you haven’t noticed, Amtrak’s Pere Marquette is on a new schedule

Amtrak press release: A new schedule for the Amtrak Pere Marquette will make it more convenient for passengers to attend sports, music and theatre events in Chicago and result in eight to 10 jobs being based in Grand Rapids, Mich.,effective May 4, 2015. The new schedule (attached) also improves connections with other Amtrak trains. The … Continue reading In case you haven’t noticed, Amtrak’s Pere Marquette is on a new schedule

05/12/15

Back to the future: $400-million, car-free proposal would link Southwestern Ontario communities

From The London Free Press: In too many places in Southwestern Ontario, the travellers’ refrain is the same: You can’t get there from here. Or get here from there. All but abandoned by bus and passenger train service, rural Southwestern Ontario is rolling out a $400-million car-free travel plan to stitch together its various large … Continue reading Back to the future: $400-million, car-free proposal would link Southwestern Ontario communities

05/12/15

Mayor’s Press Release: $7 Million Funding to Improve Train Service at Chicago’s Union Station

Funding Will Go Towards Planning that is Critical to Addressing Transit Center’s Aging Infrastructure From Chicago Mayor’s Press Office: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk, Representative Mike Quigley, Amtrak and Metra today announced an additional $7 million funding to develop infrastructure improvements and train operating strategies that will enhance passenger rail service … Continue reading Mayor’s Press Release: $7 Million Funding to Improve Train Service at Chicago’s Union Station

05/07/15

Michigan voters soundly reject Proposal 1 road tax plan

From the Detroit Free Press: Proposal 1, likely one of the most complicated and confusing questions ever placed on a Michigan ballot, was soundly rejected Tuesday as many voters expressed anger at lawmakers and state government for failing to come up with a better solution to the sorry state of the roads. With all counties … Continue reading Michigan voters soundly reject Proposal 1 road tax plan

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05/04/15

Tuesday, May 5, 2014 ballot proposal could increase train and transit funding

Passenger train and mass transit programs in the state may see an estimated $112 million increase annually if voters approve an amendment to the state constitution on Tuesday, May 5, 2014, raising the sales tax and restructuring how taxes are collected for transportation. In a December lame-duck session, Michigan lawmakers approved plans for a statewide … Continue reading Tuesday, May 5, 2014 ballot proposal could increase train and transit funding

04/10/15

Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst train service continues uninterrupted

From the Sault Star: The new operator of the passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst hailed the announcement as a new beginning and a new future for Northern rail service. B. Allen Brown, CEO of Railmark Canada, was even happier April 1, 2015 when the late night federal funding announcement was followed … Continue reading Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst train service continues uninterrupted

03/23/15

Grand vision for Northern Ontario train service

From the Sault Star: A passenger train service in Northern Ontario won’t just survive by increasing its passenger base. The increased passenger base will come over a short time if operators think outside the box, create products, destinations and top-notch services that make them yearning to come back again. That’s the vision that B. Allen … Continue reading Grand vision for Northern Ontario train service

03/23/15

Dedicated Quebec City-Windsor track would improve on-time performance, Via Rail CEO says

From CBC: Via Rail is looking at building a dedicated passenger rail network in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor to improve its on-time performance and boost ridership, says the company’s CEO. “It’s a definite possibility, meaning that we are acquiring track as it becomes available in the corridor,” Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said in an interview with CBC’s The Exchange with … Continue reading Dedicated Quebec City-Windsor track would improve on-time performance, Via Rail CEO says

03/23/15

Washtenaw and Livingston Commuter Rail (WALLY) Feasibility Study community meeting scheduled March 30, 2015

The North-South Commuter Rail (WALLY) is a proposed 27-mile long commuter rail service that would connect Ann Arbor and Howell, with intermediate stops along the way. It is being evaluated as a way to improve mobility along US-23 and to promote economic development and job creation in the region. A feasibility study is being undertaken … Continue reading Washtenaw and Livingston Commuter Rail (WALLY) Feasibility Study community meeting scheduled March 30, 2015

03/23/15

Michigan train-car crashes rising

From The Detroit News: The number of train-vehicle crashes has spiked in recent years and the blame is being squarely put on one factor: driver error, including distracted driving. Michigan has the 10th highest collision rate in the country with 78 crashes last year: 12 people were killed and 25 were injured, according to recent … Continue reading Michigan train-car crashes rising

03/20/15

West Michigan groups spend $10K for study of Grand Rapids to Detroit passenger rail service

From The Grand Rapids Press: Several local organizations have pledged support for a study, which begins today, to examine the possibility of a West Michigan to Detroit-area passenger rail line. The Holland Visitors Bureau, Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council and Experience Grand Rapids each made a contribution totaling about $10,000 … Continue reading West Michigan groups spend $10K for study of Grand Rapids to Detroit passenger rail service

03/20/15

Editorial: Why a Detroit-Grand Rapids train just makes sense

From The Grand Rapids Press: The following opinion reflects the position of The Grand Rapids Press editorial board. Traveling from Grand Rapids to Detroit is easy. That is, if you own a vehicle. Otherwise, you can buy a ticket for a bus ride down I-96. If you’re really itching to go by train, you can … Continue reading Editorial: Why a Detroit-Grand Rapids train just makes sense

03/15/15

New policy worries states supporting short Amtrak routes

From the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: The leader of a coalition of states that foot most of the costs of Amtrak’s short passenger routes says its members are awaiting answers from a federal agency about a new policy Indiana cited in its decision to end a line between Indianapolis and Chicago. Depending on its final form, … Continue reading New policy worries states supporting short Amtrak routes

03/15/15

Hoosier State line gets 30-day extension

From the Lafayette Courier and Journal: The end of the Amtrak Hoosier State passenger rail got a 30-day reprieve, and a deal to save the four-day-a-week service might still be within reach. Last week, Indiana Department of Transportation announced the rail service would end April 1, but Friday, March 13, 2015, INDOT announced the extension, … Continue reading Hoosier State line gets 30-day extension

03/15/15

Implications aplenty in Supreme Court Amtrak ruling

From Railway Age: The Supreme Court March 9 sent back to a federal appellate court for reconsideration a freight railroad challenge to a provision of the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) that allowed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak to collaborate in establishing minimum on-time performance standards for Amtrak passenger trains … Continue reading Implications aplenty in Supreme Court Amtrak ruling

03/15/15

Hoosier State Amtrak line to end April 1

From the Lafayette Journal and Courier: The Hoosier State passenger rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago will run for the last time on April 1, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced March 6, 2015. The state had been negotiating with Amtrak to continue service after the current contract expires next month. But after more than … Continue reading Hoosier State Amtrak line to end April 1

03/15/15

Michigan coast to coast: Passenger train service from Detroit to Grand Rapids being studied

From The Ann Arbor News: Talks of a new Michigan coast-to-coast passenger rail line are picking up. The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s governing board voted Thursday night to authorize entering into a $100,000 contract with Transportation Economics and Management Systems for a rail ridership and cost estimate study for potential passenger rail service along … Continue reading Michigan coast to coast: Passenger train service from Detroit to Grand Rapids being studied

02/21/15

Plan unveiled in Sarnia for regional transportation improvements

From the Sarnia Observer: Transportation expert Greg Gormick wants people to use public transportation to show politicians there is a demand for improvements, including three daily round-trip trains in Sarnia. Gormick unveiled an improvement plan for rail and bus service in southwestern Ontario during a presentation at Sarnia library on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Through … Continue reading Plan unveiled in Sarnia for regional transportation improvements

02/21/15

$12 million in fixes for Chicago Union Station

From the Chicago Sun Times: Amtrak announced Thursday, January 28, 2015 a $12 million renovation project at Union Station that will include rehab of the marble stairway made famous in the movie “The Untouchables” as well as plans to commission a redesign of the often-congested concourse area where commuters board and de-board trains. Improvements will … Continue reading $12 million in fixes for Chicago Union Station

02/21/15

New operator for Algoma Central looking more likely

From the Sault Star: A third-party operator expected to run Algoma Central Railway’s Agawa Canyon Tour Train and passenger service offers “a new beginning” for the rail line. Al Errington, owner of Errington’s Wilderness Island, calls Friday’s announcement that will see the unnamed company with experience in passenger and tourism service “a sea change” for … Continue reading New operator for Algoma Central looking more likely

02/06/15

MDOT pays $1.1 million a year for rail cars it can’t use

From the Detroit Free Press: The State of Michigan is paying $1.1 million a year to lease 23 passenger rail cars it can’t use — and likely won’t use for at least another two years — as the taxpayer tab for the troubled project approaches $12 million and counting. The 1950s and ’60s-era double-decker cars … Continue reading MDOT pays $1.1 million a year for rail cars it can’t use

02/05/15

Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor could become a train station again

From The Ann Arbor News: Could the castle-like building that houses the Gandy Dancer restaurant in Ann Arbor return to its former glory as a rail depot? That’s an idea the city and its consultants are now exploring at the request of the federal government. Eli Cooper, the city’s transportation program manager, said the Federal … Continue reading Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor could become a train station again

12/27/14

M-1 Rail details winter work schedule

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The orange barrels making for a traffic slalom course on Woodward Avenue north of Grand Circus Park will continue through the winter for M-1 Rail streetcar construction in Detroit, the project said today. Work will include continued construction on freeway overpasses and underground utility relocation, M-1 COO Paul Childs said. Woodward, … Continue reading M-1 Rail details winter work schedule

12/27/14

M-1 Rail receives second phase of federal tax credit funding

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The second phase of $8 million in federal New Markets Tax Credit funding for the $137 million M-1 Rail streetcar project in downtown Detroit has been received. The first round was received earlier this year, according to a news release. New Markets investors receive over seven years tax credits equal to … Continue reading M-1 Rail receives second phase of federal tax credit funding

12/11/14

First train pulls out of new Dearborn Amtrak station

From Detroit Free Press: As Wolverine Train No. 351 to Chicago left Dearborn this morning, the Rev. John Koski was there, waving as it pulled away from the platform after picking up 68 passengers at the new John D. Dingell Transit Center shortly after 7 a.m. Koski, 64, of Dearborn and associate pastor of the … Continue reading First train pulls out of new Dearborn Amtrak station

12/11/14

Via Rail eyeing private capital to build its own dedicated rail lines

From the National Post (Canada): Via Rail Canada hopes to reduce congestion by building its own network of dedicated tracks, and the passenger rail service wants to enlist the help of private equity to do it. Currently, 90% of the track that Via uses is owned by Canadian National Railway Co., and this shared infrastructure … Continue reading Via Rail eyeing private capital to build its own dedicated rail lines

12/10/14

Three companies submit bids to operate Algoma Central

From the Sault Star: Three rail companies have submitted formal bids to operate the Algoma Central Railway passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. The same three rail companies have also submitted bids to CN Rail to operate the tour train service. The ACR Passenger Service Working Group met Monday to hear CN Rail’s … Continue reading Three companies submit bids to operate Algoma Central

12/10/14

Dearborn train station construction finally reaching the end of the line

From the Dearborn Press & Guide: Amtrak passengers have to wait just a few more days before taking advantage of the new station’s amenities. It is scheduled to open Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. The first train will roll into the new station, 21201 Michigan Ave. at 6:51 a.m. Amtrak is moving all of its operations … Continue reading Dearborn train station construction finally reaching the end of the line

12/03/14

Car-train crashes happen about weekly in Michigan and are almost always avoidable, authorities say

From M-live.com, The Kalamazoo Gazette: They are almost always avoidable. But whether because of impatience or negligence, vehicles and trains crashed about once a week in Michigan last year. There were 58 vehicle-train accidents in the state in 2013, including five in Kalamazoo County. That’s up 35 percent from the 38 car-train crashes statewide in … Continue reading Car-train crashes happen about weekly in Michigan and are almost always avoidable, authorities say

11/12/14

M-1 Rail selects Czech-based Inekon Group to build Detroit’s streetcars

From M-1 Rail: M-1 RAIL announced it has selected a vendor and will begin negotiations for the design and build of the individual streetcars, which will run along the Woodward Avenue route beginning in 2016.  The value of the contract is expected to be approximately $30 million for six separate custom coaches that will feature … Continue reading M-1 Rail selects Czech-based Inekon Group to build Detroit’s streetcars

11/12/14

Amtrak’s Blue Water line sets ridership record

From The Lansing State Journal: Amtrak says a record number of passengers rode trains on its Blue Water line last year. The line, which runs from Port Huron to Chicago, includes stops in East Lansing, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. The nation’s passenger rail service said today the Blue Water carried 191,231 passengers for the fiscal … Continue reading Amtrak’s Blue Water line sets ridership record

11/12/14

M-1 Rail selects team for Detroit streetcar technical center

From Progressive Railroading: M-1 Rail has chosen a design-build team for the planned Penske Technical Center near the northern terminus of the city’s future streetcar line at Woodward Avenue and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. The team — which will include Turner Construction Co., 3.L.K Construction, ABE Associates Inc. and RNL — will construct the … Continue reading M-1 Rail selects team for Detroit streetcar technical center

11/12/14

Prospects for Algoma passenger trains looking up

From The Northern Hoot: Members of the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and all parties that have a concern for continued passenger rail service along the ACR are feeling hopeful and excited. CAPT has dedicated several years to raising awareness about the economic, cultural and environmental benefit of passenger trains in the Algoma District. … Continue reading Prospects for Algoma passenger trains looking up

11/12/14

Amtrak posts ridership growth, but long-distance lines lag

From USA Today: Amtrak’s ridership and ticket revenue increased in fiscal 2014, buoyed by continued growth in the Northeast Corridor, the rail service reported Monday. But the numbers also indicate flagging activity on long-distance lines and regional services that rely partly on support from taxpayers in some states. Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman warned … Continue reading Amtrak posts ridership growth, but long-distance lines lag

11/12/14

Amtrak touts ridership growth as Congress weighs budget

From The Hill: Amtrak is touting an increase in ridership on its trains in fiscal 2014 as lawmakers are debating a funding measure for the company. Amtrak said Monday that it carried 30.9 million in the fiscal year that ended in September, which the company said was an increase of 0.2 percent over the same period for 2013. … Continue reading Amtrak touts ridership growth as Congress weighs budget

11/11/14

New station opens in Grand Rapids

From The Grand Rapids Press: Bearing floor-to-ceiling windows to brighten its interior, officials quipped the city no longer is home to an “Amshack” station. The new Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station ceremoniously replaced its Wealthy Street predecessor early Monday, October, 27, 2014, connecting Grand Rapids to Chicago. Ehlers, the former West Michigan congressman whose name … Continue reading New station opens in Grand Rapids

11/11/14

Englewood Flyover opens; eliminates bottleneck for Michigan Amtrak trains

From a METRA press release: Federal, state and local officials celebrated in October 2014 the opening of the $142 million Englewood flyover, a major railroad bridge that has eliminated a significant source of train delays on the south side of Chicago and has reduced emissions and noise from idling trains in the neighborhood. The flyover … Continue reading Englewood Flyover opens; eliminates bottleneck for Michigan Amtrak trains

10/25/14

18-month study planned for Howell-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail

From The Ann Arbor News: The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority has announced the start of a new technical study to determine the feasibility of WALLY commuter rail between Howell and Ann Arbor. WALLY is short for the “Washtenaw and Livingston Line,” a proposed 27-mile rail service that would use existing freight tracks to carry … Continue reading 18-month study planned for Howell-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail

10/21/14

Ceremony celebrates Troy Transit Center

From The Detroit News: More than 200 people witnessed the ribbon-cutting for the new Troy Transit Center Tuesday, including Brian Smiatacz, 36, who had two kids in tow. Four-year-old Adam, and Grace, 2, came outfitted with train engineer hats. “They’ve been waiting for a year for this to open,” Smiatacz said. “We were watching it … Continue reading Ceremony celebrates Troy Transit Center

10/12/14

Amtrak trains often trickle into Toledo after rash of delays

From The Toledo Blade: Christine Smith boarded Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited in Chicago on Tuesday night to visit a friend in Toledo. The train left Chicago two hours late and made it only about 15 miles to Indiana’s northwest corner, where it sat for about three hours, Ms. Smith recalled. By the time it got … Continue reading Amtrak trains often trickle into Toledo after rash of delays

10/06/14

Grand opening for new Troy station set for Oct. 14, 2014

From Trains Magazine: The grand opening for the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2014. Construction work on the transit center was completed in last fall, but a property dispute held up its opening. In late September, a settlement by Troy to acquire the land and lease the site to Amtrak was … Continue reading Grand opening for new Troy station set for Oct. 14, 2014

10/06/14

Changes come to Michigan’s famed ‘BO’ tower

From Trains Magazine: Time has caught up with the famed “BO” tower in Kalamazoo this week. On Tuesday morning, signal crews working on Amtrak’s Michigan Line upgrades retired the 44-lever Saxby & Farmer interlocking machine, marking the end of the tower era in western Michigan. For the time being, operators still work around the clock at BO, operating … Continue reading Changes come to Michigan’s famed ‘BO’ tower

10/06/14

Crews set to reconstruct rail crossing before opening Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station

From The Grand Rapids Press: It’s light at the end of the tunnel: the vacant, yet new, Amtrak station finally is set to connect to the rest of the region in the coming month. City crews are slated to shut down Century Avenue SW at 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, while CSX Corp. reconstructs … Continue reading Crews set to reconstruct rail crossing before opening Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station

09/30/14

Amtrak’s Blue Water line from Port Huron to Chicago offers ticket deal to celebrate 40 years

From M-Live.com: Forty years after debuting service in Michigan, the Amtrak Blue Water line isn’t what it used to be. Recently Amtrak has added features like wireless internet and bicycle racks to its Blue Water train cars. Train speeds have increased to 110 miles per hour on one portion of the line, and ridership in … Continue reading Amtrak’s Blue Water line from Port Huron to Chicago offers ticket deal to celebrate 40 years

09/30/14

Amtrak Blue Water service celebrates 40th anniversary Oct. 1

The Amtrak Blue Water service between Port Huron and Chicago will celebrate 40 years on Oct. 1. Amtrak will promote the 40th anniversary event onboard the train with an extra café car, offering more table seating, commemorative gift bags, refreshments, and celebrations. Volunteer hosts will be available in each car to hand out gifts and … Continue reading Amtrak Blue Water service celebrates 40th anniversary Oct. 1

09/30/14

Public comment period available for Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program

– A Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared for proposed passenger rail improvements. – To view the Tier 1 Draft EIS, go to www.greatlakesrail.org. – Comments must be received by Dec. 19, 2014, and can be submitted in multiple ways. – Public hearings are scheduled for October in Michigan, Indiana, and … Continue reading Public comment period available for Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program

09/20/14

Amtrak Pere Marquette celebrates 30th Anniversary

This video was produced by the Michigan Department of Transportation: September 16, 2014 – The Amtrak Pere Marquette service celebrated 30 years of service between Grand Rapids and Chicago. The Pere Marquette is a vital link and economic development tool for west Michigan communities. Sponsored by the Westrain coalition, Amtrak, and MDOT, riders had an … Continue reading Amtrak Pere Marquette celebrates 30th Anniversary

09/18/14

Why is Detroit Metro Airport moving its Michigan Flyer bus stop?

From M-Live: Michigan Flyer users are riled up after Detroit Metro Airport announced plans to relocate the popular bus service’s stop at McNamara Terminal from curbside to one 500 feet away where passengers must brave the elements. Michigan Flyer officials say they worry the new stop could hurt their 98 percent on-time record because they … Continue reading Why is Detroit Metro Airport moving its Michigan Flyer bus stop?

09/17/14

Amtrak’s Detroit-Chicago trip to get faster, plusher with upgrades

From The Detroit News: The tracks have been cleared for the state to develop faster, cushier Amtrak service between Detroit and Chicago now that the Michigan Senate has ended its probe of a state passenger rail car purchase. State transportation officials want to buy two sets of cars and engines, built in the United States … Continue reading Amtrak’s Detroit-Chicago trip to get faster, plusher with upgrades

09/12/14

Chicago Union Station plan could bring relief for Metra, Amtrak passengers

From The Chicago Tribune: For many of the 120,000 rail passengers who pass through each day, Union Station is either a mystifying maze of ramps and escalators, or a perplexing funnel that forces them to navigate perilously narrow platforms. Commuting challenges include dodging water from leaky roofs and trying not to breathe diesel fumes too … Continue reading Chicago Union Station plan could bring relief for Metra, Amtrak passengers

09/12/14

Grand Rapids bets $40 million on state’s first bus rapid transit system

From The Grand Rapids Press: From the second-floor of The Rapid’s headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids, Conrad Venema looks out at U.S. 131 cutting through the heart of the city. The view offers a stark contrast of travel of old — mammoth concrete corridors designed for personal vehicles — against what transportation planners like Venema … Continue reading Grand Rapids bets $40 million on state’s first bus rapid transit system

09/11/14

Algoma Central, CN seek passenger service operators

From Railway Age: The Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service Working Group is seeking a contract operator for ACR’s passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario, and has issued a request for Expressions of Interest (EOI). The purpose of this non-binding invitation is to pre-qualify companies to participate in an upcoming Request for Proposal … Continue reading Algoma Central, CN seek passenger service operators

09/04/14

Amtrak extends modified schedule through September

Amtrak will continue to operate trains on a modified schedule for the Wolverine Service and Blue Water routes through the end of September as it completes infrastructure  improvements in West Michigan. The track and signal work will result in improved reliability, a smoother ride and the future extension of 110 mph Amtrak service between Battle … Continue reading Amtrak extends modified schedule through September

09/03/14

Car stuck on tracks is cut in half by Amtrak train near Kalamazoo

From The Kalamazoo Gazette: Two individuals escaped injury on Aug. 28, 2014 in Oshtemo Township after their car was cut in half by a westbound Amtrak train. At approximately 10 p.m., a Chevrolet Monte Carlo heading north on 4th Street near Stadium Drive became lodged on railroad tracks at a crossing closed for maintenance after the … Continue reading Car stuck on tracks is cut in half by Amtrak train near Kalamazoo

08/16/14

Troy Transit Center opening back on track after judge’s ruling

From the Detroit Free Press: Officials in Troy were optimistic today that the city’s controversial Multi-Modal Transit Center would finally be able to open now that a judge has granted the city the title for the land. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Leo Bowman’s order transferring the title is contingent upon the city paying the … Continue reading Troy Transit Center opening back on track after judge’s ruling

08/13/14

Demolition underway for new East Lansing Amtrak station

From the Lansing State Journal: Demolition of the old Michigan State University Surplus Store and Printing Services buildings has begun, the first step in a remodel of the East Lansing Amtrak station that will create a new Capital Area Multi-Modal Station. The demolition launches construction of a multimillion-dollar project that will create a Capital Area … Continue reading Demolition underway for new East Lansing Amtrak station

08/12/14

MLUI report examines potential for rail in Traverse City

A new report by the Michigan Land Use Institute describes the potential for running a train on an 11-mile stretch of railroad tracks between Traverse City and Williamsburg, Michigan. Getting Back on Track: Uncovering the Potential for Trains in Traverse City describes how rail travel could boost tourism and development in the area; the upgrades … Continue reading MLUI report examines potential for rail in Traverse City

07/17/14

M-1 Rail releases specifics on Detroit streetcar construction

From Progressive Railroading: M-1 Rail officials yesterday unveiled details of their construction plans for the Detroit streetcar project, which is set to begin on July 28. Construction activities, poised to start between Adams Street and Campus Martius, will include the closure of Woodward Avenue for the next 120 days, officials said in a press release. … Continue reading M-1 Rail releases specifics on Detroit streetcar construction

07/17/14

Latest delay bogs Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station’s opening

From The Grand Rapids Press: The city’s largely completed Amtrak station named after a former West Michigan congressman now isn’t expected to open for passengers until early fall. Officials blame an underground sewer line below Buchanan Avenue SW for the latest holdup. The Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station already has suffered more than a year … Continue reading Latest delay bogs Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station’s opening

07/02/14

Wayne County panel OKs $3 million for M-1 Rail

From the Detroit Free Press: A committee of Wayne County Commissioners approved $3 million in funding for the M-1 Rail project June 3, as construction of the $160-million project should begin within the next 60 days. The funding, approved by the committee of the whole on a 10-5 vote and set to go before the … Continue reading Wayne County panel OKs $3 million for M-1 Rail

07/01/14

3 sites under consideration for new Amtrak train station in Ann Arbor

From The Ann Arbor News: The list of sites being considered for a new Amtrak train station in Ann Arbor has been narrowed from eight to three. The three locations awaiting further review now include a stretch of track along North Main Street next to Argo Pond, the existing Amtrak site on Depot Street, and … Continue reading 3 sites under consideration for new Amtrak train station in Ann Arbor

07/01/14

Group unveils design for new Ann Arbor train station on stilts above tracks

From The Ann Arbor News: A conceptual design has emerged showing what a new Amtrak station could look like on stilts above the train tracks along Depot Street in Ann Arbor — on the same site as the existing station the city is considering replacing. A citizens group called Protect A2 Parks, which has been … Continue reading Group unveils design for new Ann Arbor train station on stilts above tracks

07/01/14

MDOT to study rail line that would connect Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit

From the Lansing State Journal: The Michigan Department of Transportation will study the viability of a passenger railroad line that would connect Holland to Detroit by way of Grand Rapids and Lansing. The rail line may never materialize, but the study is the first official step by the state to create a new rail line … Continue reading MDOT to study rail line that would connect Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit

06/29/14

Column: Railroads need funding, too

From The Detroit News: We commend Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville for introducing a plan to increase transportation funds across all platforms in Michigan, including infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges, investment in public transit, and vital improvements to our railroads. Rail transportation is vital to Michigan’s agricultural economy, which generates more than $96 billion … Continue reading Column: Railroads need funding, too

06/27/14

WALLY group eyes diesel option

From The Livingston Daily Press & Argus: Diesel multiple-unit rail cars, or DMUs, have been suggested as an alternative to Washtenaw and Livingston Line rail cars, said Michael Benham, strategic planner for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, which oversees the WALLY commuter train project. Benham said DMUs can be less costly to operate, although the … Continue reading WALLY group eyes diesel option

06/27/14

Columnist: Gov. Walker’s train gaffe costing Wisconsin big time

From The Capital Times: It didn’t get a lot of press — two Milwaukee bloggers noted it — but Talgo, the Spain- and U.S.-based train manufacturer, closed its factory on Milwaukee’s north side last week and moved the last of its train sets out of town. They will probably be sold to Michigan. The irony is that … Continue reading Columnist: Gov. Walker’s train gaffe costing Wisconsin big time

06/27/14

Ann Arbor working to narrow down a list of potential train station sites

From The Ann Arbor News: The city of Ann Arbor has held a series of meetings in June to continue a public dialogue about a new Amtrak station in the city. During the meetings, the city and its consultants presented analysis of eight potential sites being considered for a new train station, and will ask … Continue reading Ann Arbor working to narrow down a list of potential train station sites

06/22/14

Brand-new passenger trains roll out of Milwaukee

From the Milwaukee Business Journal:   Talgo Inc. recently rolled two passenger trains out of Milwaukee and sent them to the Amtrak Beech Grove facility in Indiana to save money. The company soon will terminate its lease for a city-owned building that, in 2010, was envisioned to be the hub of Talgo’s U.S. train manufacturing … Continue reading Brand-new passenger trains roll out of Milwaukee

06/19/14

M-1 RAIL to benefit from JP Morgan Chase Investment in Detroit

From M-1 Light Rail: The Detroit Free Press reports that JP Morgan Chase will invest a total of $100 million into Detroit, with $5.5 million of that total being invested into the M-1 RAIL Project and other initiatives. The Chase money will flow through multiple partners already active in the city who promote real estate … Continue reading M-1 RAIL to benefit from JP Morgan Chase Investment in Detroit

05/28/14

Porter Junction rail project finally gets green light

From The Northwest Indiana Times: The long-delayed Indiana Gateway rail project will be kicked off by Gov. Mike Pence and other officials on Thursday, which will lead to $71.4 million in construction projects during the next two years. The Indiana Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration on Tuesday confirmed the Indiana Gateway finally has … Continue reading Porter Junction rail project finally gets green light

05/23/14

M-1 on track for groundbreaking in Detroit

From The Detroit News: The M-1 Rail project is inching closer to reality, organizers say, with a groundbreaking planned this summer that will rebuild a portion of Woodward Avenue and add sleek streetcars. Officials won’t reveal when construction will begin — the road will be completely rebuilt from Adams past West Grand Boulevard. But they … Continue reading M-1 on track for groundbreaking in Detroit

05/12/14

Thousands of dollars in damage to passenger railroad cars discovered in Cadillac

From The Cadillac News: Railroad passenger cars that have sat for years on tracks in Cadillac have sustained damage amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lights were broken and numerous windows and seats were damaged in the tall, silver passenger cars that sit near the corner of North Mitchell Street and 13th Street. A … Continue reading Thousands of dollars in damage to passenger railroad cars discovered in Cadillac

05/09/14

Transit tax approved in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

From The Ann Arbor News: “More buses! More places! More often!” That was the chant that echoed throughout Braun Court in downtown Ann Arbor Tuesday night, as dozens of transit advocates and members of the More Buses campaign celebrated the passage of a 0.7-mill tax increase to expand transit services in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and … Continue reading Transit tax approved in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

05/09/14

Michigan company is among four proposals submitted to run Hoosier State passenger train

From The Northwest Indiana Times: The Indiana Department of Transportation has received four proposals to provide services for the Hoosier State Amtrak route between Chicago and Indianapolis. The proposals were received in response to an open-ended request for proposals issued in early April by INDOT and seven communities that are helping subsidize the four-day per … Continue reading Michigan company is among four proposals submitted to run Hoosier State passenger train

05/08/14

Decision in Talgo’s $65.9 million train claim expected by May 20

From Milwaukee Business Journal: The Wisconsin Claims Board will make a decision by May 20, 2014 on Talgo Inc.’s claim against the state of Wisconsin over two trains the manufacturer will soon move from Milwaukee. Talgo  filed the claim in November 2013 against the state of Wisconsin,  arguing it is owed $65.9 million over a … Continue reading Decision in Talgo’s $65.9 million train claim expected by May 20

05/08/14

Clare depot moves to new home

From The Clare County Review: The 119-year-old Clare Railroad Depot was picked up off the old site and moved to a new home on April 25, 2014. During the 11 hour process, the building was moved approximately 900 feet east to its new home on Fourth Street across from the Clare Castle. The Clare Union … Continue reading Clare depot moves to new home

05/06/14

MegaBus canceling all non-Chicago-Ann Arbor routes

From M-Live.com: While Ann Arbor gained one form of transportation earlier this week with the launch of Uber, another form of intercity and interstate transportation will scale back its services in the coming weeks. MegaBus, one of the largest privately funded providers of city-to-city bus transportation, announced that it will discontinue its routes going east … Continue reading MegaBus canceling all non-Chicago-Ann Arbor routes

05/06/14

Wayne State to study high-speed rail

Wayne State University, in partnership with the University of Michigan and Drexel University, has launched a two-and-a-half-year study of the imagination—or l’imaginaire—of high-speed rail (HSR) in America. The study is part of a larger comparative international study piloted by Dr. Max Bergman at the University of Basel and led by French, American, South African, Indian … Continue reading Wayne State to study high-speed rail

05/02/14

MDOT confirms its interest in Wisconsin passenger trains idled in legal dispute

From The Detroit News: Michigan transportation officials are looking to buy or lease new passenger trains sidelined in a legal dispute between their Spanish manufacturer and Wisconsin. A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation confirmed officials contacted Talgo Inc. with a request for proposal for an undisclosed number of the trains to be used … Continue reading MDOT confirms its interest in Wisconsin passenger trains idled in legal dispute

05/01/14

ACR passenger train has tremendous economic impact, study concludes

From the Sault Star: The ACR passenger service generates at least $38 million in total economic activity, a draft report by BDO Canada concludes. In fact, the economic impact of the passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, when including direct, indirect and induced economic impact ranges from $38,136,000 to $48,072,000, stakeholders were … Continue reading ACR passenger train has tremendous economic impact, study concludes

04/30/14

New, unused Talgo trains in Milwaukee could find a new home in Michigan

From the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal: Two brand new, high-speed passenger trains idling in a north side Milwaukee building that originally were manufactured for the state of Wisconsin by Spanish train-maker Talgo Inc. may soon be put to use. Michigan’s Department of Transportation issued a request for proposals in March for ready-to-operate trains capable of 110 … Continue reading New, unused Talgo trains in Milwaukee could find a new home in Michigan

04/18/14

East Lansing rail, bus station to be ‘substantially complete’ in mid-August 2015

From The Lansing State Journal: A new rail and bus station in East Lansing will take longer to build than planned because construction bids came in nearly $2 million over budget. The $10.5 million project, which would replace the city’s 40-year-old train station near Harrison and Trowbridge roads, will be sent out for new bids … Continue reading East Lansing rail, bus station to be ‘substantially complete’ in mid-August 2015

04/18/14

$2.2-million federal subsidy for Algoma Central Railway passenger service extended

From the Sault Star: Algoma Central Railway (ACR) passenger rail trains will continue to chug along between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst — for the time being — due to the extension of a $2.2-million federal subsidy to CN. But that money dries up next March 31 and, as Transport Minister Lisa Raitt told stakeholders and media … Continue reading $2.2-million federal subsidy for Algoma Central Railway passenger service extended

04/17/14

BWL’s train depot restoration draws attention and appreciation from Lansing community

From The Lansing State Journal: Beginning in late 2007, J. Peter Lark dedicated almost six years of his life to developing a 21st-century answer to the Board of Water & Light’s need for a power plant that produced affordable electricity and steam while significantly reducing the emissions associated with burning coal. Almost 10 months into … Continue reading BWL’s train depot restoration draws attention and appreciation from Lansing community

04/17/14

Rail station delays add to Dearborn’s contract costs

From the Dearborn Press and Guide: The Dearborn city council approved at its meeting Tuesday the addition of about $185,000 to its contract with Neumann Smith, which is providing architect and engineer services for the city’s new Intermodal Passenger Rail Station, bringing the total to about $2.7 million. “The project was originally scheduled for completion … Continue reading Rail station delays add to Dearborn’s contract costs

04/17/14

Track replacement continues in Kalamazoo

From News Channel 3 in Kalamazoo: Amtrak will continue replacing some of its tracks in Kalamazoo Wednesday, which will impact drivers. These are the areas you may want to avoid for the next couple weeks: Wednesday, Harrison Street is closed until the 20th. By Friday the 18th Porter Street should be open, but on Saturday … Continue reading Track replacement continues in Kalamazoo

04/09/14

Troy council votes to offer $1.05 million to developer for Troy Transit Center property

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The Troy City Council voted 7-0 April 7, 2014,  to authorize an offer of $1.05 million to Grand/Sakwa Properties LLC, to reacquire the 2.7-acre Troy Transit Center property after the courts found it had reverted to private ownership. The vote authorizes the city to make that offer, based on funding from the … Continue reading Troy council votes to offer $1.05 million to developer for Troy Transit Center property

03/30/14

Train service between Holland and Detroit gains supporters, study planned

From The Grand Rapids Press: For 30 years, West Michigan residents have been able to travel between Grand Rapids and Chicago through Amtrak’s Pere Marquette rail service. Now there’s a statewide effort underway to look into whether a train running between Holland and Detroit is feasible, and the idea is generating support from a local … Continue reading Train service between Holland and Detroit gains supporters, study planned

03/30/14

Michigan railroad study planned

From the Holland Sentinel: Want to take the train into Detroit for a day trip or get some work done on your morning commute to Lansing? Michigan isn’t there yet, but it’s taking the first steps toward passenger rail from Holland to Detroit and points in between with a proposed feasibility study for the project. … Continue reading Michigan railroad study planned

03/30/14

State OKs $10-million loan to Detroit’s M-1 Rail line

From the Detroit Free Press: The odds that Detroiters will be riding a Woodward Avenue streetcar line by late 2016 rose Tuesday thanks to a $10-million loan from the state to the planned M-1 Rail line. The Michigan Strategic Fund, meeting in Detroit, voted Tuesday to approve the $10-million loan to M-1. As part of … Continue reading State OKs $10-million loan to Detroit’s M-1 Rail line

03/30/14

What you need to know about M-1 Rail

From the Detroit Free Press: ■ M-1 Rail will offer streetcar services along Woodward Avenue from Jefferson downtown to Grand Boulevard in New Center, running about 3 miles with at least 11 stations. ■ Groundbreaking is in the spring. The first passengers could be riding in fall 2016. The cars will run curbside with the … Continue reading What you need to know about M-1 Rail

03/30/14

M-1 Rail groundbreaking nears amid hopes for a broader regional system

From the Detroit Free Press: The long-awaited M-1 Rail project has a new route map, a promised spring groundbreaking and soon, maybe, a new name. Naming rights will be sold as part of the marketing plan for the $140-million M-1 Rail line — so look for it to be called anything from the Little Caesars … Continue reading M-1 Rail groundbreaking nears amid hopes for a broader regional system

03/22/14

Troy Transit Center condemnation lawsuit thrown out

From The Detroit News: Months after construction was completed on Troy’s new multimodal transit center, passengers hoping to catch a train at the $6.3 million facility are still out in the cold. On a frigid morning last week, Troy dentist Keith Kelley stood at the outdoor train platform on the Birmingham side of the tracks, … Continue reading Troy Transit Center condemnation lawsuit thrown out

03/20/14

Amtrak FY 2015 budget: “Something has to change”

From Railway Age: For its Fiscal Year 2015, which begins Oct. 1, 2014, Amtrak is requesting $1.62 billion in federal capital and operating support, an increase of approximately 16% from FY 2014 federal appropriations. But more important, said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, fundamental changes are needed in how the U.S. government financially supports … Continue reading Amtrak FY 2015 budget: “Something has to change”

03/20/14

M-1 Rail hires Fischer and Brown

From an M-1 Light Rail press release: As utility relocation work continues and the Streetcar Project moves closer to the start of track construction, M-1 RAIL has increased its staff capacity with two new hires. M-1 RAIL President and CEO Matthew P. Cullen today announced the hiring of Timothy Fischer as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) … Continue reading M-1 Rail hires Fischer and Brown

03/20/14

It’s official: Siemens to build next generation locomotives for Michigan Amtrak services

The Illinois Department of Transportation, on behalf of the states of Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington, on March 18, 2014 formally granted the Siemens Rail Systems Division an official Notice to Proceed on 32 “Charger” diesel-electric passenger locomotives. The NTP follows IDOT’s December 2013 announcement of its intention to move forward on the order … Continue reading It’s official: Siemens to build next generation locomotives for Michigan Amtrak services

03/20/14

Michigan Flyer-AirRide has a new stop in Ann Arbor

Michigan Flyer-AirRide passengers traveling between Ann Arbor’s Blake Transit Center (BTC) and either East Lansing or Detroit Metro Airport will board and be dropped-off in a new spot at the BTC. The new boarding location is 390 S. 5th Avenue (corner of 5th Ave. and William St.), across from the main entrance to the Ann Arbor Library. See “AirRide” … Continue reading Michigan Flyer-AirRide has a new stop in Ann Arbor

03/20/14

How Detroit ended up with the worst public transit

From the Detroit Metro Times: Jim Storm has an easier time than most. In the region that gave America a set of wheels, the Ferndale resident hasn’t owned a car in years, leaving behind the perpetual repairs, insurance payments and gas pumps for the bus — and for him, at least, it works. The thought … Continue reading How Detroit ended up with the worst public transit

03/20/14

Amtrak cites key infrastructure projects for 2014

From Progressive Railroading:   Amtrak on March 10 , 2014 outlined its infrastructure plans for 2014, which will include installation of positive train control (PTC) and the start of a major construction project to upgrade the Northeast Corridor’s high-speed rail service. This year, Amtrak will continue its “aggressive” program to install PTC on an additional … Continue reading Amtrak cites key infrastructure projects for 2014

03/20/14

Clare planning to move historic depot in April

From the Midland Daily News: Usually trains move while train depots remain stationary. That’s not going to be the case in Clare on April 15 when the 119-year old Clare Railroad Depot is scheduled to move to its new home on Fourth Street across from the Clare Castle — about 900 feet to the east … Continue reading Clare planning to move historic depot in April

03/02/14

Accountants to assess impacts of Algoma Central Railway passenger rail

From Soo Today: A nationally-recognized accounting firm will help assess the economic impact of CN’s Algoma Central Rail passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. With the transportation link set to cease operating on April 29, the Working Group that is attempting to save the line has retained the services of BDO Canada LLP, … Continue reading Accountants to assess impacts of Algoma Central Railway passenger rail

02/28/14

Two possible streetcar routes in Grand Rapids: Which is best?

From M-Live.com: A group that’s restarting talk about an electric streetcar line in Grand Rapids is fine-tuning the concept and is weighing whether routes should already run where people already are or where the city is developing. The role pits the streetcars as a catalyst for new investment with being a connector between what already … Continue reading Two possible streetcar routes in Grand Rapids: Which is best?

02/28/14

NARP’s Capon moving on; Scott named acting president

The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) announced this week that Ross Capon will be moving on from his 39-year career with the organization. Larry Scott will take over as acting president. Capon joined NARP in 1975 and became its executive director in 1976. “During Ross’s time at NARP, the association’s recognition and influence significantly … Continue reading NARP’s Capon moving on; Scott named acting president

02/27/14

Committee seeks 1-year extension of Algoma passenger rail service

From Soo Today:   Committed cottagers, land and business owners, and municipal and tourism representatives from across the Algoma district gathered at City Hall last week for the inaugural meeting of the Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service Stakeholder Committee. The purpose of the meeting was to form a Working Committee that will work toward an … Continue reading Committee seeks 1-year extension of Algoma passenger rail service

02/26/14

A Busy Week for Passenger Rail in Algoma

From Sault Online: On February 19th, 2014 the Russ Ramsay board room at the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre was filled with people in support of maintaining passenger rail service along the Algoma Central Railway. The evening’s meeting was the first of three town hall meetings hosted by the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, (CAPT).  … Continue reading A Busy Week for Passenger Rail in Algoma

02/24/14

Ruling keeps Troy Transit Center closed, passengers in the cold

From the Detroit Free Press: A court ruling Friday added a fresh setback to 13 years of contentious efforts by Troy officials to open a regional transit center. Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman denied the city’s request to be awarded immediate possession of the land that sits under the transit center. Bowman’s ruling states … Continue reading Ruling keeps Troy Transit Center closed, passengers in the cold

02/21/14

Survey shows voters support new tax for expanded transit in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

From The Ann Arbor News: By a 2-to-1 margin, residents in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township say they’d likely approve a tax increase to fund expanded public transit services. That’s according to a new survey conducted by CJI Research on behalf of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. The survey found 63 percent of … Continue reading Survey shows voters support new tax for expanded transit in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

02/20/14

Wi-Fi is now available on Amtrak Midwest trains

 From an Amtrak Press Release: AmtrakConnect® cellular-based Wi-Fi service is now available on Amtrak trains in the Midwest, with eight corridors offering this free amenity to Amtrak passengers, effective today. Collectively, these routes carried nearly 3.3 million passengers in the last year (Amtrak FY2013, Oct. 2012-Sept. 2013) and account for about 10 percent of Amtrak … Continue reading Wi-Fi is now available on Amtrak Midwest trains

02/19/14

Amtrak train becomes disabled near Niles, leaving passengers stranded for hours

From WWMT-TV News Channel 9 and M-Live.com: Passengers are finally home bound after being delayed hours on a disabled Amtrak train. Train 364 which departed from Chicago and was heading to Port Huron became disabled in Niles, according to Amtrak Spokesman Craig Schulz. There were 155 people on-board at the time. Nobody was injured. Another … Continue reading Amtrak train becomes disabled near Niles, leaving passengers stranded for hours

02/13/14

All Aboard! To save ACR Passenger Train

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) announces  All Aboard! To save ACR Passenger Train. This is a series of 3 Town Hall Meetings/ Media Events with a train trip on the ACR between the Wawa and Hearst meetings. Guest speaker, Harry Gow, transportation expert and founding president of Transport Action Canada, will be able … Continue reading All Aboard! To save ACR Passenger Train

02/13/14

Traverse City area casino train examined

From The Northern Express: Passenger trains could rumble through Traverse City for short hauls A potential rail service from the depot at Eighth St. and Woodmere Ave. to Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg is a win-win for commuters and tourists alike, local organizers say. The Michigan Land Use Institute, the Michigan Department of Transportation and … Continue reading Traverse City area casino train examined

02/08/14

Amtrak looking at a station move in Port Huron

From The Port Huron Times-Herald: The Port Huron Amtrak station will possibly take the next train out of the city. Preliminary discussions have begun between Amtrak, Michigan Department of Transportation, Canadian National Railway, the city of Port Huron and Port Huron Township Downtown Development Authority about moving the station to Port Huron Township. “The current … Continue reading Amtrak looking at a station move in Port Huron

02/07/14

$80 million streetcar plan for Grand Rapids back in play

From M-Live.com: Proponents of a downtown streetcar line are resurrecting a 6-year-old study and, by this summer, plan to revise the vision and pursue funding. The Rapid public-transit system is paying HDR Inc. $293,895 to refine the 2008 study, updating what an electric streetcar line would cost and how the money could come together. An … Continue reading $80 million streetcar plan for Grand Rapids back in play

02/07/14

More about the cancellation of passenger service on the Algoma Central Railway

The following are resources for people concerned about the recent announcement of the cancellation of passenger service in Canada. National Association of Railroad Passenger (NARP) Vice Chairman John DeLora has been monitoring news about the recently announced cancellation of passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and Hearse Ontario. NARP had sent the Canadian … Continue reading More about the cancellation of passenger service on the Algoma Central Railway

02/01/14

Amtrak announces winter savings of 20-30%

Amtrak is offering a variety of discounts on select routes beginning January 2014: Travel Michigan for 20% Off with the Midwest Winter Warm Up Sale Book your travel now through March 30, 2014 for travel now through March 31, 2014 to save up to 20% off your ticket price. Travel the following routes, including: The … Continue reading Amtrak announces winter savings of 20-30%

01/26/14

M-1 Rail expected to average 5,000 passengers per day

From M-Live.com: Detroit M-1 Rail planners expect to begin providing commercial service by late-summer of 2016. Preliminary utility relocation work began this winter and construction on the $176 million project is expected to begin in 2014, continuing through 2015. One of the next steps is bureaucratic. The 3.3-mile streetcar plan will travel along Woodward from … Continue reading M-1 Rail expected to average 5,000 passengers per day

01/26/14

M-1 Rail holds public hearing

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 from 5-7 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library nearly 50 people attended a joint public hearing held by the City of Detroit Department of Public Works and the Michigan Department of Transportation. A formal presentation was given by both road authorities and M-1 RAIL to explain the need for and content of … Continue reading M-1 Rail holds public hearing

01/26/14

Environmental review project for Ann Arbor station kicks off

From the Ann Arbor Journal: The Ann Arbor Station Environmental Review project began with a team meeting on Jan. 10, 2014. In attendance were representatives from the consulting team, the City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, Michigan Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The purpose of the project is … Continue reading Environmental review project for Ann Arbor station kicks off

01/26/14

Amtrak modifies Jan. 27, 2014 schedule due to extreme weather

From The Chicago Tribune: Amtrak announced a modified schedule Saturday afternoon, Jan. 25, 2014 in preparation for the extreme cold predicted to hit the region Monday, Jan. 27. The modified schedules will affect Amtrak’s Chicago Hub Services as some trains will be canceled on a precautionary basis to maintain service on all routes. Passengers are asked … Continue reading Amtrak modifies Jan. 27, 2014 schedule due to extreme weather

01/23/14

Larry Krieg Appointed to Represent Ypsilanti Township on the AAATA

News release from The Ride: At the Jan. 21, 2014 Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Laurence Krieg, an avid rider and study of transportation systems around the globe, was unanimously appointed to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s (TheRide) Board of Directors. Ypsilanti Township was officially added to the Authority through a unanimous … Continue reading Larry Krieg Appointed to Represent Ypsilanti Township on the AAATA

01/23/14

John Hertel steps down as CEO of RTA, will stay on as SMART manager

From Crain’s Detroit Business: Longtime metro Detroit transit insider John Hertel said in a statement Tuesday morning that he’s stepping down as CEO of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan — a job for which a signed contract was never reached. Instead, he said he’s staying on as general manager of the Suburban Mobility … Continue reading John Hertel steps down as CEO of RTA, will stay on as SMART manager

01/10/14

M-1 Rail begins utility relocation work in Detroit

From The Detroit News: M-1 Rail said in December 2013 it began utility relocation work along Woodward Avenue in Detroit — the first step toward full-fledged construction of the 3.3-mile, $137 million Detroit streetcar system. M-1 Rail’s construction manager/general contractor, Stacy and Witbeck, along with Detroit-based utility contractor Blaze Contracting Inc. started relocating a catch basin at … Continue reading M-1 Rail begins utility relocation work in Detroit

01/10/14

Options for new Amtrak station in Ann Arbor being explored in new study

From M-Live.com: Ann Arbor officials are preparing to launch a major study looking at options for a new Amtrak station somewhere in the city. Meanwhile, efforts to make Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail a reality in another two to three years are still underway. The city of Ann Arbor has hired consultant URS Corp. for … Continue reading Options for new Amtrak station in Ann Arbor being explored in new study

01/10/14

Winter weather affected some passenger trains

Extreme winter weather the first week of January 2014 cancelled hundreds of flights and slowed the highways to a crawl,  however, Amtrak passenger train service in Michigan experienced relatively few problems. WLS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Chicago, reported that Wolverine train no. 353 was stuck in the snow on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 near Kalamazoo. The … Continue reading Winter weather affected some passenger trains

01/02/14

Detroit Free Press articles mark the 100th anniversary of the Michigan Central Station

On Dec. 26, 2013, the Detroit Free Press marked the 100th anniversary of the Michigan Central Station in Detroit with a series of articles and photo galleries on its website. The station was rushed into service on Dec. 26, 1913 after a fire severely damaged the station it was scheduled to replace. The Beaux Arts … Continue reading Detroit Free Press articles mark the 100th anniversary of the Michigan Central Station

12/30/13

Amtrak to roll out Wi-Fi on Midwest corridor trains

From Trains Magazine: Amtrak will being offering free Wi-Fi on eight corridors in the Midwest in early 2014. Amtrak is now installing the equipment on railcars under contracts with the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The Wi-Fi service will be provided on these routes: Lincoln Service: Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis (expanding to all four round-trips) … Continue reading Amtrak to roll out Wi-Fi on Midwest corridor trains

12/30/13

CSX files to deactivate signals on second Michigan line

From Progressive Railroading: CSX Transportation has filed with the Federal Railroad       Administration to deactivate the signals on its Plymouth Subdivision in       central Michigan, its second such recent filing in the state. The former       Pere Marquette line runs between Grand Rapids and Plymouth, a distance of       about 120 miles. The railroad seeks to remove 51       dispatcher-controlled … Continue reading CSX files to deactivate signals on second Michigan line

12/21/13

Multi-state locomotive acquisition moves forward

From Progressive Railroading: The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued a “Notice of Intent to Award” to Siemens USA to design, build and deliver 35 new diesel-electric locomotives on behalf of state transportation departments in Illinois, California, Michigan, Washington and Missouri, IDOT officials announced Dec. 19, 2013. The announcement means that Illinois, which is … Continue reading Multi-state locomotive acquisition moves forward

12/19/13

Extra Kalamazoo/Ann Arbor Amtrak trains offered again this holiday season

Due to strong demand, Amtrak is adding additional Wolverine Service trains between Michigan and Chicago to provide expanded December and January holiday travel options. Passengers should book their tickets now for best availability and pricing. Amtrak will offer an additional eastbound and an additional westbound Wolverine Service train between Chicago and Ann Arbor on December … Continue reading Extra Kalamazoo/Ann Arbor Amtrak trains offered again this holiday season

11/29/13

Why don’t airlines just add more flights at the holidays?

From NBC News: The question is one you may have asked yourself while standing in line at the  airport or when trying not to scream in frustration while sitting on the tarmac  waiting to take off: If airlines know there will be a surge of passengers during  the holidays, why don’t they add capacity in … Continue reading Why don’t airlines just add more flights at the holidays?

11/29/13

State Supreme Court denies Troy transit center appeal

From Crain’s Detroit Business: Troy officials expect to present an offer today to reacquire the city’s transit center site from Farmington Hills-based Grand/Sakwa Properties LLC for $550,000 after the Michigan Supreme Court turned away its latest appeal in the long-running land dispute. The high court this week denied Troy’s application for leave to appeal a … Continue reading State Supreme Court denies Troy transit center appeal

11/29/13

High court rebuffs Troy in transit land case

From the Detroit Free Press: The Michigan Supreme Court apparently put an end to the City of Troy’s fight against having to pay for the land under its new Troy Transit Center. The ruling, issued Monday but not made public until today, means the city’s multiyear legal battle with a shopping center developer has probably … Continue reading High court rebuffs Troy in transit land case

11/26/13

CSX files to deactivate signals on Michigan line

From Trains News Wire: CSX  Transportation has filed with the Federal Railroad Administration to deactivate  the signals on its Saginaw Subdivision in eastern Michigan. The former Pere  Marquette line runs between Mount Morris, just north of Flint, and Plymouth, a  distance of about 55 miles. The railroad seeks to remove 67  dispatcher-controlled signals, 20 automatic … Continue reading CSX files to deactivate signals on Michigan line

11/25/13

Amtrak announces an extra Pere Marquette round-trip for Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013

From an Amtrak press release: In further anticipation of its busiest travel season, Amtrak is adding another round-trip to and from Holland, Mich., on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The holiday is the busiest travel week of the year, and to accommodate the expected surge of riders, Amtrak will operate every available passenger rail car in its … Continue reading Amtrak announces an extra Pere Marquette round-trip for Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013

11/25/13

Extra trains to run during Thanksgiving week

In anticipation of its busiest travel week of the year, Amtrak is adding 18 additional trains to operate to and from Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday season. The holiday is the busiest travel week of the year, and to accommodate the expected surge of riders, Amtrak will operate every available passenger rail car in its fleet … Continue reading Extra trains to run during Thanksgiving week

11/21/13

Amtrak train stalls out near Michigan-Indiana border on Nov. 20 , 2013

From WXYZ-TV: More than 100 people riding an Amtrak train were stranded near the Indiana-Michigan border after the train stalled out Wednesday night. Officials tell us the 354 Wolverine train, which departed from Chicago Union Station last night, was stuck on the tracks for more than 5 hours. The train apparently suffered a mechanical problem … Continue reading Amtrak train stalls out near Michigan-Indiana border on Nov. 20 , 2013

11/21/13

Agawa Canyon Snow Train cancelled

The following two press releases were issued the week of Nov. 19, 2013 about the cancellation of the Agawa Canyon Snow Train in Ontario: CN announces cancelation of Agawa Canyon Snow Train CN – today announced that it is terminating operation of the Agawa Canyon Snow Train because the seasonal excursion service is incurring rising operating … Continue reading Agawa Canyon Snow Train cancelled

11/20/13

Watco acquires stake in Great Lakes Central

From Trains Magazine: Watco  Transportation Services has reached an agreement to make a “preferred equity  investment” in Federated Capital Holdings, owner of the 400-mile Great Lakes  Central Railroad. The deal has the possibility of reuniting the old Ann Arbor  Railroad main line, which has not operated as a single railroad in more than 30  years. … Continue reading Watco acquires stake in Great Lakes Central

11/20/13

Storm damage strands Holland Amtrak riders

From WZZM: Passengers say their trip on Amtrak from Chicago to Grand Rapids has been delayed by storm damage — several times. A viewer on the train called the WZZM 13 Information Center around 3 a.m. Monday, to report the train was stopped on the tracks one mile south of the Holland Amtrak station at … Continue reading Storm damage strands Holland Amtrak riders

11/20/13

Amtrak train with flat wheel delayed six hours

From the Chicago Sun-Times: An Amtrak train on its way from Chicago to Detroit was delayed for more than six hours because of a flat wheel Sunday night. Wolverine Line train No. 354, carrying 254 passengers, was scheduled to depart Chicago at 6 p.m. and left about 30 minutes late, according to Amtrak spokesman Steve … Continue reading Amtrak train with flat wheel delayed six hours

11/15/13

Michigan Flyer-AirRide expands service frequency

Starting Nov. 15, 2013, the Michigan Flyer -AirRide shuttle expands service on its route between East Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)—just in time to accommodate holiday season travelers. The new schedule will increase the frequency of service from eight to 12 trips a day on the segment between East Lansing and Ann … Continue reading Michigan Flyer-AirRide expands service frequency

11/15/13

Pere Marquette 1225 back in service

The Steam Railroading Institute announced the return of the historic Pere Marquette 1225 Locomotive to the rails in time for the Holiday Season for its North Pole Express service. The Steam Railroad Institute takes passengers from Owosso to the village of Ashley’s Country Christmas, a late 1940’s Christmas village, offering live entertainment, music, food, games, shopping, elves, reindeer, … Continue reading Pere Marquette 1225 back in service

11/15/13

Amtrak Serving Free Wine to Steak Loses Millions on Food

From Bloomberg. Please visit http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-14/amtrak-serving-free-wine-to-steak-loses-millions-on-food.html to comment on this story. Amtrak, the U.S. taxpayer-supported passenger railroad, is losing tens of millions of dollars a year on food and beverage service even after years of cost cutting, its inspector general said. Almost all of last year’s $72 million in food-service losses were from providing meals on long-distance … Continue reading Amtrak Serving Free Wine to Steak Loses Millions on Food

11/15/13

Train travel on the upswing in Michigan, U.S.

From the Detroit Free Press: If the train has seemed crowded lately, you are right. Amtrak’s U.S. ridership soared to a record 31.6 million passengers between Oct. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013. Its Michigan trains also did well, with 804,697 passengers on the Wolverine, Blue Water and Pere Marquette lines. The popular Wolverine line … Continue reading Train travel on the upswing in Michigan, U.S.

11/12/13

NY Times editorial: Amtrak not a money pit after all

From The New York Times: When Hurricane Sandy swept across railroad beds in the Northeast last year, Amtrak went quiet. Officials at the nation’s railroad scrambled to repair the damage that stretched the length of the huge storm. Amtrak in the region was out for a week. And disruptions continued along the popular Boston to Washington corridor for … Continue reading NY Times editorial: Amtrak not a money pit after all

11/12/13

Ann Arbor hires consultant to study possible locations for new Amtrak station

From AnnArbor.com: Ann Arbor officials are moving full steam ahead with a study that will look closely at options for building a new Amtrak station in the city. The City Council voted 11-0 early Tuesday morning (Oct. 21, 2013) to approve an $824,875 contract with URS Corp. to undertake the so-called Ann Arbor Station Environmental … Continue reading Ann Arbor hires consultant to study possible locations for new Amtrak station

10/17/13

Amtrak and states reach agreement to preserve state corridor trains

From an Amtrak Press Release: Amtrak has successfully negotiated contracts with 19 state transportation departments and other entities to increase state control and funding of 28 current passenger rail routes. America’s Railroad® is now poised to move forward with state partners to further expand and improve the intercity passenger rail network. “We thank these state … Continue reading Amtrak and states reach agreement to preserve state corridor trains

10/16/13

AMTRAK SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD

For Fiscal Year Ending Sept. 30, 2013 From an Amtrak press release: Amtrak carried a record 31.6 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2013, delivering nationwide benefits, providing vital transportation services, advancing America’s economy and demonstrating the value and convenience of the national passenger rail network. It is the tenth ridership record in 11 years. “Amtrak … Continue reading AMTRAK SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD

10/15/13

Amtrak will leave Port Huron earlier

From the Port Huron Times Herald: The train will be leaving Port Huron a little earlier starting Oct. 14. The start of the third phase of a track improvement project will bump the Port Huron westbound train departure time from 6:20 a.m. to 5:20 a.m., according to Marc Magliari, spokesman for Amtrak. Amtrak Blue Water … Continue reading Amtrak will leave Port Huron earlier

10/15/13

M-1 Rail to bidders: Contract will begin Dec. 1; streetcar service will begin February 2016

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The M-1 Rail streetcar project has told potential vehicle vendors it intends to execute a contract by Dec. 1, according to bid documents on the project’s website. The $137 million nonprofit M-1 Rail effort is seeking a company to design, engineer and manufacture six streetcars for use on the 3.2-mile grade-level … Continue reading M-1 Rail to bidders: Contract will begin Dec. 1; streetcar service will begin February 2016

10/06/13

Amtrak, Michigan spending millions on upgrades to boost riders, cut subsidies

From The Lansing State Journal: EAST LANSING — “Train 365 westbound, now arriving.” The announcer’s voice stopped soft chatter outside East Lansing’s Amtrak station as the Friday morning train pulled up to the platform. Passengers destined for a long weekend in Chicago, or points in between, rolled their luggage to the open coach doors. Conductors … Continue reading Amtrak, Michigan spending millions on upgrades to boost riders, cut subsidies

10/05/13

Detroit awards design, quality assurance contract for streetcar line

From Progressive Railroading Daily News: City of Detroit officials have awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for design review and construction quality assurance services for the Woodward Avenue Streetcar project. The firm will assist the city with reviews of the project’s design plans, criteria manual and specifications, Parsons Brinckerhoff officials said in a press release. … Continue reading Detroit awards design, quality assurance contract for streetcar line

09/30/13

TRACK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT MOVES WEST – Modified schedules affect some weekday Wolverine trains

The second of three Michigan track improvement phases for the 2013 construction season begins between Jackson and Battle Creek on Sept. 30. While the project will cause some delays and modified schedules, the result will be upgraded tracks and more reliable service for Amtrak Wolverine Service and Blue Water trains as part of the Accelerated … Continue reading TRACK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT MOVES WEST – Modified schedules affect some weekday Wolverine trains

09/24/13

M-1 Rail sets up business council to advise construction process

From Progressive Railroading: Officials with Detroit’s M-1 Rail have appointed a 25-member Business Advisory Council to represent businesses and other institutions located along Woodward Avenue, where the new streetcar system will operate. The council will help identify ways to minimize the impact of construction on businesses; provide advice during construction to help M-1 Rail reduce … Continue reading M-1 Rail sets up business council to advise construction process

09/17/13

Amtrak repairs to shut down railroad crossings in Ypsilanti

From mlive.com: Amtrak railroad repair enhancements will close four railroad crossings in Ypsilanti during the week of Sept. 16. Ypsilanti’s Department of Public Service’s Director Stan Kirton said the following crossings will be shut down temporarily: 203 N. Grove on Monday, Sept. 16 219 N. Park Street – Tuesday, Sept. 17 23 E. Forest Avenue … Continue reading Amtrak repairs to shut down railroad crossings in Ypsilanti

09/10/13

Columnist: Public transportation major roadblock in recruiting out-of-state students

From CMU-Life: While Central Michigan University attempts to extend its recruiting reach farther out-of-state, the biggest headache for the university could be getting students to campus when they do. Senior Associate Director of Admissions Kevin Williams said his staff is now expanding its midwest recruiting and targeting, and beginning to recruit from states on the … Continue reading Columnist: Public transportation major roadblock in recruiting out-of-state students

09/10/13

Columnist: Detroit Bus Co. moving in the right direction

From The Detroit News: By Donna Terek Can a bus company that owns only six buses make a significant difference in Detroit? If you ask Andy Didorosi, the answer is yes. This summer his Detroit Bus Co. began tackling the problem of getting more Detroit kids to take advantage of the summer and after-school programs … Continue reading Columnist: Detroit Bus Co. moving in the right direction

09/09/13

Modified schedules affect some weekday Wolverine trains beginning Sept. 9, 2013

Mondays through Thursdays, Only September 9-12, 16-19 and 23-26, 2013 The first of three phases of a Michigan track improvement project for the 2013 construction season begins on September 9. While it will cause some service and schedule changes, the result will be improved ride quality and more reliable service for the Wolverine Service and … Continue reading Modified schedules affect some weekday Wolverine trains beginning Sept. 9, 2013

09/03/13

Column: Whatever happened to the gloriously refurbished train station for downtown Jackson?

BY Brad Flory on m-live.com: This city sometimes seems more skilled at tearing down what’s left of its assets than at building them up. The Sheraton Hotel, Jackson’s main fruit of 1960s urban renewal, was ripped down in the spring, after a generation of civic efforts failed to deliver new life to the building. The … Continue reading Column: Whatever happened to the gloriously refurbished train station for downtown Jackson?

09/03/13

Bikes allowed on Port Huron-Lansing-Chicago route beginning Sept. 6.

Starting Sept. 6, bicycles will be accepted aboard the Amtrak Blue Water (Trains 364 & 365), a service sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) that operates daily between Port Huron and Chicago via East Lansing and Kalamazoo. Uniquely in the Midwest, railcars on the Blue Water have been modified to create an area … Continue reading Bikes allowed on Port Huron-Lansing-Chicago route beginning Sept. 6.

09/03/13

Group pushes for railway expansion in Canada

From The Toronto Sun: Around the world there is a quiet revolution brewing. Everywhere except Canada, that is. It’s based on shared principles and cuts across all political divides by uniting disparate communities through a single, common goal. No, it’s not a religion, faith or creed. It wants a return to railways as an efficient … Continue reading Group pushes for railway expansion in Canada

09/03/13

Michigan Amtrak trains to get Wi-Fi

From M-Live.com: Amtrak passengers will be able to catch up on email and surf the web while riding trains through Michigan starting next year. The Michigan Department of Transportation is spending about $1 million to install Wi-Fi by January. MDOT anticipates the service will lead to increased ridership and revenues that should more than offset … Continue reading Michigan Amtrak trains to get Wi-Fi

08/29/13

M1 Rail streetcar RFPs in the works, will be issued by October

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The nonprofit M1 Rail effort said this week it tentatively plans to issue a request for proposals by no later than the end of October for streetcars to operate on the $137 million Woodward Avenue line in Detroit. M1 CAO Heather Carmona told attendees at the Michigan Rail Conference in Lansing … Continue reading M1 Rail streetcar RFPs in the works, will be issued by October

08/25/13

Amtrak considers expanding Hiawatha and Empire Builder lines

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Trains from Milwaukee to Chicago and St. Paul, Minn., may be faster and more frequent in the near future, as Amtrak and transportation departments in Wisconsin and neighboring states study the possibility of expanding service on regional routes. Encouraged by ridership that has doubled over the past decade and standing-room-only … Continue reading Amtrak considers expanding Hiawatha and Empire Builder lines

08/22/13

Commuter rail showcased in Ypsilanti

From AnnArbor.com: When Susan Greenberg graduated from Lincoln Consolidated Schools, she took a trip via rail to Washington, D.C., to celebrate. Greenberg boarded that train in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town. Now, almost 60 years later, Greenberg once again got the chance to board a passenger train in Depot Town. The demonstration passenger rail car she boarded … Continue reading Commuter rail showcased in Ypsilanti

08/21/13

Historic Boblo boats land movie role

From CBC News: Two Boblo boats have landed a role in Transformers 4. The S.S. Columbia and her sister the S.S. Ste. Clair, both docked in River Rouge, are being used as props. The Columbia ferried people to the island amusement park from 1902 to 1991. The Ste. Clair did so from 1910 to 1991. … Continue reading Historic Boblo boats land movie role

08/13/13

M-1 Rail contracts Stacy and Witbeck to manage Detroit’s streetcar construction

From Progressive Railroad: M-1 Rail,  the nonprofit organization overseeing the 3.3-mile Woodward Avenue streetcar project in Detroit, announced today it has selected Stacy and Witbeck Inc. to be the line’s construction manager and general contractor. M-1 Rail also announced that a ground-breaking is slated for early fall between Larned Street and Adams Street in downtown … Continue reading M-1 Rail contracts Stacy and Witbeck to manage Detroit’s streetcar construction

08/13/13

Troy Transit Center moves ahead despite more legal challenges

From Crain’s Detroit Business: At the current pace of construction, there is a good chance Troy will be finished with its transit center project before the Michigan courts can say the same. And if the center opens near Maple Road and Coolidge Highway next month with the legal question of ownership unresolved, the city could … Continue reading Troy Transit Center moves ahead despite more legal challenges

07/29/13

Michigan’s Amtrak subsidy will see a huge jump in October

From Michigan Radio: There’s no doubt about it, more of us are climbing aboard Amtrak trains than ever before. The three lines that Amtrak runs in Michigan are often packed, especially that Detroit to Chicago Wolverine Line. Come this October, the State of Michigan’s tab for Amtrak will jump. The subsidy will go from $8 … Continue reading Michigan’s Amtrak subsidy will see a huge jump in October

07/16/13

Michigan Transit Museum marks 40th anniversary

From the Advisor/Source Newspapers: Imagine life without highways, traffic lights and gas stations, when the way you traveled in Macomb County was via a leisurely train ride. The Michigan Transit Museum offers nostalgic weekend rail trips for those curious about this laidback mode of transportation. The 40-minute journey begins at Joy Park in Clinton Township … Continue reading Michigan Transit Museum marks 40th anniversary

07/14/13

Rail group proposes surge in seats for high-speed line

From M-Live/ BridgeMI Magazine: Riding the rails in Michigan hasn’t been this good for a long time. More passengers are boarding Amtrak trains on its three lines in the state. Many trains now run over 110-mph-capable track. And work will begin later this summer to bring even more track up to 110-mph speeds. Yet, come … Continue reading Rail group proposes surge in seats for high-speed line

07/08/13

The Future Of Metro Detroit Rail Travel Is Taking Shape In Dearborn

From Deadline Detroit: The new train station that is emerging on Michigan Avenue in west Dearborn appears to have a grandeur that wasn’t immediately visible in architectural renderings. It will easily be the largest operating rail station in southeast Michigan. Construction has been underway for several months; the building is expected to be completed in … Continue reading The Future Of Metro Detroit Rail Travel Is Taking Shape In Dearborn

06/29/13

Commission narrowly approves federal funding to expand Michigan Flyer

From M-live.com: Michigan Flyer will add four new routes from the Lansing area to the Ann Arbor after a local governmental board signed off on delivering a federal grant for the expanded service. The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, approved awarding $595,680 in federal funds to the busing company by a … Continue reading Commission narrowly approves federal funding to expand Michigan Flyer

06/29/13

Ann Arbor’s vision for high-capacity transit taking shape with possible Connector routes mapped

From AnnArbor.com: The vision for a high-capacity transit system in Ann Arbor — either light rail, streetcar or bus rapid transit — is taking shape with preliminary route alternatives now mapped. Officials behind the Ann Arbor Connector project have released documents showing a series of possible options for connecting some of the city’s major activity … Continue reading Ann Arbor’s vision for high-capacity transit taking shape with possible Connector routes mapped

06/21/13

Megabus lease of Grand Rapids parking lot gets extension

From The Grand Rapids Press: The city has extended a parking-lot lease with Megabus.com for one more year. The bus service that sells rides for as little as $1 will pay $2,000 per month through June 2014 to use a city-owned lot at the southwest corner of Wealthy Street and Market Avenue SW for passenger … Continue reading Megabus lease of Grand Rapids parking lot gets extension

06/20/13

Work begins on Grand Rapids’ $5.1 million Amtrak station

From The Grand Rapids Press: More than a year and a half after its official groundbreaking ceremony, Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station finally is being built. Crews began moving earth this week to prepare for the $5.1 million facility’s construction after more than a year of delays pushed back the highly anticipated project’s start date. … Continue reading Work begins on Grand Rapids’ $5.1 million Amtrak station

06/17/13

Ann Arbor mayor: Commuter rail to Detroit can happen in 3 years with regional support

From AnnArbor.com: Nick Tobier and his 3-year-old son Oscar weren’t planning on getting on a train Friday, but after passing by the railcar parked in downtown Ann Arbor, they had to check it out. “It’s fantastic, we love it,” Tobier said, while Oscar offered a one-word review of the refurbished railcar for the proposed Ann … Continue reading Ann Arbor mayor: Commuter rail to Detroit can happen in 3 years with regional support

06/13/13

Greyhound pulls out of Flint, Detroit

Indian Trails adds Flint-Detroit-Bay City route From M-Live: Indian Trails, a 100-year-old motor coach company, recently announced the addition of a new Bay City- Flint-Detroit route to its schedule following the news that Greyhound will discontinue its Flint and Detroit bus routes in late June. The Owosso-based bus company – which operates dozens of routes … Continue reading Greyhound pulls out of Flint, Detroit

06/08/13

Indian Trails begins new Bay City-Flint-Detroit route

From an Indian Trails press release: Indian Trails, which operates 33 scheduled motorcoach routes throughout Michigan and into Chicago and Milwaukee, has added a new Bay City- Flint-Detroit route, significantly increasing transportation options for communities between those cities—as well as those along the Lake Huron shoreline between Bay City and St. Ignace. The new route … Continue reading Indian Trails begins new Bay City-Flint-Detroit route

05/28/13

Amtrak train strikes semi-trailer in Ann Arbor Township

From AnnArbor.com: An Amtrak passenger train struck a semitrailer carrying kayaks on the tracks near North Maple Road and Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor Township Saturday afternoon. No one was injured in the crash, which occurred about 12:50 p.m., said Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson. The train struck the semitrailer, splitting it … Continue reading Amtrak train strikes semi-trailer in Ann Arbor Township

05/15/13

Port Huron is getting onboard with train travel

From the Port Huron Times-Herald:   Fort Gratiot resident Jeff Melvin takes a train to the University of Michigan-Flint campus twice a week. The round trip from Port Huron to Flint costs him $6. He likes to sit in the café car in the morning on the way to classes, chatting with the hostess and … Continue reading Port Huron is getting onboard with train travel

05/15/13

Students Clean Dowagiac Train Depot

From WSJM-AM 1400 & FM 94.9: Spring cleaning is underway in Dowagiac. Choir Instructor for Dowagiac Union Schools Jeff Robinson and his students volunteered their time May 8 to clean the historic Dowagiac train depot. The group washed all 110 windows. The effort was coordinated by Ron Leatz, a volunteer of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers. … Continue reading Students Clean Dowagiac Train Depot

05/15/13

Listen to MARP on Port Huron WPHM1380 AM

MARP Board Member Jim Wallington and Sandy Duffy were guests on the Paul Miller show on WPHM 1380 AM. They spoke about National Train Day and the current state of passenger rail in Michigan. Click the link below to listen: http://www.wphm.net/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=6371853

05/15/13

M1 Rail bids ready to leave the station

Design, build contract to be given May 24 From Crain’s Detroit Business: Organizers of the M1 Rail streetcar system plan to award the primary contract to design and build the $137 million transit line in less than two weeks. Bids to become the construction manager and general contractor for the Detroit project on Woodward Avenue … Continue reading M1 Rail bids ready to leave the station

04/15/13

After years of planning, bus rapid transit begins taking shape in Grand Rapids

From The Grand Rapids Press: Ten years of planning. Ten years of patience and hoping, years marked by defeat and success alike. Now, finally, a tangible part of Grand Rapids’ forthcoming $40-million bus rapid transit Silver Line is beginning to show. Work began April 1 on the first of 33 stations that will line Division Avenue and … Continue reading After years of planning, bus rapid transit begins taking shape in Grand Rapids

04/12/13

Amtrak is setting even more ridership records

Amtrak ridership increased in the first half of FY 2013 (Oct. 2012 – March 2013) and March set a record as the single best month ever in the history of the railroad. In addition, October, December, and January each set individual monthly records. Rebounding strongly from service disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy and other severe … Continue reading Amtrak is setting even more ridership records

04/05/13

Planners seek community input in implementing bus rapid transit from Detroit to Pontiac

With the 3.4-mile Woodward Avenue light rail project expected to break ground this summer, conversation has begun to shift toward how to efficiently extend transit along the corridor beyond Detroit’s city limits. A handful of community meetings scheduled this month will discuss plans to extend an alternative mode of transportation for the 27-mile route from … Continue reading Planners seek community input in implementing bus rapid transit from Detroit to Pontiac

03/31/13

Freight train derailment in Gary causes short halt of South Shore and Amtrak

Edited from the Northwest Indiana Times: South Shore and Michigan Amtrak train service resumed Saturday morning following a halt in operations overnight March 29, 2013 because of a freight train derailment in Gary. About 35 cars in a 104-car Canadian National train derailed about 2:30 a.m. near Broadway north of the South Shore tracks, CN spokesman … Continue reading Freight train derailment in Gary causes short halt of South Shore and Amtrak

03/31/13

Officials eye future downtown Ann Arbor train station

From AnnArbor.com: Local officials working on the WALLY commuter rail project say city-owned property at 415 W. Washington St. is a potential site for a future downtown Ann Arbor train station. “The 415 site is a candidate, but is not the only possibility,” said Michael Benham, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s strategic planner. Benham said … Continue reading Officials eye future downtown Ann Arbor train station

03/31/13

Amtrak investigates engine derailment in Port Huron

From The Port Huron Times-Herald: An Amtrak locomotive that went off the rails just east of the 24th Street viaduct will stay there for a few days while the incident remains under investigation. The trailing locomotive derailed shortly after departure from the Amtrak station on 16th Street at around 6:20 a.m., said Marc Magliari, Amtrak … Continue reading Amtrak investigates engine derailment in Port Huron

01/29/13

New departure, arrival boards unveiled at Kalamazoo Transportation Center

From The Kalamazoo Gazette: Folks catching a bus or a train in Kalamazoo have a new resource to monitor arrival and departure times. A small press event was held Tuesday to announce the new boards at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center. The boards have departure and arrival times for Amtrak trains, Indian Trails and Metro Transit … Continue reading New departure, arrival boards unveiled at Kalamazoo Transportation Center

01/29/13

Michigan’s costs for Amtrak to spike

From The Detroit News: Michigan’s costs for passenger rail service will quadruple this fall under a  federal act requiring the state to subsidize its busiest Amtrak route. The 4-year-old law shifts an annual subsidy of about $25 million from the  federal government to the state. Added to the $8 million Michigan provides for its other … Continue reading Michigan’s costs for Amtrak to spike

01/25/13

Regional Transit Authority sparks dissent in Ann Arbor

From The Michigan Daily: Only months after the failure of the Washtenaw Initiative, a county-wide transit authority championed by the Ann Arbor Transit Authority, Ann Arbor City Council members are resisting involvement in the Southeastern Michigan Regional Transit Authority. In the last week of 2012, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder passed legislation for the creation of … Continue reading Regional Transit Authority sparks dissent in Ann Arbor

01/22/13

$25 million announced for Woodward streetcar project in Detroit

From a US DOT Press Release: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood  announced Jan. 18 that the M-1 Rail project can move forward immediately using the $25 million TIGER grant previously awarded for transit in Detroit. These funds support construction of a planned 3.3-mile streetcar line to help revitalize Detroit’s historic Woodward Avenue corridor. M-1 Rail, … Continue reading $25 million announced for Woodward streetcar project in Detroit

01/16/13

Ann Arbor officials hope new railroad ownership could boost commuter rail, greenway plans

From AnnArbor.com: The Kansas-based company taking over the Ann Arbor Railroad says it’s open to talking about future commuter rail service and the vision for a greenway trail system along the tracks. After years of poor relations with the railroad’s current owner, the Howell-based Ann Arbor Acquisition Corp., Ann Arbor officials are calling the promise … Continue reading Ann Arbor officials hope new railroad ownership could boost commuter rail, greenway plans

01/10/13

Port Huron Amtrak station won’t be moving

From the Port Huron Times-Herald: Talks to move Port Huron’s Amtrak station closer to the Thomas Edison Inn have ended. Amtrak has decided it will replace the current building at its existing location, 2223 16th St., said Marc Magliari, Amtrak media relations manager. “It’s not practical to serve Port Huron from the waterfront,” Magliari said. … Continue reading Port Huron Amtrak station won’t be moving

12/15/12

Amtrak adding trains in Michigan for Christmas holiday travel

Due to strong demand, Amtrak is adding additional Wolverine Service trains between Michigan and Chicago to provide expanded December weekend travel options. Passengers should book their tickets now for best availability and pricing. Amtrak will offer an additional eastbound and an additional westbound Wolverine Service train between Chicago and Ann Arbor on December 21, 22 … Continue reading Amtrak adding trains in Michigan for Christmas holiday travel

12/09/12

MDOT, FRA and NS sign an agreement for transfer of 135 miles of NS railroad to MDOT ownership

December 7, 2012 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (NS) today signed a sale agreement that transfers ownership of 135 miles of NS railroad to MDOT for $140 million. The line is part of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water passenger rail services between Kalamazoo and … Continue reading MDOT, FRA and NS sign an agreement for transfer of 135 miles of NS railroad to MDOT ownership

12/07/12

Ypsilanti train depot: One target of proposed DDA policy to revitalize vacant properties

From Ann Arbor.com: A vacant train depot in Ypsilanti near Depot Town is a target of the Downtown Development Authority, which is considering creating a policy to address bank-owned and habitually vacant properties. City Planner Teresa Gillotti said the building is secure and a recent tour of it showed there are no issues with the … Continue reading Ypsilanti train depot: One target of proposed DDA policy to revitalize vacant properties

12/03/12

Governor Snyder may be key to mass transit in Metro Detroit

From the Detroit Free Press: It’s well known that before Rick Snyder became the governor of Michigan, he was an accountant, business executive and venture capitalist. But for two years in the 1980s, he also was a daily commuter, riding the rails from the sleepy village of Barrington, Ill., to downtown Chicago, where he was … Continue reading Governor Snyder may be key to mass transit in Metro Detroit

11/28/12

Troy Transit Center construction begins

From MLive: Officials broke ground Tuesday on the Troy Transit Center, a federally funded project that at one point appeared dead amid opposition from now-recalled Mayor Janice Daniels. The 28,000-square-foot center will replace an old Amtrak station on a 2.4-acre site at Maple Road and Coolidge Highway. Officials hope the $6.3 million project will be … Continue reading Troy Transit Center construction begins

11/28/12

Transit advocates rejoice after regional authority clears Senate

From MLive: Transit advocates rejoiced Tuesday over the state Senate’s passage of legislation that would create a regional transportation authority for southeast Michigan. A number of Detroit-area public transportation projects depend on the legislation, including the planned M-1 streetcar development that would stretch from Detroit’s Downtown to the city’s New Center. And construction began Tuesday … Continue reading Transit advocates rejoice after regional authority clears Senate

11/28/12

Thousands of Canadians sign rail cut petition

From The London Free Press: More than 2,000 signatures have been collected in an effort to reverse Via Rail service cuts in Sarnia. Members of the Sarnia-Lambton Federal Liberal Association launched the “Save Our Train” campaign in October after service cutbacks resulting from dwindling ridership were announced this summer. Via Rail now has only one … Continue reading Thousands of Canadians sign rail cut petition

11/28/12

Rochelle plant wins $352 million passenger rail car contract

From Crain’s Chicago Business: Federal and state officials are making it official today: Illinois will be  the place that builds the next generation of passenger railroad cars. In a press conference later today, Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood are to announce that Nippon Sharyo’s  Rochelle plant has been awarded a $352 … Continue reading Rochelle plant wins $352 million passenger rail car contract

11/15/12

Working Toward Making Regional Transit a Possibility

From Detroit Public Radio, WDET-FM: Metro Detroit has struggled for years to establish a regional transit system, but one group is trying to visualize how a new system might work. Freshwater Transit is the brainchild of Neil Greenberg, who has outlined a series of imaginary rail and bus routes which could connect the city of … Continue reading Working Toward Making Regional Transit a Possibility

11/13/12

MDOT tests commuter cars

If you thought you saw bi-level commuter rail cars along the railroads between Pontiac and Jackson Nov. 10-14, 2012, you weren’t seeing things. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in conjunction with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments were testing the cars in anticipation of future service. MARP photographer Steve Sobel caught the test train … Continue reading MDOT tests commuter cars

11/12/12

Testing moves metro Detroit closer to a commuter rail

From the Detroit Free Press: Shiny, refurbished stainless steel rail cars will begin making their way along tracks between Pontiac and Jackson today as state and local officials move ahead with proposals to establish commuter rail service between Detroit and Ann Arbor and in Washtenaw and Livingston counties. The Michigan Department of Transportation and the … Continue reading Testing moves metro Detroit closer to a commuter rail

11/08/12

Amtrak adds a train trip Nov. 25 to Chicago-Quincy corridor

In anticipation of its busiest travel week of the year, Amtrak is adding an Illinois round-trip train originating at mid-day on Nov. 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Amtrak will offer one additional eastbound (Train 384) and one additional westbound (Train 385) frequency on the Chicago-Quincy corridor, via Galesburg and Macomb. Ordinarily, Amtrak originates two daily … Continue reading Amtrak adds a train trip Nov. 25 to Chicago-Quincy corridor

11/08/12

Amtrak is scheduling more train service in Michigan for Thanksgiving travel

In anticipation of its busiest travel week of  2012, Amtrak is adding more trains between Chicago and Michigan for Thanksgiving week. The passenger railroad encourages passengers to plan ahead for Thanksgiving travel and book their tickets now for best availability and pricing. The busiest travel days that are likely to sell out are the Tuesday and … Continue reading Amtrak is scheduling more train service in Michigan for Thanksgiving travel

11/07/12

Troy mayor recalled for opposing transit center

From the Detroit Free Press: Troy Mayor Janice Daniels said being recalled from office is a burden removed. The day after Troy voters  removed the controversial mayor from office, Daniels expressed relief at the outcome. The recall passed Tuesday,  52%-48%. “I’m going to have a great burden lifted off of my shoulders because I won’t … Continue reading Troy mayor recalled for opposing transit center

11/07/12

Amtrak ridership continues to rise

From The Flint Journal: Ray Knag closed the envelope on his train ticket before tucking it in the inside pocket of his jacket. The Grand Blanc resident and University of Michigan-Flint graduate student was waiting for the 7:10 a.m. train on the Blue Water line, which he takes twice a week to go to work … Continue reading Amtrak ridership continues to rise

10/22/12

Ann Arbor agrees to spend $550K for next phase of work on new Amtrak train station

From  AnnArbor.com: As the federal government makes hundreds of millions of dollars in high-speed rail improvements along the Detroit-to-Chicago corridor, Ann Arbor is putting its own money on the table. The Ann Arbor City Council decided Oct. 15 to spend another $550,000 from its general fund cash reserves to study options for a new Amtrak … Continue reading Ann Arbor agrees to spend $550K for next phase of work on new Amtrak train station

10/22/12

Amtrak derailment probe could effect schedule

From The Royal Oak Daily Tribune: Amtrak service has been restored but may be behind schedule slightly as investigators try to determine why the eastbound Wolverine No. 350 train derailed Sunday near Niles, hurting two crew and seven passengers. The train service between Chicago and Pontiac was disrupted Sunday following the 10:10 a.m. derailment, which … Continue reading Amtrak derailment probe could effect schedule

10/22/12

Michigan Amtrak train derailment probe to take months, feds say

From the Detroit Free Press: Federal officials expect their investigation into a southwestern Michigan train derailment that injured about a dozen people to take six months to a year. National Transportation Safety Board railroad investigator Michael Flanigon spoke today at a news conference in nearby South Bend, Ind. WSBT-TV reports he says there are measurements … Continue reading Michigan Amtrak train derailment probe to take months, feds say

10/21/12

Amtrak train #350 from Chicago derails near Niles, Michigan

From WSBT-TV: At least 7 people were taken to the hospital after an Amtrakpassenger train derailed late Sunday morning in Niles. It happened shortly before 10:30 a.m. a half-mile north of the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport. The derailment was at the intersection of Terminal Rd. and Renaissance Dr. 169 people, passengers and crew were onboard. … Continue reading Amtrak train #350 from Chicago derails near Niles, Michigan

10/17/12

Spartan Line train to carry Michigan State alumni between East Lansing, Chicago

From MLive.com: More than 25,000 Michigan State University alumni live in the Chicago area. Now, MSU is partnering with several Greater Lansing organizations to bring them back for sporting events and special occasions. Beginning the weekend of Nov. 16, the newly-created Spartan Line will bring MSU alumni from the Chicago area back to East Lansing … Continue reading Spartan Line train to carry Michigan State alumni between East Lansing, Chicago

10/17/12

LaHood: Feds to donate millions to Detroit’s streetcar project if ‘community can get its act together’

From MLive.com: The solution to Detroit’s mass transportation deficiencies begins with revising misconceptions that  municipalities operate as independent islands, Gov. Rick Snyder said at a press conference Monday. And altering that mindset begins with the creation of a Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority. Doing so might entail some additional perks for Detroiters, says U.S. Secretary of … Continue reading LaHood: Feds to donate millions to Detroit’s streetcar project if ‘community can get its act together’

10/12/12

AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD

 31.2 million passengers best ever, On-time performance up Amtrak carried more than 31.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2012 ending September 30, marking the highest annual ridership total since America’s Railroad® started operations in 1971 and the ninth ridership record during the last ten years. A year-over-year comparison of FY 2012 to FY 2011 shows … Continue reading AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD

10/12/12

Ann Arbor officials want to let voters decide if city should build new Amtrak train station

From AnnArbor.com: Ann Arbor voters could get to decide whether the city should go forward with building a new Amtrak train station if a resolution on Monday’s City Council agendais approved. But whether the resolution will pass is yet to be determined — it involves taking up to $550,000 from the city’s general fund cash … Continue reading Ann Arbor officials want to let voters decide if city should build new Amtrak train station

09/28/12

California, Midwest DOTs issue notice on passenger train contract

From Progressive Railroading: On Sept. 26, 2012, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) issued a “notice of intent to award” to Sumitomo Corp. of America for the design, production and delivery of 130 bi-level passenger-rail cars for use in intercity rail corridors in California and the Midwest. Caltrans issued the notice, which signifies that a … Continue reading California, Midwest DOTs issue notice on passenger train contract

09/28/12

Government seeking feedback on high-speed rail plan

From the Dearborn Press & Guide: The Federal Railroad Administration and Michigan, Indiana and Illinois departments of transportation are looking at ways to improve Amtrak service between Pontiac and Chicago. To that end, the four held two Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program public meetings Wednesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels Detroit-Dearborn, had two more … Continue reading Government seeking feedback on high-speed rail plan

09/20/12

Anaylsis: Michigan eyes fewer Amtrak, freight train delays between Chicago, but questions persist

From: M-Live: For Michigan train passengers en route to or from Chicago, years of patience amid myriad delays and congestion in the nation’s most clogged rail corridor might finally be paying off. Michigan rail leaders last week cheered news the federal government had awarded Indiana $71.3 million to reduce congestion along nearly 30 miles of … Continue reading Anaylsis: Michigan eyes fewer Amtrak, freight train delays between Chicago, but questions persist

09/20/12

Jackson’s Amtrak train station changes hours

From The Jackson Citizen-Patriot: Hours at Jackson’s Amtrak train station moved up a half hour due to a change in the travel schedule, starting Sept. 10. New hours for the station, 501 E. Michigan Ave., are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. seven days a week, said service station agent Brian Karhoff. The first daily westbound train from … Continue reading Jackson’s Amtrak train station changes hours

09/14/12

New Windsor Via rail station opens its doors to rave reviews

From The Windsor Star: First impressions are often everything. And with Windsor’s new Via rail train station opening its doors to travellers for the first time Tuesday, those looking around described it as a long overdue beautification, not only for locals who ride the rails, but also as an important eye-catching first appearance for those … Continue reading New Windsor Via rail station opens its doors to rave reviews

09/13/12

$71.3 million awarded to Indiana to reduce passenger rail delays in the midwest

USDOT press release: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today awarded $71.3 million to the State of Indiana to help alleviate congestion in one of the region’s most delay-prone rail corridors. The Indiana Gateway Project will both relieve congestion and support the development of higher performing intercity passenger rail service in the Midwest. “The Indiana Gateway … Continue reading $71.3 million awarded to Indiana to reduce passenger rail delays in the midwest

09/13/12

Amtrak tweaks Grand Rapids-to-Chicago train schedule, announces ridership gains on the line

From The Grand Rapids Press: Starting next week, Amtrak’s Grand Rapids-to-Chicago line will undergo a scheduling tweak that will see a (slightly) later departure time from Michigan. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari confirmed the Pere Marquette train will depart Grand Rapids at 7:40 a.m. starting Monday, Sept. 17, five minutes later than it does now. The … Continue reading Amtrak tweaks Grand Rapids-to-Chicago train schedule, announces ridership gains on the line

09/13/12

Key Detroit-Chicago rail project back in fast lane

From the Northwest Indiana Times: Railroad and state officials have reached an agreement on a key project that was holding up progress on a Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed Amtrak rail route. Norfolk Southern and state officials are inking an agreement this week that will secure $71.4 million in federal stimulus funds to pay for eight separate rail … Continue reading Key Detroit-Chicago rail project back in fast lane

09/08/12

Federal grant boosts Ann Arbor/Livingston County commuter rail project

From Michigan Radio: Commuters who make the trek on southbound U-S. 23 to Ann Arbor know a thing or two about traffic congestion. Now a federal grant is breathing new life into a proposed commuter rail system that would connect Ann Arbor with Livingston County. For the past six years, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority … Continue reading Federal grant boosts Ann Arbor/Livingston County commuter rail project

09/07/12

Amtrak station proposed for former Michigan State Fairgrounds site

From The Detroit News: Star athlete turned entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a part of a group  that submitted a proposal to redevelop the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit  into a site for a movie theater, housing and restaurants. Johnson, the Lansing native, Michigan State basketball great and part owner  of the Los Angeles Dodgers, … Continue reading Amtrak station proposed for former Michigan State Fairgrounds site

09/06/12

Michigan Flyer to offer “near hourly” motorcoach service

From an Indian Trails press release: Michigan Flyer has been awarded a one-time federal grant of $595,680 to complete the establishment of its new motorcoach route from East Lansing via I-96 and US-23 to Ann Arbor, then to Detroit Metro Airport on I-94 and back. The grant enables the Michigan Flyer to increase from eight … Continue reading Michigan Flyer to offer “near hourly” motorcoach service

08/22/12

Grand Rapids to Holland transit system could attract thousands of riders, consultant says

From The Grand Rapids Press: ALLENDALE, MI – Seth Christrup relies on his parents, Eric and Elaine, to drive him to his housekeeping job at The Laurels of Hudsonville nursing home, as well as various social activities. As a person with special needs, the 24-year-old Georgetown Township resident cannot drive to get to where he … Continue reading Grand Rapids to Holland transit system could attract thousands of riders, consultant says

07/27/12

East Lansing Amtrak station gets $6 million federal grant

From The Lansing State Journal: Traveling through East Lansing by train or bus is about to get easier. The city’s train station, which now serves Amtrak passenger rail and Indian Trails and Greyhound bus travelers, is in line for a $10.5 million overhaul that advocates say will improve train, bus and commuter traffic. The project … Continue reading East Lansing Amtrak station gets $6 million federal grant

07/16/12

Sarnia officials fighting Via Rail cuts

From the Sarnia Observer: It’s critical that Sarnia’s Via Rail station remains manned, says Mayor Mike Bradley, who will bring his concerns to city council Monday. “We need to keep a presence at the station and ensure a high level of customer service continues, especially for people with disabilities who may need assistance, or people … Continue reading Sarnia officials fighting Via Rail cuts

07/16/12

Via Rail cuts means fewer trains to/from Windsor

From The Windsor Star: Two local Via Rail workers will lose their jobs in cuts announced in June. Via Rail is eliminating 200 jobs nationwide and reducing train service nationwide. But Windsor Via Rail users were unconcerned Thursday about service cuts that will see four fewer trains coming and going from the area. Windsor is … Continue reading Via Rail cuts means fewer trains to/from Windsor

07/07/12

M1 Rail looks for private operator

From Crain’s Detroit Business: Organizers of the $137 million streetcar plan for Detroit’s Woodward Avenue are assembling a list of private-sector companies to operate the system on a concession basis. Part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s requirement for up to $25 million in capital funding is that it wants a list of potential operators … Continue reading M1 Rail looks for private operator

07/06/12

Via Rail to axe 200 jobs, adjust service in wake of federal budget cuts

From The Toronto Star: Via Rail expects to cut 200 unionized jobs, or about nine per cent of its workforce, as the government-owned passenger rail service reduces trips on lines across the country. No routes are being eliminated, and some in the busy Montreal-Toronto corridor will be increased. But by the end of October, routes … Continue reading Via Rail to axe 200 jobs, adjust service in wake of federal budget cuts

07/06/12

Ann Arbor accepts $2.8M federal grant for new train station but location not yet decided

From AnnArbor.com: The city of Ann Arboris moving ahead with a closer evaluation of its options for building a new Amtrak train station somewhere inside the city limits. That includes consideration of redeveloping the current Amtrak station on Depot Street, as well as the possibility of building a new train station on Fuller Road. The … Continue reading Ann Arbor accepts $2.8M federal grant for new train station but location not yet decided

07/06/12

With Megabus rolling out new Michigan route, see what its transit competitors are thinking

From The Grand Rapids Press: Transit competitors of the low-cost Megabus service preparing to roll out a new Michigan routedownplayed news last week of the company’s expansion, saying their time-tested services maintain their customer bases. Megabus got the go-ahead to roll into Grand Rapids last week, allowing it to bring its big, blue buses and … Continue reading With Megabus rolling out new Michigan route, see what its transit competitors are thinking

07/05/12

Indian Trails will link passengers to Beaver Island ferry, national train service

From The Charlevoix Courier: A new bus service will roll into Charlevoix on Aug. 1. Charlevoix City Council members unanimously voted Monday to approve an Indian Trails proposal to develop an official bus stop in downtown Charlevoix. The stop will be at the northern end of the Beaver Island Boat Company building on Bridge Park … Continue reading Indian Trails will link passengers to Beaver Island ferry, national train service

06/21/12

US transit chief: No for now for Detroit rail aid

From The Associated Press: A proposed passenger rail system running from downtown Detroit to the city’s New Center area won’t get a $25 million grant that supporters were seeking, but the project remains in the running for equal funding from other programs, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. In a letter to Roger Penske, who … Continue reading US transit chief: No for now for Detroit rail aid

06/13/12

Recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels campaign submits petition signatures to elections division

From The Oakland Press: After collecting nearly 9,300 signatures from people supporting the recall effort against Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, the Recall Janice Daniels campaign has submitted recall petitions to the Elections Division of the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office. “The conduct of Mayor Daniels provides an overwhelming case for her recall,” states a … Continue reading Recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels campaign submits petition signatures to elections division

06/07/12

Transportation Secretary LaHood gives M1 Rail 60 more days to answer questions about Woodward streetcar

From Crain’s Detroit Business: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has given the private consortium seeking to build a $137 million streetcar along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue 60 more days to answer questions about the project’s construction and operational financing before any federal funding will be granted. LaHood today met with the leadership of the M1 Rail … Continue reading Transportation Secretary LaHood gives M1 Rail 60 more days to answer questions about Woodward streetcar

05/14/12

USDOT Announces $15.8 Million Funding Agreement to Eliminate Detroit Rail Bottleneck

From a USDOT press release: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced May 10, 2012 a final agreement of $15.8 million for the West Detroit Connection Track project that will eliminate congestion for Detroit-area Amtrak passengers by addressing a bottleneck that comes from serving both freight and passenger rail on the same tracks. The U.S. Department of … Continue reading USDOT Announces $15.8 Million Funding Agreement to Eliminate Detroit Rail Bottleneck

04/25/12

Woodward light-rail investors say most of the money to build is raised

From the Detroit  Free Press: The private-sector group that wants to build a light-rail line on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to New Center said Monday that it has raised most of the money it will need to build it — and pledged to pay for the bulk of the cost of operating the system … Continue reading Woodward light-rail investors say most of the money to build is raised

04/25/12

Woodward light rail line group says it will pay for first 10 years of operations

From the Detroit Free Press: The private-sector group that wants to build a 3-mile light rail line on Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to the New Center said today it has raised all of the money it will need to build the line – and is pledging to fund the operations of the system privately … Continue reading Woodward light rail line group says it will pay for first 10 years of operations

04/25/12

Editorial: Investing in rail makes sense as demand soars

From the Detroit Free Press: A balanced national transportation system requires high-speed rail lines that connect the nation’s major cities. With gas prices soaring, people are driving less and looking for less stressful alternatives to congested freeways and airports. The federal government must continue to help metropolitan areas build and maintain transit systems — including … Continue reading Editorial: Investing in rail makes sense as demand soars

04/16/12

How the funding works with a regional transit authority for Southeast Michigan

From AnnArbor.com: According to the diagrams in the fact sheet, the RTA would become the designated recipient of all federal funding coming into the region, and in turn that money would be disbursed by the RTA to local agencies like Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, SMART and DDOT.   Each local agency would receive federal formula … Continue reading How the funding works with a regional transit authority for Southeast Michigan

04/16/12

Amtrak board chief touts high-speed rail, results of stimulus funding during Grand Rapids visit

From The Grand Rapids Press: The head of Amtrak’s Board of Directors touted strides toward high-speed passenger rail in Michiganand work to enhance Michigan-to-Chicago rail services during a Thursday speech to transit and commerce advocates in Grand Rapids. Tom Carper, Amtrak’s board chair, also argued Amtrak is an economic driver for communities and states, and … Continue reading Amtrak board chief touts high-speed rail, results of stimulus funding during Grand Rapids visit

04/16/12

See what Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station will look like (photos)

From The Grand Rapids Press: Work is expected to begin in May on the new, $3.8 million Amtrak station slated to be built near The Rapid’s Central Station. The station — which will be named for former West Michigan congressman Vern Ehlers — will be situated just south of Central Station and the Wealthy Street … Continue reading See what Grand Rapids’ new Amtrak station will look like (photos)

04/13/12

AirRide shuttle service from Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport has started

From AnnArbor.com:  http://www.annarbor.com/news/airride-shuttle-service-from-ann-arbor-to-detroit-metro-airport-to-start-monday/ U.S. Rep. John Dingell and the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation will be in Ann Arbor on Friday to celebrate the launch of a new airport shuttle service. The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is launching the AirRide service, which will provide 12 daily roundtrips from Ann Arbor to the Detroit … Continue reading AirRide shuttle service from Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport has started

04/13/12

As Chicago considers rail hub upgrades, Washington, D.C. offers advice from the success of its Union Station

From WBEZ 91.5 FM: Chicago’s Union Station is old, storied and surprisingly busy. Completed in 1925 on the site of some of the city’s earliest train stations, the rail hub is the third busiest in the country: According to one estimate, in 2009 it clocked in nearly 31.6 million Metra and Amtrak passenger trips, dwarfing … Continue reading As Chicago considers rail hub upgrades, Washington, D.C. offers advice from the success of its Union Station

04/13/12

Amtrak: Work to relieve passenger rail delays will affect Michigan service in mid-April

From M-Live.com: Passengers using Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water rail services in Michigan will see normal travel times restored by early May, following work on some sections of track that is set to begin mid-April. In the meantime, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation jointly announced track work will result in some cancellations and … Continue reading Amtrak: Work to relieve passenger rail delays will affect Michigan service in mid-April

04/12/12

Dearborn station news…

Here are several links to news stories about the new station planned for Dearborn: Dearborn’s new train station unveiled at Greenfield Village Detroit Free Press – ‎5 hours ago‎ By Melanie D. Scott Rep. John Dingell, center, and other officials attend a ceremony at Smiths Creek Depot in Greenfield Village on Tuesday to mark the … Continue reading Dearborn station news…

04/12/12

Dignitaries celebrate construction of new $28 million train station

From the Dearborn Press and Guide: Government officials celebrated construction on a new $28 million train station with a commemorative ceremony Tuesday. Dignitaries from the local, state and federal level rolled into the Greenfield Village’s historic Smith Creek station on an old steam engine train to kick off the event, symbolizing how the project will … Continue reading Dignitaries celebrate construction of new $28 million train station

03/25/12

LaHood still optimistic about Woodward light-rail project

From The Detroit News: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he is optimistic the M-1 Woodward Avenue light-rail project can still go forward, despite concerns raised by the federal government about the project’s feasibility. In an interview Wednesday, LaHood told The Detroit News the city of Detroit has applied for a federal grant for about $25 … Continue reading LaHood still optimistic about Woodward light-rail project

03/17/12

Amtrak Service in Central and Eastern Michigan Delayed Due to Norfolk Southern Decision

From an Amtrak press release:  Railroad posts drastic speed restrictions while improvements are pending Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) has ordered passenger trains to slow to 25-to-30 mph on certain Michigan track segments it owns and controls between Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, starting today. These restrictions from previous top speeds of up to 79 mph have … Continue reading Amtrak Service in Central and Eastern Michigan Delayed Due to Norfolk Southern Decision

03/10/12

Fennville hopes to create train station

From The Allegan County News: The engineering and architecture firm that designed Fennville’s new streetscape now hopes to pitch the idea of a new downtown train station to Amtrak officials later this month. Tony McGhee is the business development director for the firm Abonmarche and said the city could seek a variety of grants to … Continue reading Fennville hopes to create train station

03/09/12

Amtrak’s Grand Rapids to Chicago route could get in on high-speed rail with proposed upgrades

From The Grand Rapids Press/Mlive.com: Upgrades to Amtrak’s Pere Marquette line between Grand Rapids and Chicago could be in the works thanks to a collaborative effort to net millions in highly competitive federal funding. Amtrak is working with the Michigan Department of Transportation to drum up local support for the project, starting with an application … Continue reading Amtrak’s Grand Rapids to Chicago route could get in on high-speed rail with proposed upgrades

03/03/12

Recall petition approved against Troy mayor that blocked $8 million transit center grant

From the Detroit Free Press: The Oakland County Election Commission unanimously approved language Thursday for a recall petition challenging Troy Mayor Janice Daniels’ vote against millions of dollars in federal funding to build a transit center near the Troy-Birmingham border. But the commission denied approval of petition language challenging her views on homosexuality, her behavior … Continue reading Recall petition approved against Troy mayor that blocked $8 million transit center grant

03/02/12

Derailed train was going four times authorized speed

From The National Post (Toronto): Shock, anger and political jockeying greeted a revelation Thursday that VIA Rail Train 92 was travelling at more than four times the authorized speed when it jumped the tracks and slammed into a building on the weekend, killing three employees and injuring dozens of passengers. The Toronto-bound train, which derailed … Continue reading Derailed train was going four times authorized speed

03/02/12

Unlikely supporter of Detroit mass transit found in U.P. lawmaker

From Michigan Radio: A lawmaker from the Upper Peninsula says every region in the state could benefit from a strong and vibrant Detroit. Republican state Senator Tom Casperson has become an unlikely advocate for a regional transit system in southeast Michigan that would connect Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. Casperson’s district in the U.P. … Continue reading Unlikely supporter of Detroit mass transit found in U.P. lawmaker

03/02/12

Some Want Amtrak to Increase Staffing

From WLNS: Amtrack ridership has been going up… even hitting “record highs” here in Michigan. Now some managers at the Jackson Station are asking, why isn’t Amtrak bringing in more workers?  They say it’s currently running with a skeleton staff. Passengers at the Jackson Amtrak Station have lots of reasons for taking the train. Whether … Continue reading Some Want Amtrak to Increase Staffing

03/01/12

Stay Off the Tracks: MDOT Warns About Dangers of Railroad Crossings

From the Macomb Township Patch: The Michigan Department of Transportation has posted a safety video on YouTube to urge motorists and pedestrians to pay attention when approaching railroad crossings. On the afternoon of Feb. 28, a Canadian National Railway train struck a 14-year-old high school student in Wyandotte. That same railway line runs through Macomb … Continue reading Stay Off the Tracks: MDOT Warns About Dangers of Railroad Crossings

03/01/12

Police searching for signs of sabotage in Via Rail train derailment

From The National Post: VIA commuter train 92 was switching tracks to avoid a work site at the exact moment it derailed, the Transportation Safety Board announced on Monday. The derailment on Sunday killed two locomotive engineers and a trainee, and seriously injured three passengers; 42 other passengers were taken to hospital, where eight remained … Continue reading Police searching for signs of sabotage in Via Rail train derailment

02/28/12

Via Rail Derailment: Modern train control system could reduce accidents

From The Toronto Star: As rail investigators continue to sift through clues to the cause of Sunday’s fatal Via train wreck, one rail expert says it’s time Canada considered installing a computerized train control system being used in other countries, including the U.S. Meanwhile, lawyers filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against VIA and the … Continue reading Via Rail Derailment: Modern train control system could reduce accidents

02/28/12

Southeast Michigan residents already making commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit possible

From AnnAror.com: As many wait for officials to deliver on the promise of a true commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Detroit, a handful of people already are making it work. Living proof that it’s possible right now to commute by train between the two Southeast Michigan cities — albeit with a few limitations … Continue reading Southeast Michigan residents already making commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit possible

02/28/12

AATA board approves Detroit airport shuttle and voices support for regional transit authority

From AnnArbor.com: The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s governing board voted Feb. 16, 2012 to approve a new Detroit airport shuttle service and voiced support for a regional transit authority. The airport shuttle service is expected to start in April, scheduling trips between Ann Arbor and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. That’s one step forward for the AATA as … Continue reading AATA board approves Detroit airport shuttle and voices support for regional transit authority

02/28/12

Ann Arbor officials debate building new Fuller Road train station vs. upgrading current Amtrak site

From AnnArbor.com: The University of Michigan’s decision to halt plans for a parking structure as part of Fuller Road Station leaves Ann Arborofficials contemplating the proposed transit center’s future. Some, including Council Member Mike Anglin and the Huron Valley Group of the Sierra Club, argue the city should shift its attention away from Fuller Road … Continue reading Ann Arbor officials debate building new Fuller Road train station vs. upgrading current Amtrak site

02/28/12

Train-ing days – commentary on the new 110 MPH service in Michigan

From the Arenac County Independent: When I read that the U.S. Department of Transportation gave Amtrak the OK to start running trains at 110 mph between Kalamazoo and Indiana, two thoughts went through my head. The first was “Well, it’s about time,” and the second was “Why did we let our transportation system get so … Continue reading Train-ing days – commentary on the new 110 MPH service in Michigan

02/22/12

Ann Arbor halts Fuller Road Station plans as U-M seeks to build new parking elsewhere

The city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan announced today they’re halting plans for the first phase of Fuller Road Station as presently designed. U-M is dropping its plans for a large parking structure on the site and will look elsewhere to build new parking facilities, officials confirmed. Mayor John Hieftje said the … Continue reading Ann Arbor halts Fuller Road Station plans as U-M seeks to build new parking elsewhere

02/22/12

Amtrak train from Chicago to Port Huron hits car

From The Lansing State Journal: An Amtrak train heading from Chicago to Port Huron struck a car west of Lansing Thursday evening, killing the car’s occupant and temporarily stranding about 120 train passengers. The collision occurred about 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of Millett Highway and Lansing Road in Delta Township, according to John Clark, … Continue reading Amtrak train from Chicago to Port Huron hits car

02/22/12

Rail officials demonstrate new 110 mph Amtrak service

Federal, state and local officials joined with Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in a demonstration of the new 110 mph service on the Wolverine line between Porter, Ind., and Kalamazoo, Mich. Amtrak and MDOT recently received federal approval to increase maximum speeds of Amtrak trains in western Michigan and northern Indiana to … Continue reading Rail officials demonstrate new 110 mph Amtrak service

02/22/12

High-speed trains arrive in Chicago

From WGN (includes video): http://www.wgntv.com/videogallery/68131208/News/high-speed-amtrak-trains-debut The push to bring high-speed rail service to the Midwest is speeding ahead. Amtrak introduced Wednesday morning it’s “Wolverine” train, which can reach speeds of up to 110 miles-per-hour. The train showcased its speed during a round-trip from Chicago to Kalamazoo, MI. It left Union Station at 7am, and then … Continue reading High-speed trains arrive in Chicago

02/22/12

Amtrak, MDOT officials say they are confident trains traveling 110 mph are safe

From the Kalamazoo Gazette: A day after the announcement that Amtrak trains will increase speeds to 110 mphbetween Kalamazoo and Porter, Ind., transportation officials said they are comfortable that the rail line can safely handle the higher speeds. The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the control system installed in Michigan does not include vehicle-detection technology … Continue reading Amtrak, MDOT officials say they are confident trains traveling 110 mph are safe

02/22/12

Amtrak celebrates increase in train speeds to 110 mph along Kalamazoo corridor from Chicago

From the Kalamazoo Gazette: A special Amtrak train arrived in Kalamazoo on Wednesday morning, hitting speeds of 110 mphon its way from Chicago. The train was a celebration of the first expansion of high-speed rail outside the Amtrak-owned corridor in the Northeastern United States. The train departed Chicago at 7 a.m., made a stop in … Continue reading Amtrak celebrates increase in train speeds to 110 mph along Kalamazoo corridor from Chicago

02/21/12

Union Station chugging forward

From the Chicago Journal: Chicago’s train hub plans future, from rehabbed retail to new offices and traffic patterns Nobody would be surprised to see Chicago’s Union Station busy during rush hour. On weekday mornings and evenings, the concourse and the second-floor mezzanine become nearly impassable. But even on the weekend, the food court on the … Continue reading Union Station chugging forward

02/09/12

AMTRAK 110 MPH MICHIGAN SERVICE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT

From a Michigan Department of Transporation press release: Federal approval permits higher passenger train speeds on Amtrak-owned  track between Kalamazoo, Mich., and Porter, Ind. CHICAGO and LANSING, Mich. – Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have received federal approval to increase maximum speeds of Amtrak trains in western Michigan and northern Indiana to … Continue reading AMTRAK 110 MPH MICHIGAN SERVICE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT

02/09/12

Amtrak at 110 mph in western Mich., northern Ind.

From The Chicago Tribune: Amtrak passenger trains sped up to 110 mph for the first time Tuesday in western Michigan and northern Indiana on two routes serving Chicago, officials announced. But the railroad crossings lack safety mechanisms that will be installed on Illinois’ high-speed corridor to prevent vehicle-train collisions. The faster service, which is the … Continue reading Amtrak at 110 mph in western Mich., northern Ind.

02/02/12

Amtrak restoring service from Detroit to Chicago following derailment

From the Detroit Free Press: Passenger rail service between metro Detroit and Chicago could be restored as early as this morning (Feb. 2, 2012) after a Chicago-bound Amtrak train smashed into a tractor-trailer Wednesday near Jackson, derailing several cars but causing no life-threatening injuries, officials said. As many as 10 people were treated for injuries … Continue reading Amtrak restoring service from Detroit to Chicago following derailment

01/31/12

MDOT’s new Office of Rail names director, will oversee all rail services

January 30, 2012 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced Timothy H. Hoeffner as director of the newly created Office of Rail. He has more than 30 years of experience at MDOT. He also is Gov. Snyder’s representative on the Midwest Intercity Passenger Rail Commission, where he serves as vice chair. Hoeffner has … Continue reading MDOT’s new Office of Rail names director, will oversee all rail services

01/31/12

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood attends ribbon-cutting for The Rapid

From The Grand Rapid Press: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood attended Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Rapid bus system’s new Wealthy Operations Center. LaHood and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit., appeared alongside city leaders during a ceremony at the $32 million facility at 333 Wealthy St. SW. Of that project’s cost, $10.6 million came … Continue reading U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood attends ribbon-cutting for The Rapid

01/31/12

Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service sets annual ridership record in 2011

From Wisconsin Department of Transporation: For the first time in its history, Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee, has a ridership that surpassed 800,000 in 2011. The year-end numbers put ridership at 823,163. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, that is a nearly four percent increase from 2010 when ridership totaled 792,848. Amtrak’s … Continue reading Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service sets annual ridership record in 2011

01/26/12

Editorial: Money key for Amtrak rail station

From the Port Huron Times-Herald: A new Amtrak train station could be Port Huron’s opportunity. Given the city’s plans for a new convention center and a revamped Thomas Edison Inn, it makes sense to explore possibilities for a new station near the development project. Amtrak’s 16th Street train station is in the midst of growing … Continue reading Editorial: Money key for Amtrak rail station

01/26/12

Amtrak, officials want new station

From the Port Huron Times-Herald: When it comes to Michigan train stations, Port Huron is a caboose. Record ridership for the Blue Water line this year has pushed the small, dated facility’s capacity to the brink — and both Amtrak and Michigan Department of Transportation officials have noticed. Local authorities want to move the station … Continue reading Amtrak, officials want new station

01/17/12

Troy City Council passes revised transit center plan by 4-3 vote

From mlive.com: The Troy City Council approved a revised plan this evening to build a federally-funded, multi-modal transit center. In December, the Council voted 4-3 to reject an $8.4 million transit center plan, but City Councilman Wade Fleming changed his vote after architects scaled back the plan to a cost of $6.27 million. The savings … Continue reading Troy City Council passes revised transit center plan by 4-3 vote

01/14/12

Light rail ‘not dead’; M1 Rail gets 90 days to create plan

From Crain’s Detroit Business: The local private-sector investment consortium that wants to build a light-rail line on a 3.4-mile stretch of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue has 90 days to compile a plan to refine, finance and build its project, Mayor Dave Bing said in a press conference this afternoon. The announcement revives plans for downtown rail … Continue reading Light rail ‘not dead’; M1 Rail gets 90 days to create plan

01/07/12

Private support reignites Woodward light rail plan

From The Detroit News: An abbreviated light rail project is back on the table for Detroit after a high-powered meeting Friday between the plan’s private backers and federal, state and local officials. But the clock is ticking for investors Roger Penske, Dan Gilbert and other prominent business leaders, who have 90 days to convince governmental … Continue reading Private support reignites Woodward light rail plan

01/07/12

Revised Troy transit center plan up for vote

From The Detroit News: City officials to hear scaled-back proposal for bus, rail station The City Council on Monday is expected to vote on a scaled-back proposal for the Troy Transit Center weeks after the panel failed to award a contract to begin the federally funded project. The resolution released late Friday reduces expenditures by … Continue reading Revised Troy transit center plan up for vote

01/07/12

Farmington talks of opting out of SMART bus system

From The Farmington Observer: Farmington City Council members voiced strong opinions at a recent study session that paying for the regional bus service is no longer the “smart” thing to do. That led Mayor Tom Buck to conclude that when the council votes to opt in or out of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional … Continue reading Farmington talks of opting out of SMART bus system

12/23/11

Michigan City Turns Down Millions of Dollars, Saying Federal Money Is Not Free

From The New York Times: Water flows uphill. A city turns down $8.5 million in federal grant money. In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money. The terminal, which … Continue reading Michigan City Turns Down Millions of Dollars, Saying Federal Money Is Not Free

12/21/11

Magna official urges halt to investments after Troy votes down transit center

From The Detroit News Troy faced quick fallout Tuesday after scrapping plans for a federally funded transit center, as an official with a local auto supplier said he would urge the company to look elsewhere for future investment. Frank W. Ervin III, manager of government affairs for Magna International Inc., made the comment in an … Continue reading Magna official urges halt to investments after Troy votes down transit center

12/21/11

Commentary: Right decision made on Troy transit center

From The Detroit News: By Dale Murrish Now that the Troy City Council has decided against building a new transit center, other solutions can be considered. Perhaps by combining our best ideas and filtering out the bad arguments we can find the best way forward. The most important thing to remember is this: the $8.4 … Continue reading Commentary: Right decision made on Troy transit center

12/21/11

Peters: Keep rejected transit aid in metro Detroit

From The Chicago Tribune: Michigan U.S. Rep. Gary Peters on Tuesday asked that the federal government redirect $8.4 million in transportation aid spurned by the Troy City Council to other projects in the Detroit area. The request came in letters to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Rick Snyder from the Bloomfield Township Democrat. The … Continue reading Peters: Keep rejected transit aid in metro Detroit

12/21/11

Transit center rejected by Troy

From the Detroit Free Press A federally funded transportation center in Troy that leaders across the region considered an important piece to boost mass-transit opportunities in metro Detroit will not get built after the Troy City Council rejected the proposal Monday night. Opponents called the $8.5-million, 2,500-square-foot center a waste of tax dollars, even though … Continue reading Transit center rejected by Troy

12/14/11

Editorial: Troy should build new station

From The Detroit News: Federal funds for project are already appropriated; station could serve additional transit needs Like a lot of Michigan cities, Troy is under pressure from citizens to hold the line on taxes while decreased real estate values and state revenue sharing have shrunk the tax base. But even under those circumstances, it … Continue reading Editorial: Troy should build new station

12/14/11

Detroit light-rail line plan scrapped for city, suburban buses

From the Detroit Free Press: The ambitious plan for a light-rail line on Woodward Avenue between downtown Detroit and 8 Mile has been scrapped in favor of a system of city and suburban buses, several officials briefed on the decision told the Free Press today. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Detroit Mayor Dave Bing … Continue reading Detroit light-rail line plan scrapped for city, suburban buses

12/13/11

Removing a barrier to high speed rail from Detroit to Chicago

From Michigan Radio: Today could be a significant day for the future of high speed rail in Michigan. Consultants have until today to submit their proposals to study how to solve a crucial problem for high speed rail between Detroit and Chicago. The problem: a railroad bottleneck between northwest Indiana and Chicago. A high volume … Continue reading Removing a barrier to high speed rail from Detroit to Chicago

12/13/11

Equipment upgrades next for high-speed rail project

From The Illinios State-Journal-Register Illinois is about to go shopping for a high-speed train set — 12 locomotives and 30 bi-level passenger cars at a potential cost of up to $233.8 million. Throw in another $268.2 million to be shared with Iowa, Michigan and Missouri, and the total exceeds $500 million. The figures represent the … Continue reading Equipment upgrades next for high-speed rail project

12/11/11

Troy’s rail transit vote roars toward deadline

From the Detroit Free Press: After nearly a dozen years of yes votes, the Troy City Council faces one final vote and a deadline Dec. 19 that outsiders say is crucial for metro Detroit — whether to accept federal money and build a rail transit center. The glorified train station would be on Troy’s border … Continue reading Troy’s rail transit vote roars toward deadline

12/11/11

Detroit, suburbs’ bus systems need jump start to grow

From the Detroit Free Press: Metro Detroit’s public transportation troubles — long marked by inadequate, overlapping service provided by city and suburban bus systems — have never been so severe. On Monday, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) will eliminate 15 bus routes, stop taking riders into the city except during peak weekday … Continue reading Detroit, suburbs’ bus systems need jump start to grow

12/11/11

Big city transit funding sources diverse

From the Detroit Free Press: How big cities operate and pay for mass transit is as unique as each city, offering road maps for metro Detroit. New York is the king of public transportation systems, running the nation’s largest subway fleet — 6,380 subway cars on 660 miles of track — and a bus system … Continue reading Big city transit funding sources diverse

12/11/11

Debunking public transportation myths

From the Detroit Free Press: There are a lot of misconceptions about public transit, despite its critical role in getting people around. It’s a $55-billion industry in the U.S. and a system that has been stretched by record-high gas prices and ridership levels not seen since the 1950s even as a troubled economy reduces funding … Continue reading Debunking public transportation myths

12/11/11

Crowded Detroit bus system offers alternative for some suburban riders as SMART scales back service

From the Detroit Free Press: SMART will make the most dramatic service cuts in its history Monday as it deals with huge funding losses caused by metro Detroit’s battered real estate values. The suburban bus system will eliminate 15 routes across the metro area, including service to Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn and Grosse … Continue reading Crowded Detroit bus system offers alternative for some suburban riders as SMART scales back service

12/11/11

Troy mayor lies low after Facebook backlash as businesses face boycotts

From the Detroit Free Press: Troy’s embattled Mayor Janice Daniels said Friday she’d had a tough week. So tough in fact that she called off her weekly Saturday walk of Troy’s neighborhoods when she meets and greets all who answer her knock. “I’m very tired and I don’t feel well,” Daniels said. Daniels was excoriated … Continue reading Troy mayor lies low after Facebook backlash as businesses face boycotts

12/09/11

Troy city council listens to public input on proposed train station

By Larry Sobczak The Michigan Passenger Editor The Troy City Council listened to public comments Dec. 5 whether to proceed with the Multimodal Transit Center to be located near Maple and Coolidge roads. More than a dozen people from Troy and nearby areas expressed their support or opposition to the $8.4 million transit center proposed to … Continue reading Troy city council listens to public input on proposed train station

12/06/11

Columnist: Fast trains from Detroit to Chicago coming in 3-4 years

From the Detroit Free Press: Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Not yet. Though Michigan was awarded $403.2 million in federal dollars this year for improvements to its heavily traveled Wolverine line between Pontiac and Chicago, it could be a while before travelers get speedy, reliable Amtrak service. Construction and ongoing … Continue reading Columnist: Fast trains from Detroit to Chicago coming in 3-4 years

12/05/11

New mayor, council members try to halt Troy transit facility

From The Detroit News: After a decade of planning, a transit center tying together train, bus, taxi and future light rail service in Troy appeared to be near fruition this fall. The facility is supposed to open by October 2013, but a shakeup at City Hall has put construction in doubt. Mayor Janice Daniels, elected … Continue reading New mayor, council members try to halt Troy transit facility

11/30/11

Troy debates sending back $8.5 million in U.S. aid for transit center

From the Detroit Free Press: Mass transit proposals are gaining speed in metro Detroit, but Troy’s new mayor said she wants to stop a decade-long effort to build a transit center at the Troy-Birmingham border. Mayor Janice Daniels, an activist in Michigan’s Tea Party, campaigned against spending $8.5 million in federal funds for the rail-passenger … Continue reading Troy debates sending back $8.5 million in U.S. aid for transit center

11/29/11

State bus lines grow ridership, serve rural areas

From The Grand Rapids Press: William Bussa had an easy choice: Hop on an Indian Trails motorcoach and get home in time for Thanksgiving, or stay in a virtually deserted Grand Valley State University campus and miss a family holiday gathering in Elk Rapids. Bussa, 18, doesn’t have a car and couldn’t hitch a ride … Continue reading State bus lines grow ridership, serve rural areas

11/29/11

$150 Million awarded to Michigan to Expand High-Speed Rail in the Midwest

From a U.S. Department of Transportation press release: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray  LaHood awarded $150 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation  (MDOT) on Nov. 22 for a high-speed rail project that will increase the safety and  reliability of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services between  Detroit and Chicago and put more than 800 Americans back … Continue reading $150 Million awarded to Michigan to Expand High-Speed Rail in the Midwest

11/23/11

Unique ‘Great Dome’ car adds seats and scenic views on selected dates

From an Amtrak Press Release: Amtrak is operating all available railcars and locomotives on trains to and from the Chicago area in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday travel season. Fresh from fall colors trips to and from the East Coast, starting today the historic Amtrak “Great Dome” rail car will provide a unique opportunity to … Continue reading Unique ‘Great Dome’ car adds seats and scenic views on selected dates

11/23/11

Obama signs bill that green-lights Woodward light rail private funding deal

From Crain’s Detroit Business: On Friday, President Obama signed a $182 billion stopgap spending bill that will keep the federal government operating until Dec. 16 — a piece of bipartisan legislation that includes language approving the local matching funds scheme for Detroit’s Woodward Avenue light rail project. Crain’s first reported in November 2009 (link) that … Continue reading Obama signs bill that green-lights Woodward light rail private funding deal

11/22/11

Michigan Rail Summit throws diverse parties into transports of joy

From the Lansing City Pulse: Judging by the upbeat toots and chugs heard at Monday afternoon’s Michigan Rail Summit in Lansing, there’s one toy that inspires Republicans and Democrats, environmentalists and business leaders, Feds and locals and all the other boys and girls to play nicely together: a train. Every speaker at the Lansing Convention … Continue reading Michigan Rail Summit throws diverse parties into transports of joy

11/22/11

Michigan Governor Ignites Spark in Transportation Reform

From the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service: Governor Rick Snyder’s special message last Wednesday for a new transportation strategy in Michigan is receiving positive reviews from those seeking reform in the state because he’s not just trying to fix roads and patch potholes, but is instead proposing a long-term solution for transportation funding and improving … Continue reading Michigan Governor Ignites Spark in Transportation Reform

11/22/11

Governor Snyder Touts Higher Speed Rail for Michigan

From Michigan Radio’s Enviornment Report: Governor Rick Snyder met with lawmakers, federal officials and the railroad industry Oct. 31, 2011 to talk about the future of rail transportation in our state. Rick Pluta is the State Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.  He was at the Michigan Rail Summit and he joins me to talk more … Continue reading Governor Snyder Touts Higher Speed Rail for Michigan

11/22/11

Conductors to Begin Scanning eTickets on Downeaster Service

From Amtrak: In the next step toward a nationwide eTicketing system, conductors on the Downeaster this month began scanning “print anywhere” eTickets using handheld mobile device. eTicketing provides significant benefits over traditional paper tickets. Passengers no longer have to pick up their tickets at a station, and they do not have to worry about keeping … Continue reading Conductors to Begin Scanning eTickets on Downeaster Service

11/22/11

Columnist: Canada’s high-speed train stuck in station

From The Toronto Star: Of all the issues endlessly studied without resolution in Canada, high-speed rail (HSR) tops the list. The latest unreleased HSR study, which was revealed by the Star last week, only confirms that more than 30 years of rosy political promises and large consulting fees have accomplished nothing. Canada remains the only G8 … Continue reading Columnist: Canada’s high-speed train stuck in station

11/21/11

Amtrak adds free Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes

From Progessive Railroading: Amtrak expanded its AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes, including the Northeast Regional, Keystone and Empire services. Other routes now featuring Wi-Fi include the Carolinian, Downeaster, Ethan Allen Express, New Haven-to-Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement. Wi-Fi service also was installed in select cars marked … Continue reading Amtrak adds free Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes

11/21/11

Greyhound Launches Nationwide Program for Convenient Cash-Payment Options

Greyhound and 7-Eleven press release: Partnership with 7-Eleven and PayNearMe allows customers to book online, pay in cash  DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Greyhound, the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, and 7-Eleven, Inc., the world’s largest convenience retailer, today announced that customers nationwide can purchase bus tickets online or over the … Continue reading Greyhound Launches Nationwide Program for Convenient Cash-Payment Options

11/21/11

Niles Amtrak Depot lights up Dec. 3

From the Niles Star: From 4:30 to 6 p.m.  Dec. 3, the Four Flags Garden Club will host its 20th annual Hometown Christmas Celebration at the Historic Amtrak Depot, 600 Dey St., Niles. The impetus for this free, annual event is the last scene of the 1991 John Candy movie “Only the Lonely,” which was … Continue reading Niles Amtrak Depot lights up Dec. 3

11/21/11

Moroun asks: What would you do with Michigan Central Station?

From the Detroit Free Press: The owners of the derelict Michigan Central Station say they want to hear the public’s ideas for remaking Detroit’s most iconic vacant ruin. The family of station owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun created a website for fans of the old depot to post their ideas, www.talktothestation.com. In the little over a … Continue reading Moroun asks: What would you do with Michigan Central Station?

11/21/11

Windsor chamber of commerce urges Canadian government to reconsider high-speed rail

From The Windsor Star: The local chamber of commerce is urging the federal government to reconsider  its decision to refuse funding for a high-speed rail link between Windsor and  Quebec City. Transport Minister Denis Lebel told The Star Tuesday that with a price tag of  between $18.9 billion and $21.3 billion, the proposal is “not … Continue reading Windsor chamber of commerce urges Canadian government to reconsider high-speed rail

11/21/11

Dormant Upper Michigan track may reopen

From Trains Magazine: In a filing  with the Federal Surface Transportation Board, short line Mineral Range,  Inc., has proposed purchasing 12 miles of Lake Superior & Ishpeming  Railroad trackage in Upper Michigan and  rebuilding track on another 1.9 miles of abandoned right of way that is now a  trail. Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. is opening … Continue reading Dormant Upper Michigan track may reopen

11/21/11

Porter Junction rail project looks safe

From Nortwest Indiana Times: A Republican effort to kill funding for President Barack Obama’s signature  high-speed rail program will not affect the $71.4 Indiana Gateway project  centered on improvements at Porter Junction. Money for the Indiana Gateway project, which will create 700 jobs, already  has been appropriated and awarded, according to officials at the Indiana  … Continue reading Porter Junction rail project looks safe

11/21/11

Amtrak is running a dome car on the Wolverine train

From the Detroit Free Press: Some lucky Amtrak passengers taking the Wolverine train between Detroit and Chicago Thanksgiving week will get to ride in the railroad’s Great Dome railcar. Riders on trains 352 on Nov. 23 and 351 on Nov. 24 will be able to sit in the double-decker car, which has been added to increase … Continue reading Amtrak is running a dome car on the Wolverine train

11/17/11

Officials break ground on Grand Rapids Amtrak station

From The Grand Rapids Press: Vern Ehlers says he wishes energy was purple. Not in the sense of energy conservation being a red-blue (as in bipartisan) issue, though that is a nice thought. As the former West Michigan congressman explained to a group gathered to break ground on the new Amtrak station that eventually will … Continue reading Officials break ground on Grand Rapids Amtrak station

11/17/11

Holland designates overflow parking for Padnos Center

From the Holland Sentinel: The city of Holland has designated the Seventh Street parking deck as the official overflow parking for the Padnos Transportation Center. No-cost overnight parking permit hangtags will be issued by Macatawa Area Express staff, located in the Padnos Center office, 171 Lincoln Ave. Permits will be issued Monday through Friday from … Continue reading Holland designates overflow parking for Padnos Center

11/11/11

Battle Creek Amtrak station renovation on track

From the Battle Creek Enquirer: Upgrades to the passenger train station in downtown Battle Creek are progressing. The $3.8 million renovation is expected to be completed in late March or early April, said Battle Creek Transportation Director Larry Bowron. The parking lot next to the station at the former site of the city bus transfer … Continue reading Battle Creek Amtrak station renovation on track

11/01/11

Snyder says he wants action on high-speed buses in 2012

From the Detroit Free Press: Gov. Rick Snyder said today that he wants action in 2012 on his proposal for a network of high-speed busesalong major roads in metro Detroit. Snyder also said he believes lawmakers will find a way to raise additional money for road and bridge repairs and improvements to rail and bus … Continue reading Snyder says he wants action on high-speed buses in 2012

10/28/11

Lawmakers debate Gov. Rick Snyder’s transit plan

From the Detroit Free Press: Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday that the state needs to spend more to repair roads and improve bus service, but he’s leaving it up to the Legislature and voters to decide whether to raise yearly vehicle registration fees to pay for the work. Snyder suggested raising fees by from $40 … Continue reading Lawmakers debate Gov. Rick Snyder’s transit plan

10/28/11

High-speed service great idea, suburban bus GM says

From the Detroit Free Press: Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal for high-speed bus service on major routes including Woodward, Gratiot, Michigan Avenue and M-59, connecting downtown to key suburbs, Metro Airport and Ann Arbor, would be a huge boost for moving people to jobs at a crucial time in metro Detroit, the general manager of the … Continue reading High-speed service great idea, suburban bus GM says

10/28/11

Study says high-speed train could benefit Canadian economy

From Canada.com: A study into the feasibility of a high-speed train link in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor shows the project could benefit the entire Canadian economy. The report conducted by the EcoTrain consortium — grouping Dessau, MMM Group, KPMG, Wilbur Smith & Associates, and Deutsche Bahn International — was released Monday by High Speed Rail … Continue reading Study says high-speed train could benefit Canadian economy

10/28/11

Critical rail link to Ottawa in jeopardy

News release from Nordik Institute: SAULT STE. MARIE, ON (October 25, 2011) – Ninety-five kilometers of rail that connect Northern Ontario to Ottawa, Montreal and the East Coast are slated to be torn up. This rail is critical to Northern Ontario’s economic opportunities that depend on rail transportation. Also, opportunity to develop passenger train service … Continue reading Critical rail link to Ottawa in jeopardy

10/27/11

Columnist: Rapid transit rolling our way

From the Detroit Free Press: Gov. Rick Snyder today will announce plans for a 110-mile network of sleek rapid transit buses in metro Detroit, operating within two or three years, that will move people as fast and conveniently as light rail. A new regional transit authority, made up of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw Counties, … Continue reading Columnist: Rapid transit rolling our way

10/19/11

Canadian high-speed train stuck in station

Editorial from the Toronto Star: Of all the issues endlessly studied without resolution in Canada, high-speed rail (HSR) tops the list. The latest unreleased HSR study, which was revealed by the Star last week, only confirms that more than 30 years of rosy political promises and large consulting fees have accomplished nothing. Canada remains the … Continue reading Canadian high-speed train stuck in station

10/19/11

Plan to link Detroit to Halifax by rail in anticipation of future mega cargo ships

From Crain Detroit Business: A new nonprofit wants to transform Detroit’s logistics assets into an inland port linked by rail to the deepwater facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to take advantage of the newest generation of massive cargo ships. Organizers of the Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway say Halifax is one of just two ports … Continue reading Plan to link Detroit to Halifax by rail in anticipation of future mega cargo ships

10/17/11

High level talks set on transit

From the Detroit Free Press: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be in Detroit on Monday (10/17/11)  to talk to political leaders about resolving intractable regional transit problems typified by major cuts announced this week for the suburban bus system. LaHood’s office wouldn’t confirm details of the discussions, but the subtext is clear: The Obama … Continue reading High level talks set on transit

10/14/11

All three Amtrak routes show ridership growth in Michigan

MDOT Press Release: FAST FACTS: – Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for FY 2011. – Despite track work and freight slowdowns, the Wolverine service continues to grow. – Blue Water service has impressive passenger growth. October 13, 2011 — Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for the fiscal … Continue reading All three Amtrak routes show ridership growth in Michigan

10/14/11

Amtrak sets all-time passenger and revenue records in FY 2011

From Amtrak press release: WASHINGTON – Amtrak carried nearly 30.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2011 ending September 30, marking the highest ridership total since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971 and the eighth ridership record during the last nine years. Ridership versus the prior year is up by more than five … Continue reading Amtrak sets all-time passenger and revenue records in FY 2011

10/14/11

Amtrak sets record of 30 million passengers in past 12 months, the most since railroad created

From The Washington Post: Amtrak trains carried more than 30 million passengers in the past 12 months, the most in one year since the passenger railroad was created four decades ago, railroad officials said Thursday. Ridership during the budget year ending on Sept. 30 was 30.2 million passengers, up 5 percent over the previous year. … Continue reading Amtrak sets record of 30 million passengers in past 12 months, the most since railroad created

10/14/11

Woodward Light Rail projects gets $2 million federal grant for study on Birmingham extension

From the Detroit Free Press: The federal government today granted $2 million to an effort to study whether Detroit’s fledgling Woodward Light Rail project, now designed to run from downtown to 8 Mile Road, should keep chugging north up to Birmingham. The money is another strong indicator of federal support for the $550-million plan to … Continue reading Woodward Light Rail projects gets $2 million federal grant for study on Birmingham extension

10/14/11

MDOT: Amtrak sets ridership records in Michigan

From the Detroit Free Press: Amtrak routes in Michigan are setting new ridership records, despite freight train delays that the state and federal government are investing millions to reduce, the passenger rail service said. Amtrak said 503,290 passengers rode its Wolverine line on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor in the fiscal year that ended in September, a … Continue reading MDOT: Amtrak sets ridership records in Michigan

10/14/11

Officials break ground on Amtrak station to be named for Vern Ehlers

From The Grand Rapids Press: Dignitaries gather and toss dirt for the ground breaking ceremony for the new Amtrak station, including Mayor Hartwell and former congressman Vern Ehlers. The project is funded through a $3.8 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. Last year, the DDA approved an $850,000 request to help the Rapid and … Continue reading Officials break ground on Amtrak station to be named for Vern Ehlers

10/14/11

EDITORIAL: Get high-speed rail project moving

From the Northwest Indiana Times: It has been nearly two years since federal funding was granted for the a high-speed rail project in Northwest Indiana, yet no construction has begun yet. It’s time to get this project moving. The junction in Porter currently creates congestion that must be addressed if high-speed trips are to occur. … Continue reading EDITORIAL: Get high-speed rail project moving

10/14/11

Englewood Flyover construction project to create jobs

From abc7chicago.com : Construction began Monday on a project designed to relieve traffic congestion along rail lines on Chicago’s South Side. In addition, 1,500 people will be put to work on the “Englewood Flyover” project. A small army of politicians descended on a South Side railroad junction Monday morning. They came to get what credit … Continue reading Englewood Flyover construction project to create jobs

10/11/11

Rapid to host ground-breaking on new Amtrak station Friday

From The Grand Rapids Press: The Interurban Transit Partnership, also known as the Rapid, will break ground Friday on a long-awaited new Grand Rapids Amtrak station. A noon ceremony in the Area 6 DASH parking lot south of the Rapid Central Station platform will be attended by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and representatives from … Continue reading Rapid to host ground-breaking on new Amtrak station Friday

10/06/11

Michigan gets grant to upgrade Detroit-Kalamazoo Amtrak line

From the Detroit Free Press: Federal authorities awarded a $196.5-million grant to Michigan transportation officials today for track and signal improvements on the Amtrak line between Detroit and Kalamazoo that will allow for train speeds of up to 110 miles per hour on most of the line. As a result, the trip from Detroit to … Continue reading Michigan gets grant to upgrade Detroit-Kalamazoo Amtrak line

10/05/11

MDOT seeks to improve both passenger and freight rail lines with purchase of Norfolk Southern Railway track

From an MDOT press release: October 5, 2011 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today announced an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway (NSR) to purchase a critical 135-mile segment of railroad track between Kalamazoo and Dearborn. The track is part of Amtrak’s Wolverine passenger rail service and also provides freight services to major Michigan … Continue reading MDOT seeks to improve both passenger and freight rail lines with purchase of Norfolk Southern Railway track

10/05/11

U.S. DOT awards $196 million grant for Detroit to Chicago Amtrak rail line

Press release from U.S. DOT: U.S.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today awarded a $196.5 million grant to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for track and signal improvements between Detroit and Kalamazoo, MI.  These improvements will allow for speeds up to 110 mph on 77 percent of Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit … Continue reading U.S. DOT awards $196 million grant for Detroit to Chicago Amtrak rail line

10/03/11

Michigan Lt. Gov. Calley OKs funds for rail project

From HSR Updates: Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed legislation Seot. 29, 2011 that will enable the state to accept millions of dollars in federal grants to upgrade the Chicago-Detroit corridor to operate high-speed rail service. Senate Bill 237, which the Michigan House of Representatives passed on Wednesday and the state Senate passed last week, … Continue reading Michigan Lt. Gov. Calley OKs funds for rail project

10/03/11

Analysis: Why Michigan kept its $400 million for passenger trains when Ohio gave it back

From All Aboard Ohio: This week, both houses of Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature strongly supported funding for improving intercity passenger rail service on Amtrak’s Wolverine Corridor. The Detroit to Chicago line serves 17 cities in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois with up to eight trains a day. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation into law yesterday, … Continue reading Analysis: Why Michigan kept its $400 million for passenger trains when Ohio gave it back

10/03/11

Michigan legislature approves spending for high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago

From Mlive.com: The Michigan legislature on Wednesday approved a supplemental spending bill that will  unlock federal funds to fast-track improvements along the planned high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bill, which uses a combination of $39.2 million in local, private and state transportation funds as a … Continue reading Michigan legislature approves spending for high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago

10/01/11

East Lansing won’t get new bus route to Metro after all

From the Lansing State Journal: Michigan Flyer won’t be adding another route to its bus service between East Lansing and Detroit Metropolitan Airport anytime soon. The privately owned airport shuttle service did not receive a $1.5 million federal grant to help it start a new route from East Lansing to the Detroit airport along Interstate … Continue reading East Lansing won’t get new bus route to Metro after all

09/30/11

Ann Arbor to benefit as Michigan moves to purchase and rehab Norfolk Southern rail line

From AnnArbor.com: The state of Michigan is making moves to purchase and rehabilitate the Norfolk Southern Railway line that passes through Ann Arbor— another positive sign for high-speed rail. A Senate appropriations bill including nearly $400 million in rail-related spending is expected to move on the floor of the state House this week, and it’s … Continue reading Ann Arbor to benefit as Michigan moves to purchase and rehab Norfolk Southern rail line

09/22/11

Troy City Council approves contract to release $8 million to fund local transit center

From the Troy Times: Plans for the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Facility chugged ahead after the Troy City Council approved the contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation that allows dispersal of just under $8.5 million in federal grant money to fund the project. The project is on track to be finished by September of 2013. … Continue reading Troy City Council approves contract to release $8 million to fund local transit center

09/19/11

Amtrak, Indiana Dunes team up

From the North West Indiana TImes As the Wolverine leaves Chicago’s Union Station each afternoon, passengers  aboard the Amtrak train to Detroit look out their windows at the urban maze of  concrete and steel. Once the train crosses the Indiana state line, though, skyscrapers soon are  replaced with the natural beauty of the thick forests … Continue reading Amtrak, Indiana Dunes team up

09/16/11

Ag. Pushes Investment In Rail

From Gongwer News Report Volume #50, Report #173 — Friday, September 2, 2011 Michigan, and other states, have been working the last couple of decades to convert old rail lines to walking and biking trails, but more money now needs to go into refurbishing the remaining lines, the Michigan Agri-Business Association said in a paper … Continue reading Ag. Pushes Investment In Rail

09/15/11

Make high-speed rail a priority

From CBC News Windsor-West MP Brian Masse announced Monday he intends to pursue international high-speed rail service between Chicago and Quebec. “I believe we can make it work all the way to Quebec City,” he said a news conference staged in front of the historic Spirit of Windsor steam engine No. 5588. Masse wrote Minister … Continue reading Make high-speed rail a priority

09/15/11

Chicago and Quebec City high-speed rail link touted

From The Windsor Star With too many factions studying high-speed rail in the Quebec City to Windsor  corridor, MP Brian Masse (NDP – Windsor-West) called on the federal government  Monday to form one working group to fast track rail improvements. Masse sent a letter to federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel and launched a  “Need for … Continue reading Chicago and Quebec City high-speed rail link touted

09/13/11

Work on the Amtrak Wolverine line is progressing (includes video)

Crews are dillegently working on the Norfolk Southern tracks that the Amtrak Wolverine and Blue Water trains use between Dearborn and Kalamazoo and are expected to be finished by the second or third week of September 2011 according to an Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) official. Over the past year, Norfolk Southern has deferred some maintenance … Continue reading Work on the Amtrak Wolverine line is progressing (includes video)

09/12/11

Rail group honors Schwarz’s ‘untiring efforts’

MARP’s annual meeting was featured in the Battle Creek Enquirer: After his birth in Chicago, John “Joe” Schwarz was carried home to Battle Creek, where his parents stepped off the train at the old depot off Van Buren Street. Schwarz remarked on that fact Saturday while standing inside that old depot — now the restaurant … Continue reading Rail group honors Schwarz’s ‘untiring efforts’

09/08/11

More passengers using Blue Water Amtrak

From the Port Huron Times-Herald Mitchell Johnston doesn’t mind waking up at the crack of dawn to ride the Blue Water train to Chicago. A sophomore at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Johnston, 19, of Lakeport hopped on the train at the Port Huron Amtrak station about 6 a.m. Wednesday to get back to school. … Continue reading More passengers using Blue Water Amtrak

09/03/11

Letter: Amtrak is not only mode of transportation that gets federal subsidies

From the Kalamazoo Gazette Recently Amtrak has received a disproportionate amount of negative press about its government subsidies. We fail to realize that most (if not all) forms of transportation rely on federal subsidies to operate. According to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration Bureau of Transportation Statistics website, transit travel received the largest amount … Continue reading Letter: Amtrak is not only mode of transportation that gets federal subsidies

09/03/11

First wave of funding released for Ann Arbor high-speed rail station

From Crain’s Detroit Business The Federal Railroad Administration has released $2.8 million to help build a high-speed rail station in Ann Arbor. The funding, announced Thursday by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, will allow the city of Ann Arbor to begin the preliminary engineering, design and environmental documentation required to construct a new intercity and high-speed … Continue reading First wave of funding released for Ann Arbor high-speed rail station

09/03/11

New Grand Rapids Amtrak Station on track for Fall 2013

From Fox 17 News Project leaders with The Rapid held a public meeting Tuesday night at The Rapid Central Station in Grand Rapids to discuss the AMTRAK project. They’re asking the public to give their input on the project, especially riders who use the train service. “I’m excited to see it happen, the current station … Continue reading New Grand Rapids Amtrak Station on track for Fall 2013

09/03/11

Train Station with 78 Daily Riders Gets $1 Million in Stimulus Renovations

From the Mackinac Center for Public Policy The Jackson Amtrak station will get $1 million in renovations thanks to the American Relief and Recovery Act (the federal stimulus program), according to the Jackson Citizen Patriot. But Wendell Cox, a transit consultant in St. Louis, Mo., questions why an Amtrak station with 78 customers a day … Continue reading Train Station with 78 Daily Riders Gets $1 Million in Stimulus Renovations

09/03/11

People Mover likely to cut back on service as money dries up

From the Detroit Free Press The Detroit People Mover has enough funding to operate through only December, city officials said Wednesday, as the rail line’s management board approved a 25-cent fare hike that they said, at best, might keep it moving a few extra weeks at its current service level. Officials said reducing hours and … Continue reading People Mover likely to cut back on service as money dries up

09/03/11

10 slow Amtrak trains in Michigan

From Michigan Radio There are three Amtrak routes with trains that travel to and from cities in Michigan to Chicago. If you ride on any of them, chances are your train will be late. The route with the best on-time rate in the last year were the trains traveling on the “Blue Water” route between … Continue reading 10 slow Amtrak trains in Michigan

09/01/11

Opinion: Passenger rail travel’s future in Michigan

From The Windsor Star Are the railroads part of our romantic past – or an important and growing  part of Michigan’s transportation future? The answer, it seems clear, is .  yes. Former congressman Joe Schwarz, a lifelong railroad buff, is Gov. Rick  Snyder’s official and “highly unpaid” adviser on raiI. Earlier this year, he worked … Continue reading Opinion: Passenger rail travel’s future in Michigan

08/31/11

Travelers advisory: Track work will affect Amtrak Wolverine trains 350 and 353

Poor track conditions along the Amtrak Wolverine route in Michigan has caused service delays since June 2011 due to speed restrictions imposed by the host freight railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway. Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle announced Aug. 8, 2011, that a $4.2 million maintenance agreement with Norfolk Southern would begin soon and … Continue reading Travelers advisory: Track work will affect Amtrak Wolverine trains 350 and 353

08/31/11

Battle Creek Station temporary relocation begins Aug. 3, 2011

Beginning Wednesday, August 3,2011 and continuing for approximately nine months, the Battle Creek station will undergo renovations. All station operations will relocate to a temporary facility located about 300 feet west of the current station across McCamly St. Temporary Station Address and Phone Number: 124 South McCamly Street Battle Creek, Michigan 49017 269-963-6020   Arrive … Continue reading Battle Creek Station temporary relocation begins Aug. 3, 2011

08/25/11

Nearly $1 million in improvements to Jackson’s historic train station expected to start this spring

From The Jackson Citizen-Patriot Federal stimulus funds are finally coming to Jackson to help preserve its historic train station. State officials announced the station would receive $938,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds in April 2009, but Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation have been unable to resolve bureaucratic issues over funding rules. But … Continue reading Nearly $1 million in improvements to Jackson’s historic train station expected to start this spring

08/25/11

Extending the hours at Jackson’s train station still a possibility

From The Jackson Citizen-Patriot Jackson’s historic Amtrak train station could extends its hours later in the day if the station is converted to an intermodal transportation center. Brain Karhoff, lead agent at the station, told state and local officials today ridership has been increasing at the station but so have complaints about it closing at … Continue reading Extending the hours at Jackson’s train station still a possibility

08/25/11

Moroun making good on cleanup of Michigan Central Station

From The Detroit News   One staggering step at a time, the Michigan Central Station is showing signs  of life. Fueled by funds from  Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun, workers toiling since early spring have  removed tons of debris, broken glass, caulking and asbestos from the derelict  building. While workers do the grunt work, architect … Continue reading Moroun making good on cleanup of Michigan Central Station

08/25/11

Track work to help Amtrak speeds

Large track crews of 75 or more men have been spotted repairing the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks between Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo which hosts Amtrak’s Wolverine train service. This grade crossing is being rebuilt approxiamately three miles west of Ypsilanti. Poor track conditions along the route have caused service delays since June 2011 due to speed restrictions imposed by the host freight … Continue reading Track work to help Amtrak speeds

08/20/11

$28 Million DOT Grant for New Dearborn, MI Train Station

From a U.S. Department of Transportation press release The Michigan Department of Transportation has received $28.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to consolidate Dearborn’s two passenger rail facilities into a pedestrian-friendly, intermodal station in the West Downtown section of the city.  The money will support President Obama’s vision to create livable cities and … Continue reading $28 Million DOT Grant for New Dearborn, MI Train Station

08/20/11

Indian Trails plans to add a new I-96 route

From an Indian Trail press release Michigan Flyer, LLC, of East Lansing, MI—a division of Indian Trails, Inc.—plans to add a new I-96 route this fall, doubling the number of trips it makes each day between East Lansing and Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Currently, Michigan Flyer offers luxury motor coach service along the I-94 corridor between … Continue reading Indian Trails plans to add a new I-96 route

08/16/11

Amtrak Pere Marquette to run 90 minutes early for temporary period, beginning Aug. 15

From The Grand Rapids Press Rise and shine! Amtrak passengers leaving Grand Rapids for Chicago will need to get to the station by 6 a.m. beginning Aug. 15 — 90 minutes earlier than normal — because of upcoming track maintenance. Passengers will arrive about 90 minutes earlier in Chicago as well, about 9 a.m. John … Continue reading Amtrak Pere Marquette to run 90 minutes early for temporary period, beginning Aug. 15

08/15/11

Editorial: Q&A with Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff: Build balanced transit

From the Detroit Free Press Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff headed a panel of national experts Monday during a transit workshop at Wayne State University. Afterward, Rogoff sat down with editorial writer Jeff Gerritt to talk about the challenges and opportunities presented by Detroit’s Woodward Light Rail Project and regional transit in southeast Michigan. QUESTION: … Continue reading Editorial: Q&A with Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff: Build balanced transit

08/15/11

Editorial: A modern public transit system is within reach

From the Detroit Free Press With the help of the Federal Transit Administration, Detroit’s $500-million Woodward Light Rail Project is on track, including agreement on a final environmental impact statement setting route and station locations. Moreover, the project’s momentum has sparked suburban interest in rail and regional transit service. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Norman … Continue reading Editorial: A modern public transit system is within reach

08/09/11

FTA forms panel to help advance light rail, transit in Michigan

From Progressive Railroading Yesterday, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) convened a panel of transit experts to advise southeastern Michigan leaders on ways to create a new public transit system that would include Detroit’s planned Woodward Avenue light-rail system. Each of the five members of the Detroit Area Transit Panel has an “industry-renowned record of achievement” … Continue reading FTA forms panel to help advance light rail, transit in Michigan

08/09/11

New Pontiac Transportation Center serves intercity bus and Amtrak passengers

MDOT Press Release Officials cut the ribbon in front of the new Pontiac Transporation Center on Aug. 8, 2011. Photo courtesy MDOT. The new Pontiac Transportation Center, serving both passenger rail and intercity bus passengers, opened for business, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony with state and local officials. Located at 51000 Woodward … Continue reading New Pontiac Transportation Center serves intercity bus and Amtrak passengers

08/09/11

Pontiac Transportation Center officially open for business

From The Oakland Press The Michigan Department of Transportation dedicated Pontiac’s new transportation center Monday, a 4,500-square-foot facility that will serve Greyhound and Amtrak passengers, and includes stops by the local bus service SMART. MDOT broke ground on the new $1.4 million facility in July 2010 at 51000 Woodward Avenue in Pontiac. There are six … Continue reading Pontiac Transportation Center officially open for business

08/08/11

U.S. DOT Awards $336.2 Million For Next Generation Trains In California And Midwest

From a U.S. Department of Transportation press release: American Manufacturing Gets a Boost through a Combined $782 Million Investment in Passenger Rail Equipment WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri will receive $336.2 million to purchase next-generation, American-made trains that will run on rail corridors in those … Continue reading U.S. DOT Awards $336.2 Million For Next Generation Trains In California And Midwest

08/06/11

Pontiac Transportation Center to celebrate grand opening Monday

From The Oakland Press Abigail Wright stood on the train platform with her luggage. Wright was visiting from England and on her way to a wedding in Berrien Springs. She was making the journey by train, hopping on at the new Pontiac Transportation Center. Train travel, she said, is far more popular in her home … Continue reading Pontiac Transportation Center to celebrate grand opening Monday

08/03/11

Columnist: If Dallas Can Do It, Why Can’t Detroit?

From Metromode They said it would never happen in Dallas. They said it was a city that loved its cars too much, that its massive system of freeways obliterated the need for trains, and that Dallas’ suburban sprawl was too entrenched for it to ever go the way of more densely populated cities and regions … Continue reading Columnist: If Dallas Can Do It, Why Can’t Detroit?

08/03/11

Next stop: Oakland? Suburbs study expansion of Woodward rail

From Crain’s Detroit Business A new economic development study of Woodward Avenue north of Eight Mile Road through Birmingham represents an early step in potentially extending Detroit’s planned light-rail line into the suburbs. Currently, there is no plan for the modern streetcar-style transit service to go north of the city limits near the Michigan State … Continue reading Next stop: Oakland? Suburbs study expansion of Woodward rail

07/29/11

Ann Arbor mayor releases five-page letter explaining reasons for Fuller Road Station project

From AnnArbor.com Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje July 27, 2011 released a five-page missive on the Fuller Road Station project city officials are considering on a portion of Fuller Park, calling it a “one-time opportunity for our community to advance into the modern age of rail.” The letter touches on how the project could be funded and … Continue reading Ann Arbor mayor releases five-page letter explaining reasons for Fuller Road Station project

07/27/11

City jumping through final hoops for rail station funding

From the Dearborn Press & Guide With high-speed rail funding targeted for elimination by congressional Republicans, city officials are racing against the clock to get funding for a new Amtrak station in town. City Council on Monday approved several key measures to facilitate the construction of the complex. The resolutions formalized agreements with the state, … Continue reading City jumping through final hoops for rail station funding

07/27/11

Michigan to buy rail line for high-speed Amtrak

From the Toledo Blade Amtrak’s route between Detroit and Chicago is among those the Obama Administration has chosen for high-speed rail development, but right now, 135 miles of the line east of Kalamazoo, Mich., is anything but fast. The tracks’ owner, Norfolk Southern, has determined that freight traffic along the line no longer justifies maintaining … Continue reading Michigan to buy rail line for high-speed Amtrak

07/21/11

Amtrak’s Top 5, And Bottom 5, On-Time Train Routes

From PeterGreenberg.com With gas prices still dizzyingly high, and seemingly unlikely to fall anytime soon, more and more travelers are turning to Amtrak. The American rail system has seen a significant jump in traffic, up almost 14 percent since last July, and is on track to smash the previous record of 25.8 million passengers. But … Continue reading Amtrak’s Top 5, And Bottom 5, On-Time Train Routes

07/21/11

Moroun Interview: Plans to restore the Michigan Central Station

From MLive.com Shifting gears away from the bridge issue and the politics surrounding it, Matthew Moroun and reporter Jeff Wattrick  discussed the Gateway Project controversy, plans to renovate the iconic Michigan Central Station and how the Moroun organization manages its local real estate holdings. Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/07/the_matthew_moroun_interview_r.html  

07/20/11

Dearborn Train Station Construction to Move Forward

From the Dearborn Patch Several resolutions were passed at Monday night’s Dearborn City Council meeting moving things forward with Dearborn’s Intermodal Passenger Rail Facility. Effective at the meeting, Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly is authorized to finalize and execute an agreement between the Michigan Department of Transportation and the city–as well as the city and Amtrak–for the … Continue reading Dearborn Train Station Construction to Move Forward

07/20/11

Michigan Flyer Proposes New I-96 Route, Twice as Many Trips to Detroit Airport

From an Indian Trails press release Michigan Flyer — the airport shuttle service of Indian Trails, Inc., and Okemos Travel — plans to add a new I-96 route this fall,  doubling the number of trips it makes each day between East Lansing and Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Currently, Michigan Flyer offers luxury motor coach service along … Continue reading Michigan Flyer Proposes New I-96 Route, Twice as Many Trips to Detroit Airport

07/19/11

High-Speed Rail Line Between Detroit-Chicago Awaits Norfolk Southern Talks

From Michigan Technology News The headlines have been written about the federal government allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to support a high-speed passenger rail line between Detroit and Chicago, but residents won’t see that speedy service until the state wraps up negotiations with Norfolk Southern, which owns most of the rail line Amtrak uses. … Continue reading High-Speed Rail Line Between Detroit-Chicago Awaits Norfolk Southern Talks

07/19/11

An unhappy M1 Rail puts project funds on the line: Group sees DDOT’s plan as unsustainable

From Crain’s Detroit Business The proposed Woodward Avenue light rail project is in jeopardy. The private consortium of investors that has pledged $100 million toward the project’s $528 million cost doesn’t have faith in the Detroit Department of Transportation‘s plan and won’t provide funding until it does, sources familiar with the situation told Crain’s. The … Continue reading An unhappy M1 Rail puts project funds on the line: Group sees DDOT’s plan as unsustainable

07/13/11

Travel news: Track owner slows Dearborn-Kalamazoo trains

From the Detroit Free Press Norfolk Southern Corp. says it’s restricting the speed that Amtrak trains can run on tracks the railroad company owns between Dearborn and Kalamazoo even as the line is prepared for high-speed passenger rail. Norfolk Southern spokesman Randy Husband told AnnArbor.com that the company would only pay the maintenance costs necessary … Continue reading Travel news: Track owner slows Dearborn-Kalamazoo trains

07/02/11

Final route announced for $500M Woodward light-rail project

From The Detroit News The city moved closer to building a light-rail path up Woodward Avenue on  Wednesday, unveiling the route and stops for the project officials hope will  reinvigorate the Motor City. In announcing an agreement between Detroit and the Federal Transportation  Administration for the $500 million project, Mayor Dave Bing called the deal … Continue reading Final route announced for $500M Woodward light-rail project

07/02/11

Woodward light-rail project surges ahead after Detroit, feds agree on a route

From the Detroit Free Press Light rail in Detroit is taking a big step forward after the city and federal governments signed off on a final route for the service that would run from the Rosa Parks Transit Center through downtown and north along Woodward to the State Fairgrounds, city officials will announce today. After … Continue reading Woodward light-rail project surges ahead after Detroit, feds agree on a route

07/01/11

Future of passenger rail addressed in 20-year state plan

From The Holland Sentinel The Pere Marquette’s future needs to be outlined in the state’s plan for future rail needs, local officials say. The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council is submitting comments to the state on the Michigan Rail Plan, emphasizing the importance of passenger rail service and connections to the area. MACC officials also ask … Continue reading Future of passenger rail addressed in 20-year state plan

06/26/11

NS/Amtrak/IDOT pact will advance Englewood flyover project

From Progressive Railroading Norfolk Southern Railway, Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently reached a development agreement that will bring the Federal Railroad Administration one step closer to obligating $133 million in federal funding for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program’s Englewood flyover project, according to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin … Continue reading NS/Amtrak/IDOT pact will advance Englewood flyover project

06/16/11

Sen. Rebekah Warren co-sponsoring legislation to form regional transit authority in Southeast Michigan

From AnnArbor.com State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, joined today in announcing the introduction of a three-bill package to create a regional transit authority in Southeast Michigan. Of the 41 largest metropolitan areas in the nation, the Metro Detroit region is the only one lacking a so-called RTA, Warren and other sponsors of the legislation … Continue reading Sen. Rebekah Warren co-sponsoring legislation to form regional transit authority in Southeast Michigan

06/15/11

Private money on the line: Woodward rail donors wait for layout they like

From Crain’s Detroit Business Until an accord is reached on critical aspects of the Woodward light-rail line, a consortium of private-sector donors who have pledged $100 million toward the project’s $528 million capital costs won’t commit any money. “We’ll wait to see if there’s a project that makes sense and is viable. Then we’ll be … Continue reading Private money on the line: Woodward rail donors wait for layout they like

06/15/11

Here’s a breakdown of the local money for M-1 light rail project

From Detroit Crain’s Business The Local Money Here’s how the federally required $210 million local funding match for the $528 million Woodward rail project breaks down: • $73 million from the forthcoming sale of $125 million in Capital Grant Receipts Revenue Bonds by the Detroit Department of Transportation. The estimated annual $10 million interest payment … Continue reading Here’s a breakdown of the local money for M-1 light rail project

06/15/11

Woodward Light Rail faces tough questions

From The South End (Wayne State student newspaper) Questions about the purpose and design of the Woodward Light Rail project have arisen while it slowly but surely makes its way through the planning and approval phases. One vision by area entrepreneurs is for the train to run trolley-style down the sides of Woodward Avenue at … Continue reading Woodward Light Rail faces tough questions

06/15/11

Columnist: Obstacles ahead, but light rail worth the work

From the Detroit Free Press In his 1936 essay “The Crack-Up,” novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald said real intelligence is the ability to “see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” Seventy-five years later, anyone who has fought for mass transit in southeast Michigan can still feel him. Despite a soul-shriveling … Continue reading Columnist: Obstacles ahead, but light rail worth the work

06/14/11

Freight company cuts Amtrak trains’ speed to as slow as 25 mph

From AnnArbor.com The freight company that owns the railroad tracks that carry Amtrak trains through Ann Arbor said today that it is restricting the speed those trains are allowed to travel, cutting the rate to 25 miles an hour in some parts. The decision means that travelers on Amtrak’s Wolverine line may experience 90-minute delays … Continue reading Freight company cuts Amtrak trains’ speed to as slow as 25 mph

06/10/11

Michigan Central Station one step closer toward restoration

From The Detroit News If it’s true that “a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step,” then  the Michigan Central Station may be on its way toward restoration. On Tuesday morning, a crew of workmen from Professional Abatement Services  Inc. began removing asbestos-laden caulking and glazing from all the first floor  windows of … Continue reading Michigan Central Station one step closer toward restoration

06/10/11

Protest targets train depot, Moroun

From The Detroit News With the derelict Michigan Central Train Depot as a backdrop, hundreds of  Detroiters on Friday demanded more jobs as well as more accountability from  Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun. The rally, sponsored by the AFL-CIO-backed Good Jobs Now team and the Service  Employees International Union, was held at Roosevelt Park and … Continue reading Protest targets train depot, Moroun

06/10/11

Amtrak spokesman says all safety equipment working on train that struck 11-year-old

From The Flint Journal An Amtrak spokesman said all safety devices were in use on a Amtrak train that struck 11-year-old Tomas Rodriguez. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said all the warning devices at the crossing were working and “the train was also flashing lights, ringing its bell and using its loud horn.” Police also said … Continue reading Amtrak spokesman says all safety equipment working on train that struck 11-year-old

06/10/11

Child struck, killed by Amtrak train in Imlay City

From the Detroit Free Press Officials say a sixth-grade student has been struck and killed by a train in Imlay City while walking to school. WNEM-TV and The Flint Journal report the collision happened about 7 a.m. Thursday. Police say a crossing gate was down and warning lights were flashing. Read more: http://www.freep.com/article/20110609/NEWS06/110609018/Child-struck-killed-by-train-Imlay-City?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

06/04/11

Illinois announces partnership to study 220-mph rail service

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today announced a partnership between the University of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation and a special advisory group to study the feasibility of 220-mph passenger rail service between Chicago, Champaign-Urbana and beyond. The study will complement the ongoing construction of a regional 110-mph network that will connect Chicago to 40 … Continue reading Illinois announces partnership to study 220-mph rail service

06/04/11

Trains collide at Chicago Union Station

From the Chicago Sun-Times An Amtrak train locomotive collided with a Metra commuter train Friday morning, sending a dozen people to area hospitals and snarling train travel through the evening rush hour. Federal Railroad Administration officials were studying the tracks, signals and switches where the slow-moving trains collided, at a bend in the tracks in … Continue reading Trains collide at Chicago Union Station

06/04/11

League of Michigan Bicyclists asks MDOT and Amtrak to allow bicycles on trains

The League of Michigan Bicyclists is asking the Michigan Department of Transporation (MDOT) and Amtrak: to prioritize allowing bicycles on-board Michigan’s three Amtrak routes, especially through roll-on service. to ensure that the new rolling stock to service Michigan routes includes 21st century provisions for bicycles on-board trains. to include short and long-term bike parking in … Continue reading League of Michigan Bicyclists asks MDOT and Amtrak to allow bicycles on trains

06/04/11

Letter: High-speed rail is good for Michigan

From The Detroit News Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder and I announced an historic investment of nearly  $200 million to expand high-speed rail service from Detroit to Chicago. The Obama administration’s investment in this high-speed rail project will  not only provide fast, reliable and energy-efficient service for passengers, it  will open up a world of opportunity … Continue reading Letter: High-speed rail is good for Michigan

06/04/11

Malfunctioning fire sprinkler damages Durand Union Station

From WJRT-TV ABC Channel 12 For the second time in less than three years, a water leak has damaged the Union Station Depot in Durand. This time, the building’s fire suppression system is to blame. The depot’s second floor board room is a soggy mess after hundreds of gallons of water poured through the ceiling. The … Continue reading Malfunctioning fire sprinkler damages Durand Union Station

05/26/11

Plans unveiled to redesign B.C.’s Amtrak station

From the Battle Creek Enquirer A peek at the future of Battle Creek’s downtown passenger train station was released Wednesday. The plans by local firm Architects Incorporated would move the station’s main entrance to face McCamly Street and add more outdoor canopies for waiting passengers. “I think we’re going to have a really nice facility … Continue reading Plans unveiled to redesign B.C.’s Amtrak station

05/26/11

Special report: All aboard the Pere Marquette

From Up North Live With gas around four dollars a gallon, all of us are looking for cheaper ways to get around, and that is helping the train industry get back on track. 7&4’s Lauren Amstutz shows us how ridership for Amtrak is on the rise and why taking the rain can be a fun … Continue reading Special report: All aboard the Pere Marquette

05/26/11

Update on Ann Arbor’s Fuller Road Station‏

From The Ann Arbor Chronicle This month’s Ann Arbor Parks Adisor Commission meeting focused on one topic – an update on the proposed Fuller Road Station, a large parking structure, bus depot and possible train station being planned on city-owned property near the University of Michigan’s medical campus. Eli Cooper, the city of Ann Arbor’s transportation … Continue reading Update on Ann Arbor’s Fuller Road Station‏

05/26/11

Draft copy of the Michigan State Rail Plan has been released

Where is rail transportation headed in Michigan? What role does rail freight play in our state’s economy? When and how will high speed rail become a viable option for passenger travel in our Great Lakes State? These and other questions will be addressed in the Michigan State Rail Plan. MDOT is developing the comprehensive plan … Continue reading Draft copy of the Michigan State Rail Plan has been released

05/26/11

Amtrak Chugs Deeper Into the Red

From the Wall Street Journal Amtrak’s financial losses are projected to widen this year despite rising ridership, the top executive of the government-subsidized rail system said Tuesday. Amtrak ridership, up 9.9% in April, has climbed 18 consecutive months. Amtrak blames the red ink on rising compensation costs for union workers and increased costs for fuel, … Continue reading Amtrak Chugs Deeper Into the Red

05/16/11

Windsor MP Brian Masse pushes for Detroit-Windsor passenger rail connection

From M-Live.com Perhaps the most intriguing news from last week’s high-speed rail announcement was Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s suggestion that the next phase for Midwest rail upgrade could involve an international high-speed passenger route through Detroit. Governor Rick Snyder yesterday agreed that connecting the Detroit-to-Chicago line to Canada’s rail system through Windsor would make sense. … Continue reading Windsor MP Brian Masse pushes for Detroit-Windsor passenger rail connection

05/16/11

Porter Junction rail project depends on negotiations

From The Times of Northwest Indiana The $71.4 million Indiana Gateway at Porter Junction is one of the Federal Railroad Administration’s top five priority high-speed rail projects, but work will not begin until there’s a deal for fixing the Englewood crossing in Chicago, Administrator Joseph Szabo said. “They are both critically important projects for both … Continue reading Porter Junction rail project depends on negotiations

05/10/11

High-speed rail project to add about 1,000 jobs in Michigan

From The Lansing State Journal High-speed rail projects that will allow passenger trains traveling between Chicago and Detroit to reach speeds of 110 mph along some stretches of track and shorten travel time by 30 minutes also will result in about 1,000 construction jobs and help push Michigan’s economy forward, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said … Continue reading High-speed rail project to add about 1,000 jobs in Michigan

05/09/11

Michigan wins $200M for high-speed rail

From The Detroit News Michigan will get nearly $200 million in federal funding to make high-speed rail a reality — and to help build a new bus and train station in Ann Arbor, the U.S. Transportation Department announced this morning. The bulk of the funds — $196.5 million — is to help retrofit a 135-mile … Continue reading Michigan wins $200M for high-speed rail

05/09/11

Ambassador Bridge owner hires Quinn Evans Architects for Michigan Central Depot work in Detroit

From the Detroit Free Press The Detroit International Bridge Co. has hired Ann Arbor-based Quinn Evans Architects to design the restoration of the windows and roof at the Michigan Central Depot in Detroit, the bridge company said Thursday. Quinn Evans is known for its work restoring historic buildings. Elisabeth Knibbe, a principal at Quinn Evans … Continue reading Ambassador Bridge owner hires Quinn Evans Architects for Michigan Central Depot work in Detroit

05/09/11

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $2 Billion for High-Speed Intercity Rail Projects to Grow Jobs, Boost U.S. Manufacturing and Transform Travel in America

Unprecedented Investment in the Northeast Corridor, Expanded Service in the Midwest and New, State-of-the-Art Rail Equipment Top List of Rail Dollar Recipients From a U.S. Department of Transporation press release WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $2 billion in high-speed rail awards providing an unprecedented investment to speed up trains in the … Continue reading U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $2 Billion for High-Speed Intercity Rail Projects to Grow Jobs, Boost U.S. Manufacturing and Transform Travel in America

05/09/11

Rep. Fred Upton says high-speed rail announcement is ‘great news’

From the Kalamazoo Gazette U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued a statement tonight about Monday’s anticipated announcement that Michigan will receive more federal funding for high-speed rail between Detroit and Kalamazoo. Upton’s statement: With skyrocketing gas prices, this announcement comes as great news to families in southwest Michigan. I proudly helped lead the effort … Continue reading Rep. Fred Upton says high-speed rail announcement is ‘great news’

05/09/11

LaHood coming to Detroit with ‘major’ high-speed rail announcement

From The Detroit News Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will visit Detroit and New York on Monday to make major high-speed rail funding announcements. Last month, Michigan applied for more than $560 million in funding — including joining three other states as part of a joint request. Michigan officials expect the state will receive significant funding … Continue reading LaHood coming to Detroit with ‘major’ high-speed rail announcement

05/08/11

Editorial: Michigan must climb aboard movement to ride the rails

From The Flint Journal Michigan, the automaking capitol of America, doesn’t quite know what to do about high-speed rail and light rail lines to move people and perhaps freight around and across our state. The Great Lakes State needs to climb aboard and join the passengers who are flocking to railroad stations. On the Blue … Continue reading Editorial: Michigan must climb aboard movement to ride the rails

05/03/11

Depot to celebrate National Train Day

From the Niles Daily Star Amtrak will celebrate the nation’s love for trains at its fourth annual National Train Day Saturday with celebrations at stations across the country, including the one in Niles. National Train Day commemorates the day the first transcontinental railroad was created and looks toward the future of rail travel. It also … Continue reading Depot to celebrate National Train Day

04/27/11

Birmingham pulls out of transit plan with Troy

From the Detroit Free Press A transit station along the Troy-Birmingham border that has been in the works for more than a decade has hit a fork in the road, leaving Troy officials unsure which way to turn. Birmingham officials decided earlier this month against buying a piece of land that would have been part … Continue reading Birmingham pulls out of transit plan with Troy

04/27/11

Ann Arbor remains busiest Amtrak stop between Detroit and Chicago

From AnnArbor.com University of Michigan graduate student Jon Bolenbaugh says he uses the Amtrak station in Ann Arbor about twice a month and prefers train travel over driving or flying. “I’ve taken a lot of train rides actually,” he said, waiting to catch the train to Chicago on Friday afternoon on his way to see … Continue reading Ann Arbor remains busiest Amtrak stop between Detroit and Chicago

04/27/11

Eugene L Huddleston author and photographer dies

From Trains Magazine OKEMOS, Mich. — Eugene L. Huddleston, the author of several books on Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotives and two TRAINS features, died Friday, April 22, 2011. He was 80 years old. Huddleston grew up in Russell, Ky., near a major C&O terminal. Though he moved north to attend college, the books he … Continue reading Eugene L Huddleston author and photographer dies

04/27/11

Faster than a speeding train, number of Amtrak riders soars in Flint

From the Flint Journal Dennis Jefferson noticed something on his Amtrak trip from Charleston, Miss., to Flint this week: There’s a lot less elbow room and a lot more people on the train than there were just six months ago. Fueled by higher gas prices and what state transportation officials say is greater awareness, the … Continue reading Faster than a speeding train, number of Amtrak riders soars in Flint

04/27/11

Bond sale to help raise local match for M1 light rail project

From Crain’s Detroit Business Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s administration has crafted a plan to divert some of the city’s annual federal capital transportation grant funding to back bonds that will pay for Detroit’s share of a $500 million light-rail system on Woodward Avenue. The deal, which has federal approval, allows the cash-strapped city to arrange … Continue reading Bond sale to help raise local match for M1 light rail project

04/27/11

Gas prices push alternative rides

From the Holland Sentinel People are feeling pain at the pump. That’s the reason why Sherri Cadeaux of the Macatawa Area Express said many Hollanders are relying on public transit to get around as gas prices are expected to hit $4 a gallon. From March 2010 to March 2011, the MAX saw a 25.66 percent … Continue reading Gas prices push alternative rides

04/27/11

Columnist: SkyTran offers Detroit new idea for mass transit

From the Detroit Free Press Detroit was once a place where people with new ideas came to make them happen, especially ideas that involved transportation. Not anymore, it seems, based on the lack of response to overtures to the city from Jerry Sanders, chairman and CEO of SkyTran. SkyTran would love to make Detroit the … Continue reading Columnist: SkyTran offers Detroit new idea for mass transit

04/27/11

Amtrak’s Michigan ridership shows growth

From the Port Huron Times Herald Amtrak’s passenger services in Michigan saw higher ridership numbers in the first six months of the 2010-11 fiscal year ending in March. Growth was noted on all three routes, including the Blue Water service between Port Huron and Chicago, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. Blue Water service … Continue reading Amtrak’s Michigan ridership shows growth

04/26/11

Amtrak issues updated fleet strategy

Analyzes conventional and high-speed equipment needs From an Amtrak press release – April 1, 2011  With its intercity passenger rail equipment nearing an average age of 26 years, Amtrak today is issuing an updated fleet strategy plan that analyzes the company’s need to replace its existing conventional and high-speed fleet and manage capacity to meet … Continue reading Amtrak issues updated fleet strategy

04/19/11

Decaying Central Depot to get spruce-up

From The Detroit News After decades of looking like a bombed-out relic, the iconic Michigan Central Train Depot is set to receive a mini face-lift. Manuel “Matty” Moroun, owner of the depot and the Ambassador Bridge, will replace the roof and the windows on the once elegant 19-story building that has overlooked Michigan Avenue since … Continue reading Decaying Central Depot to get spruce-up

04/14/11

Budget cuts all 2011 funds for high speed rail

From Trains Magazine Contrary to earlier reports, no high speed rail funds survived in the budget Congress appears poised to pass for the 2011 fiscal year. The six-month deal that passed last Friday night in an effort to prevent a government shutdown cut all remaining funds from the high speed intercity rail program for this … Continue reading Budget cuts all 2011 funds for high speed rail

04/04/11

Indian Trails extends service in Flint, Chicago

From SooToday.com NEWS RELEASE INDIAN TRAILS, INC. ***************************** Indian Trails extends service to Bishop International Airport, Union Station Chicago OWOSSO, MI – Indian Trails’ motorcoach service throughout Michigan and the near Midwest has been expanded to two new locations: Flint’s Bishop International Airport and Union Station Chicago. Beginning April 4, 2011, four daily trips will … Continue reading Indian Trails extends service in Flint, Chicago

04/04/11

Megabus.com to expand its service from Detroit

From The Detroit News Megabus.com will begin offering daily departures from Detroit to Pittsburgh and Toledo for as low as $1 for a one-way ticket beginning May 11. Pittsburgh will be the intercity express bus firm’s sixth hub and begin daily service to and from nine new cities, including Detroit and Toledo, said Dale Moser, … Continue reading Megabus.com to expand its service from Detroit

04/04/11

Indian Trails extends service to Bishop Airport

From East Village Magazine Indian Trails’ motor coach service throughout Michigan and the near Midwest has been expanded to two new locations — Flint’s Bishop International Airport and Union Station Chicago. Beginning April 4, four daily trips will be made between Flint’s Bishop International Airport and points north (Saginaw, Bay City, Alpena, the Upper Peninsula) … Continue reading Indian Trails extends service to Bishop Airport

04/04/11

State rep announces grant to aid 1225 project

From the Owosso Argus-Press The 1941 Pere Marquette 1225 will receive significant improvements, thanks in part to a transportation grant announced Wednesday by Rep. Ben Glardon, R-Owosso. The locomotive, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only surviving large steam locomotive still operating in Michigan, and has become a significant source of … Continue reading State rep announces grant to aid 1225 project

03/26/11

Read an interview with MARP member and station volunteer Ron Leatz

From the Dowagiac Herald-Palladium  Ron Leatz, 68, the host of the Dowagiac Amtrak station, has been volunteering with the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers for three years. He met with Herald-Palladium Staff Writer Kate Genellie to talk about what a station host does and the appeal of train travel. Why did you join MARP? I’ve … Continue reading Read an interview with MARP member and station volunteer Ron Leatz

03/18/11

New St. Joe Amtrak Waiting Area Coming

From WSJM AM&FM Construction starts today (Wednesday) on a project that will dramatically change the exterior of the Amtrak station in St. Joseph by adding a new all glass waiting room. Silver Beach Pizza shares the building with Amtrak. The restaurant is paying for the upgrade because it will earn additional seating, but also because … Continue reading New St. Joe Amtrak Waiting Area Coming

03/18/11

U.S. to take bids for $2.4 billion in returned rail funds

From The Detroit News The Transportation Department is putting $2.4 billion in returned high-speed rail funds on the fast-track for competitive bids. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that all states can compete for $2.4 billion in funds returned by Florida to develop high-speed rail corridors across the United States. They must submit applications by … Continue reading U.S. to take bids for $2.4 billion in returned rail funds

03/18/11

Woodward light rail excites supporters

From The Detroit News “The train is coming.” That was the message sent by city official March 10 to neighbors and members of Mount Olive Baptist Church about a proposed light rail system on Woodward that would pass directly in front of the church. Hosted by the Detroit Department of Transportation, the meeting provided environmental, economic … Continue reading Woodward light rail excites supporters

03/18/11

Petoskey railroad purchase is close

From the Petoskey News-Review Petoskey officials have tentatively closed on their long-sought acquisition of a rail corridor running through the city’s downtown area. The 1.17-mile route, which was owned by the state of Michigan, extends from Emmet Street to the Petoskey city limit near Bay View. City officials have conceptual plans for developing the route … Continue reading Petoskey railroad purchase is close

03/11/11

Amtrak marks 16 straight months of ridership growth

Increasing gasoline prices contribute to record February From an Amtrak press release WASHINGTON – February marked 16 consecutive months of Amtrak ridership growth and was the best February on record with 2,099,010 passengers. “The ridership increase shows the continued popularity of rail travel and the need for continued investment in passenger rail service,” said Amtrak … Continue reading Amtrak marks 16 straight months of ridership growth

03/11/11

SRI names new director

From the Owosso Argus-Press Steam Railroading Institute’s new executive director is a whiz at fundraising, but he’s no expert on steam locomotives. Not a problem: David Shorter, who is relocating to Owosso from his home in Miami, Fla., will soon receive a crash course in railroads — from SRI’s new full-time project manager, Kevin Mayer. … Continue reading SRI names new director

03/11/11

Forums promote better railroad access

From Capitol News Service An online transportation forum is trying to promote improvements in railroad systems throughout the state. The website, called michiganbyrail.org, is intended to see what people in different regions want when it comes to improving rails, according to Tim Fischer, deputy policy director at the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC). In addition to the … Continue reading Forums promote better railroad access

03/05/11

Rep. Rogers backs cuts, but not for Amtrak, labor board

From The Lansing State Journal Rep. Mike Rogers wanted even deeper cuts in this year’s federal budget than those agreed to by House Republicans last week. But he parted with most Republicans in backing funding for Amtrak and for the National Labor Relations Board. Those are some of the Howell Republican’s spending priorities revealed by … Continue reading Rep. Rogers backs cuts, but not for Amtrak, labor board

03/05/11

Walberg: Cut deeper, but don’t derail Amtrak

From the Battle Creek Enquirer Rep. Tim Walberg wanted even deeper cuts in this year’s federal budget than those agreed to by House Republicans last week. But he parted with most Republicans in backing funding for Amtrak and the National Labor Relations Board. Those are some of the Tipton Republican’s spending priorities revealed by last … Continue reading Walberg: Cut deeper, but don’t derail Amtrak

03/05/11

Hopes are high for the Woodward Corridor – But obstacles remain

From The Metro Times Despite all the hype and hope for light rail along Detroit’s Woodward corridor, there are major questions of funding. And there is also the daunting legacy of decades of mass transit hopes that haven’t left the station. The current plans are moving forward for a light rail train, the first leg … Continue reading Hopes are high for the Woodward Corridor – But obstacles remain

03/05/11

Transit center awash in questions

From the Birmingham Eccentric The Federal Railroad Administration is about to give away nearly $8.5 million in federal stimulus money on a project that is knee-deep in question marks. That’s the implication of court depositions in the lawsuit being waged over the Troy-Birmingham Transit Center. Grand Sakwa Properties is suing the city of Troy to … Continue reading Transit center awash in questions

03/05/11

Everything you wanted to know about Detroit’s M1 light rail project… but were afraid to ask

From MLive Transportation Riders United, Michigan Environmental Council along with neighborhood associations, the NAACP, and other groups, began a series of community engagement forums on the proposed M1 Woodward light rail line last night in Palmer Park. Here’s what you need to know about the proposed transit project. The Plan: The M1 light rail line … Continue reading Everything you wanted to know about Detroit’s M1 light rail project… but were afraid to ask

02/27/11

Solution to South Side rail bottleneck threatened by U.S. cuts

Englewood flyover project part of $6.8 billion in transportation spending reductions proposed in Congress From The Chicago Tribune Funding is in jeopardy for construction of a major rail-bridge system to ease at least some of the freight and passenger train congestion in the Chicago region, officials warned Thursday. The argument against building the Englewood flyover … Continue reading Solution to South Side rail bottleneck threatened by U.S. cuts

02/13/11

More passengers choosing Amtrak

Record January marks 15 straight months of ridership growth From an Amtrak press release The numbers are now in and January is the 15th straight month of ridership growth for Amtrak and also the best January on record with 2,126,429 passengers. This strong performance is part of a long-term trend that has seen America’s Railroadsm … Continue reading More passengers choosing Amtrak

02/10/11

Light Rail May Be A Few Stops Away

From WXYZ-TV — Detroit 20/20 Project For Catherine Martin getting around Detroit is an all day ordeal. A quick 10 mile trip from home to the bank downtown takes more than an hour each way. She says it isn’t easy to get around Detroit…or out of Detroit.. on a bus. What does she think about the … Continue reading Light Rail May Be A Few Stops Away

02/10/11

Vice President Biden Announces Six Year Plan to Build National High-Speed Rail Network

Press Release from The White House Philadelphia, PA – Vice President Joe Biden today announced a comprehensive plan that will help the nation reach President Obama’s goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years, as outlined in his State of the Union address. The proposal will place high-speed rail … Continue reading Vice President Biden Announces Six Year Plan to Build National High-Speed Rail Network

02/09/11

Mica & Shuster Skeptical of New Obama Rail Spending

Press Release from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure February 8, 2011 Washington, DC – House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) today expressed extreme reservations regarding the Obama Administration’s plan to spend $53 billion over the next six years on rail infrastructure … Continue reading Mica & Shuster Skeptical of New Obama Rail Spending

02/08/11

Train accident closes Dearborn intersection

From the Detroit Free Press Feb. 4, 2011 Dearborn Police are investigating a crash this afternoon involving an Amtrak train and a City of Dearborn utility tractor that has left a 46-year-old city employee from Redford Township with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The crash occurred at 12:10 p.m. at Monroe south of Michigan Avenue, police … Continue reading Train accident closes Dearborn intersection

02/05/11

Amtrak announces 40th anniversary activities, adds Cascades Wi-Fi service

From Progressive Railroading Amtrak officials are preparing a slate of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of the national intercity passenger railroad. The anniversary is May 1, but special events already have begun, including the unveiling of the first of four P-42 diesel-electric locomotives with historic paint schemes that entered regular revenue service in Chicago … Continue reading Amtrak announces 40th anniversary activities, adds Cascades Wi-Fi service

02/01/11

Amtrak sues Detroit over collision with fire truck

From The Detroit News Amtrak sued the city of Detroit in federal court today over a March crash that happened after firefighters parked a fire engine on the railroad tracks. Amtrak accused city firefighters of placing the fire engine in danger of being struck by a train and “failing to exercise ordinary care,” according to … Continue reading Amtrak sues Detroit over collision with fire truck

01/29/11

Amtrak back in Depot Town? Ypsilanti officials to consider request

From AnnArbor.com The question was posed by an audience member at the Michigan By Rail‘s forum Dec. 9 at Washtenaw Community College: Why doesn’t the Amtrak train stop in Ypsilanti? After the meeting, Derrick James, Amtrak’s senior director of government affairs for the Midwest, approached Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber and told him the first step … Continue reading Amtrak back in Depot Town? Ypsilanti officials to consider request

01/29/11

Ridership at Jackson’s Amtrak station up 11 percent from 2009 to 2010

From the Jackson Citizen Patriot Ridership is up at Jackson’s historic Amtrak station. In 2010, 14,350 people boarded trains and 14,513 deboarded trains at the station, a total of 28,863. That’s an increase of 11 percent from 2009, when 25,987 people board and deboarded. Overall, ridership on the Wolverine line between Detroit and Chicago was … Continue reading Ridership at Jackson’s Amtrak station up 11 percent from 2009 to 2010

01/29/11

Grand Rapids sells land for Amtrak rail spur to The Rapid Transit Center

From The Grand Rapid Press City officials are clearing the path for a new railroad track that will bring the Pere Marquette Amtrak train to The Rapid Transit Center. City commissioners this week approved the sale of city-owned land at 150 Logan Street SW to the ITP for $1,050. The land is needed to build … Continue reading Grand Rapids sells land for Amtrak rail spur to The Rapid Transit Center

01/29/11

Internal docs: Trainee was engineer of derailed train

From The Owosso Argus-Press An internal Canadian National Railway memorandum dated one month before a train derailed Jan. 6 suggests the engineer assigned to work on the engine that crashed near Durand was a trainee, though a CN official vehemently denies the engineer was unqualified. In a memo obtained through an anonymous source by The … Continue reading Internal docs: Trainee was engineer of derailed train

01/26/11

Amtrak lines from Michigan to Chicago see boost in traffic and revenue

From Crain’s Detroit Business The daily Amtrak rail service between Detroit/Pontiac and Chicago — known as the Wolverine line — saw a nearly 23 percent quarter-vs.-quarter increase to 130,683 passengers in the first quarter of the fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31. Ticket revenue on the route increased more than 26 percent to nearly $5 … Continue reading Amtrak lines from Michigan to Chicago see boost in traffic and revenue

01/26/11

Amtrak ridership and revenue soar on Michigan routes

From a Michigan Department of Transporation press release January 24, 2011 — Ridership and revenue soared on Michigan’s three Amtrak routes during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The strong performance indicates that more passengers are becoming aware of the convenience and good value of rail … Continue reading Amtrak ridership and revenue soar on Michigan routes

01/22/11

Feds grant $25M for downtown light rail

From The Detroit News Federal officials on Thursday announced a grant agreement has been signed for $25 million toward a proposed light rail project in downtown Detroit. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the deal was signed by the Federal Transit Administration, city of Detroit and Michigan Department of Transportation for the first phase of … Continue reading Feds grant $25M for downtown light rail

01/22/11

Detroit light rail plan buoyed by $25M grant

From the Detroit Free Press WASHINGTON – A grant agreement signed by federal officials, the city of Detroit and the Michigan Department of Transportation should clear the way for $25 million to be spent on a 3.4-mile, 12-station light rail line connecting downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard in New Center. Federal Transit Administration officials announced … Continue reading Detroit light rail plan buoyed by $25M grant

01/10/11

Driver crashes car into Amtrak train

From The Battle Creek Enquirer A driver, allegedly blinded by the sun while traveling south on Helmer Road, today slammed into the side of a westbound Amtrak passenger train, according to Battle Creek police. Though the car was totaled, the driver was conscious when officers arrived at the scene about 2:24 p.m. An Air Care … Continue reading Driver crashes car into Amtrak train

01/09/11

Financier suggests public backing for train

From the Lansing State Journal A proposed multibillion-dollar magnetic levitation train that would run through Livingston County could be financed using taxpayer-backed credit ratings if agreed to by government units, a Troy-based financier said. The danger: If a public-private lease agreement were broken, government units that provide local services would be on the hook to … Continue reading Financier suggests public backing for train

01/08/11

Depot roof will be lighted next year

From The Dowagiac Daily News Light Up the Depot illuminated Dowagiac’s train station with 550 bulbs, with another 650 added to the roof next Christmas as phase two. “The amazing part about all of this is that the money did not come from individual people, like we thought it would,” Ron Leatz told Dowagiac City … Continue reading Depot roof will be lighted next year

01/08/11

Shipping oil by rail touted over pipeline

From the Calagary Herald RT&S Tuesday, November 30, 2010 One of Canada’s oldest industries could open new markets to Asia without the need for an expensive or controversial pipeline to the West Coast, executives from both major railroads said, the Calgary Herald reports. Speaking at an oilsands conference in Calgary, James Cairns, a vice-president with … Continue reading Shipping oil by rail touted over pipeline

12/13/10

Editorial: Michigan at risk of losing rail funds

From Detroit Free Press News from Washington in October that the state would get $150 million to develop a high-speed railway between Kalamazoo and Dearborn brought a welcome push to Michigan’s efforts to build a 21st-Century transportation system. But the federal government can’t help those states that won’t help themselves. Michigan now faces the very … Continue reading Editorial: Michigan at risk of losing rail funds

12/13/10

Indiana car-train collision Sunday delays Amtrak arrival in Grand Rapids

INDIANA — A collision between a vehicle and an Amtrak train bound for Grand Rapids caused nearly a one-hour delay for passengers Sunday evening, but no one on the train was injured. The driver of the vehicle was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, an Amtrak spokeswoman said today. The crash … Continue reading Indiana car-train collision Sunday delays Amtrak arrival in Grand Rapids

12/12/10

Advocates tell residents to lobby for better rail service

From AnnArbor.com City of Ann Arbor transportation manager Eli Cooper drew a line between two dots representing Detroit and Ann Arbor on a large Michigan map. “The first goes here,” he said referring to what he and many others see as the first priority for an improved rail line in Michigan. Area residents at the … Continue reading Advocates tell residents to lobby for better rail service

12/10/10

Muskegon residents are asking for passenger rail service along the lakeshore

From the Muskegon Chronicle Muskegon community leaders and train aficionados are hoping for a “choo-choo” under their Christmas tree. They gathered this week to contemplate the future of train service in Michigan. With dreams of restoring passenger rail service to Muskegon and even creating a lakeshore tourist route to Mackinaw City, it might take Santa … Continue reading Muskegon residents are asking for passenger rail service along the lakeshore

12/09/10

Michigan not on list of states receiving high-speed rail funding turned down by Ohio and Wisconsin

From AnnArbor.com Federal high-speed rail grant money turned down by Wisconsin and Ohio will be redirected to about a dozen other states eager to help develop high-speed rail corridors, and Michigan isn’t on the list of receivers, federal officials announced this afternoon. The incoming Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio indicated recently they would not … Continue reading Michigan not on list of states receiving high-speed rail funding turned down by Ohio and Wisconsin

12/09/10

Passenger rail future is topic of Muskegon public meeting

From the Muskegon Chronicle The public is invited to a forum Wednesday evening on the future of Michigan’s passenger rail transportation. The open meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Shoreline Inn and Conference Center, 750 Terrace Point Blvd. Residents are encouraged to speak out on how best to improve passenger and … Continue reading Passenger rail future is topic of Muskegon public meeting

12/08/10

$161M On The Line: Will Michigan See High-Speed Rail?

From Michigan Now/Interlochen Public Radio A month ago, Michigan’s congressmen and senators were hailing the federal government, which would be sending $161 million dollars for high speed rail. Track improvements might mean a trip from Detroit to Chicago in just three hours. But a struggling state government would have to find a way to match … Continue reading $161M On The Line: Will Michigan See High-Speed Rail?

12/07/10

DDOT hopes to break ground on M-1 light rail project next fall

From The South End The Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit Project, a public transit train that will travel from Hart Plaza to Grand Boulevard – and eventually extending to Eight Mile Road – will bring Detroit a chance to transform from a weary, old-fashioned city into a lively, innovative metropolis – or at least that’s … Continue reading DDOT hopes to break ground on M-1 light rail project next fall

12/06/10

In the news: Tim Hoeffner, administrator of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of High-Speed Rail

From the Lansing State Journal  The East Lansing Amtrak station was a busy place Nov. 24 – the day before Thanksgiving – as travelers crowded aboard Chicago-bound trains. Tim Hoeffner braved cold weather along with the other passengers. The administrator for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of High-Speed Rail was on hand to talk … Continue reading In the news: Tim Hoeffner, administrator of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of High-Speed Rail

12/02/10

Train storage irks residents

From The Traverse City Record-Eagle  Railroad cars haven’t moved for months on the tracks near Dan Welburn’s condominium complex. He estimates the 15 or so cars have been dormant since July, apparently there for storage. Now he and other residents of Lake Ridge condos, on the western edge of Boardman Lake in Traverse City, want … Continue reading Train storage irks residents

12/01/10

High Speed Rail in Michigan could become a reality if the State Senate acts

From the Detroit Free Press The benefits to Metro Detroit of intercity passenger rail and commuter rail service are clear — economic development, environmental improvement, affordable connections between our communities and convenient travel to and from home and work. The sticking point has been how to pay for it. Until now. Successful funding and completion … Continue reading High Speed Rail in Michigan could become a reality if the State Senate acts

12/01/10

Guest column: Michigan lawmakers must act to secure $161 million for fast passenger rail service

From The Grand Rapids Press Grand Rapids is on the verge of a passenger rail renaissance that promises to accelerate economic development, boost tourism, help the environment and better connect Grand Rapidians with the rest of the state and the nation. In order to make that happen, state senators must approve legislation securing $161 million … Continue reading Guest column: Michigan lawmakers must act to secure $161 million for fast passenger rail service

12/01/10

Last minute attempt fails to get DRIC bill out of Michigan Senate committee

From Crain’s Detroit Business A local state lawmaker’s self-described Hail Mary attempt to get the enabling legislation for a new Detroit River crossing out of a Senate committee and onto the floor for a full vote failed today. Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, tried using a procedural maneuver to get HB 4961 out of the Senate … Continue reading Last minute attempt fails to get DRIC bill out of Michigan Senate committee

12/01/10

High-speed rail work to start in ’11

From the Gary Post-Tribune Construction will start next year on the $71.4 million railroad project that the feds authorized for Northwest Indiana in early 2010, state transportation officials said Monday. The project, which is supposed to relieve congestion in a bottleneck from Porter County to the Indiana/Illinois state line, is paid solely by stimulus funding. It’s … Continue reading High-speed rail work to start in ’11

11/17/10

Agawa Canyon tour train to be refurbished, repainted

From Trains Magazine SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Canadian National’s Agawa Canyon tour train equipment is on its way to Illinois for refurbishment and repainting. CN spokesman Mark Hallman told TRAINS News Wire the C$10 million project aims to improve the ride experience. CN acquired the tour train with its 2001 purchase of Wisconsin Central … Continue reading Agawa Canyon tour train to be refurbished, repainted

11/12/10

Not so fast: High Speed Rail future not so certain

From NPR’s “All Things Considered” High-speed rail may be among the casualties of last week’s midterm elections. The governors-elect of Wisconsin and Ohio say they will reject hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding intended to start up new high-speed passenger rail service in their states, even though the projects require their states to … Continue reading Not so fast: High Speed Rail future not so certain

11/12/10

New downtown Amtrak station gets $850,000 in support

From The Grand Rapids Press Plans for a new Amtrak station that would consolidate train and bus services downtown got an $850,000 boost this morning. The Downtown Development Authority approved the outlay to the Interurban Transit Partnership, which operates The Rapid, to help leverage a $3.8 million grant to build rails to service the site. … Continue reading New downtown Amtrak station gets $850,000 in support

11/12/10

New Amtrak station approved for Grand Rapids

From WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids The Downtown Development Authority is giving the thumbs up for a new Amtrak train station in Grand Rapids. DDA members this morning approved $850,000 for the new Pere Marquette station. It will be located across the street from the Rapid bus station at the corner of Wealthy and Century Avenue. … Continue reading New Amtrak station approved for Grand Rapids

11/12/10

Grand Rapids approves new Amtrak station

Watch the news report about a new station in downtown Grand Rapids on channel 8 WOOD-TV via YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMKe_lxU1Mc

11/12/10

Plans for $6.3M Windsor Via station unveiled

From The Windsor Star WINDSOR, Ont. — Windsor’s new train station will boast more parking, more seats — and a striking similarity to the downtown bus terminal. There’s no denying the resemblance. Whether it’s the long, curved roof or the airy main floor, there’s something familiar about the plans unveiled by Via Rail Canada and … Continue reading Plans for $6.3M Windsor Via station unveiled

11/09/10

Grand Rapids looks at new Amtrak station for Pere Marquette train to Chicago

From The Grand Rapids Press A long-awaited new Amtrak station that could cut commute times and open the door to future service expansion may finally come down the track. On Wednesday, the city’s Downtown Development Authority is expected to consider a request for $850,000 to buy land and build a new station and platform on … Continue reading Grand Rapids looks at new Amtrak station for Pere Marquette train to Chicago

11/08/10

Editorial: Mid-Michigan profits from Amtrak deal

From The Lansing State Journal The state and passenger-rail service Amtrak are negotiating on the next round of subsidies for two rail lines in Michigan, including the Blue Water service that stops in East Lansing. Using state funds to pay Amtrak for rail service may seem a luxury, especially in these harsh budget times. It … Continue reading Editorial: Mid-Michigan profits from Amtrak deal

11/04/10

Election results: Transit millages in Michigan

Voters have overwhelming supported transit millages and proposals in Michigan during the 2010 election cycle. In many cases, the ballot proposals passed with a greater than 2/3 majority. Here is a listing of ballot proposals compiled by Transportation for America: Bay County – Type: Property tax Bay County voters were asked to approve a five-year, 0.75-mill … Continue reading Election results: Transit millages in Michigan

11/02/10

Track deal helps commuter rail: State purchase to cut Detroit-Ann Arbor line costs

From Crain’s Detroit Business The Michigan Department of Transportation‘s looming purchase of privately owned railroad tracks between Dearborn and Kalamazoo as part of an improved high-speed rail corridor to Chicago also will directly benefit a commuter rail project linking Detroit and Ann Arbor. State ownership of the 135 miles of Norfolk Southern Railway-owned track will … Continue reading Track deal helps commuter rail: State purchase to cut Detroit-Ann Arbor line costs

11/02/10

High-speed service to Detroit, St. Louis on track for 2013

From the Chicago Sun-Times By 2013, Chicagoans traveling to Detroit, St. Louis or Iowa City may be able to save time by leaving the car at home and taking the train. The U.S. Department of Transportation last week announced a second round of high-speed rail investment, including $230 million to create a new intercity passenger … Continue reading High-speed service to Detroit, St. Louis on track for 2013

10/31/10

FRA gives details on $161 million award for Amtrak service along the Detroit-Chicago corridor

Obama Administration’s vision for high-speed rail will transform travel in America, create manufacturing jobs, and spur economic development. In January 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $8 billion to states across the country to develop America’s first nationwide high-speed intercity passenger rail service through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Chicago – Detroit … Continue reading FRA gives details on $161 million award for Amtrak service along the Detroit-Chicago corridor

10/30/10

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $2.4 Billion for High Speed Rail Projects

From a Federal Railroad Administration press release Public Demand for High-Speed Rail Continues to Exceed Available Dollars in Latest Round of Awards WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states will share in $2.4 billion to continue developing America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger … Continue reading U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $2.4 Billion for High Speed Rail Projects

10/30/10

Officials laud $150 million in federal funds that will upgrade 135 miles of track between Kalamazoo and Dearborn

From the Jackson Citizen-Patriot Faster trains between Kalamazoo and Dearborn mean more jobs and a brighter future for Michigan. That was the message U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer delivered at the Jackson Amtrak Station on Thursday. The Michigan Department of Transportation is getting $150 million in federal funds to purchase and upgrade … Continue reading Officials laud $150 million in federal funds that will upgrade 135 miles of track between Kalamazoo and Dearborn

10/30/10

Gaffney resigns as Steam Railroading Institute Director

From the Owosso Argus-Press The Steam Railroading Institute is currently looking for a new executive director to replace T.J. Gaffney. “The recruitment process will begin immediately, and we hope to fill the position prior to (Gaffney’s) departure,” SRI President Richard Greter said. Gaffney recently announced his departure from SRI, he has held his position since … Continue reading Gaffney resigns as Steam Railroading Institute Director

10/28/10

AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD

Amtrak Press Release WASHINGTON – Amtrak set a new annual ridership record of 28,716,857 passengers for the fiscal year ending September 30 and collected a record $1.74 billion in ticket revenue. The strong performance is evidence that the demand for passenger rail service is rising and that more Americans are choosing Amtrak — a greener … Continue reading AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD

10/28/10

Jackson & Lansing acquires Michigan line from NS

From Progressive Railroading The Jackson & Lansing Railroad Co. (J&LRR) recently acquired 47 miles of track between Jackson and Lansing, Mich., from Norfolk Southern Railway. The trackage transfer was approved by the Surface Transportation Board. J&LRR is owned by the Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road Co. The company also owns the Adrian and Blissfield that … Continue reading Jackson & Lansing acquires Michigan line from NS

10/27/10

U.S. Deputy Secretary John Porcari to make major high speed rail announcement Oct. 28 in Jackson

MEDIA ADVISORY  U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari will hold an event on high speed rail in Jackson, MI on Thursday, Oct. 28 PM EDT.  He will be joined for the announcement by Senator Carl Levin, Congressman Mark Schauer, Jackson Mayor Karen Dunigan, and MDOT Deputy Director Jackie Shinn.  WHEN:  Thursday, Oct. 28,  12 PM … Continue reading U.S. Deputy Secretary John Porcari to make major high speed rail announcement Oct. 28 in Jackson

10/27/10

New Investment Will Improve Rail Line Between Dearborn and Kalamazoo

Press release from U.S. Rep. John Dingell October 25, 2010 12:18 PM Dearborn, MI – Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) announced that the State of Michigan will be receiving $150 million to develop a high-speed rail corridor between Kalamazoo and Dearborn.  The funding was awarded through the fiscal year (FY) 2010 High-Speed Intercity Passenger … Continue reading New Investment Will Improve Rail Line Between Dearborn and Kalamazoo

10/27/10

$150 million grant for high-speed rail from Dearborn to Kalamazoo

From AnnArbor.com U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, announced today the state of Michigan will receive $150 million to develop a high-speed rail corridor between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, passing through Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Jackson, Albion and Battle Creek. The funding was awarded through the fiscal year 2010 High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, Dingell’s office said. … Continue reading $150 million grant for high-speed rail from Dearborn to Kalamazoo

10/27/10

More Than $161 Million Coming for Michigan High Speed Rail

From PoliticalNews.me  Michigan will receive more than $161 million in federal funds for high speed rail projects, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both D-Mich., announced. More than 90 percent of the funding will go to the development of a 135-mile high speed corridor between Dearborn and Kalamazoo. Additionally, a West Detroit connection project … Continue reading More Than $161 Million Coming for Michigan High Speed Rail

10/22/10

WALLY commuter rail denied $25 million federal grant

From AnnArbor.com The proposed north-south commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Howell known as WALLY apparently was turned down for a $25 million federal grant but organizers remain hopeful. Michael Benham, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority strategic planner, said AATA has not received any “formal notification” that its request for Tiger II funds was denied, … Continue reading WALLY commuter rail denied $25 million federal grant

10/22/10

Amtrak sets new ridership record in Michigan

From a Michigan Department of Transportation press release October 18, 2010 — Amtrak trains in Michigan have set new ridership records for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and collected $24.5 million in ticket revenue. The strong performance on the Michigan routes is evidence that passengers are choosing Amtrak more often, and consider train travel … Continue reading Amtrak sets new ridership record in Michigan

10/21/10

Amtrak ridership climbs 15 percent in East Lansing

From the Lansing State Journal Ridership on Amtrak’s Blue Water line picked up this fiscal year as a record number of passengers used the East Lansing stop. About 58,530 riders boarded or got off the national passenger railroad’s trains in East Lansing during fiscal year 2010 that ended in September. That was up about 15 … Continue reading Amtrak ridership climbs 15 percent in East Lansing

10/10/10

Column: Michigan has the chance to lead in high-speed rail

From the Heritage Newspapers The United States planned and built a national interstate highway system that transformed the nation’s social and economic structure. It took nearly 50 years to accomplish this task. Despite massive federal investments since that time, today segments of the highway system handle volumes of traffic that exceed capacity and are near … Continue reading Column: Michigan has the chance to lead in high-speed rail

10/10/10

Column: Michigan can’t lag behind on high-speed

From Ann Arbor.com A massive national effort is underway to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. While the current federal administration is setting the nationwide vision for rail travel, Michigan is dangerously close to falling out of the equation. Our state has routinely cut funding for Amtrak. Our rail service from Detroit to Chicago takes 5.5 hours, … Continue reading Column: Michigan can’t lag behind on high-speed

10/10/10

Editorial: Michigan must do more to ensure light rail system materializes

From The Flint Journal It wouldn’t be fair to say Michigan has been asleep at the switch when it comes to high speed rail to tie cities such as Flint to destinations in other places, but it hasn’t been moving as swiftly as other states. It needs to start. For years, Michigan and other Rust … Continue reading Editorial: Michigan must do more to ensure light rail system materializes

10/10/10

Michigan high-speed rail plans discussed in Holland

From The Grand Rapids Press The Michigan By Rail traveling public forum made a whistle stop in Holland on Thursday to find out what kinds of statewide rail service people want. High-speed rail transportation is a hot button issue with state and local officials these days because of a federal push being driven by stimulus … Continue reading Michigan high-speed rail plans discussed in Holland

10/10/10

Talks focus on railroad possibilities in Michigan

From the Burton View Railroad lovers, transportation employees, curious residents and elected officials all turned out to give their take on the future path railroad transportation should take in Genesee County and regionwide. Roughly 60 residents, including State Rep. Lee Gonzales, D-Flint Twp., Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Mikki Hoffman, and 51st House District candidate Art … Continue reading Talks focus on railroad possibilities in Michigan

09/30/10

St. Ignace event recognizes Indian Trails anniversary

From The St. Ignace News A railroad transportation advocacy group points to Indian Trails bus line as a key player in linking rail and bus travel to move people from Chicago, to Michigan, to Canada, and will recognize the 100th anniversary of the motor coach company with a ceremony at the St. Ignace bus station. … Continue reading St. Ignace event recognizes Indian Trails anniversary

09/27/10

Residents help MDOT develop rail plan

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle Heather Shumaker just returned from a family trip to Boston, and she did her traveling by train. “I think a lot of the people who come to Traverse City, whether they live here or are tourists, would use a passenger train,” she said. “I think because we don’t have an … Continue reading Residents help MDOT develop rail plan

09/23/10

Groups pushing for better rail service in metro area

From the Dearborn Press & Guide DEARBORN — Mayor Jack O’Reilly and other city officials took part in a public forum on Michigan’s passenger rail transportation future Wednesday on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. “I’ve been in and out of issues with transit since 1980 when I was working with the Senate Transportation Committee,” O’Reilly … Continue reading Groups pushing for better rail service in metro area

09/23/10

Report: High-Speed Rail Will Boost Economy

From Detroit’s WWJ 950 AM Advocates for high-speed rail service say a midwest rail network could create 58,000 jobs. Meghan Hess, with the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, tells WWJ it could put a lot of people to work, reviving our region’s manufacturing base. “Improved passenger rail service in the region would really tap into … Continue reading Report: High-Speed Rail Will Boost Economy

09/21/10

Hearing to look at getting Michigan rail on the right track

From Michigan Public Radio The state transportation department will hold the first in a series of public meetings this week on improving Michigan’s railroad system. Michigan has almost 4 thousand miles of operating rail track. But much of the track is in need of an upgrade. Janet Foran is with the Michigan Department of Transportation. … Continue reading Hearing to look at getting Michigan rail on the right track

09/16/10

Train master: WALLY rail line a ‘go’

From the Livingston Daily Press & Argus The planned Washtenaw and Livingston Line between Howell and Ann Arbor is an “unquestionable go,” a representative of Great Lakes Central Railroad said. Proponents of the $32 million-plus rail line continue to scramble for funding sources to get WALLY up and running. The state has already invested considerably … Continue reading Train master: WALLY rail line a ‘go’

09/14/10

Huron Central decision delayed until Sept. 30

From SooNews Following recent discussions with the Federal Government, the Working Committee established to save the Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury rail line is pleased to announce an extension of the existing interim agreement under which the Huron Central Railway (HCR) operates the railway. Under this arrangement the existing agreement which expired on August 15, … Continue reading Huron Central decision delayed until Sept. 30

09/12/10

Draw your own rail line routes rolled out

From the Herald Palladium Would passengers be more likely to ride a train along Michigan’s west coast to the Upper Peninsula? How about a line linking the state’s universities? Those possible routes were shuttled around at Wednesday’s Michigan by Rail forum at the Shadowland Ballroom, a joint effort of the Michigan Environmental Council and the … Continue reading Draw your own rail line routes rolled out

09/12/10

MDOT wants public input on rail plan

From UpNorthLive.com (Northern Michigan ABC affiliate website) You can weigh in on the state rail plan by attending an upcoming meeting with MDOT to discuss the issue. Where is rail transportation headed in Michigan? What role does rail freight play in our state’s economy? When and how will high-speed rail become a viable option for … Continue reading MDOT wants public input on rail plan

09/12/10

Michigan DRIC vote expected

From The Windsor Star A vote on legislation commiting Michigan to the $5-billion DRIC bridge project should happen in the next few weeks, a Detroit-area senator said Friday. “I’m optimistic we will deal with it soon,” said Senator Ray Basham (D — Taylor) on Friday. “I do feel comfortable things are still progressing to get … Continue reading Michigan DRIC vote expected

09/04/10

Editorial: Statewide, transit needs a big push

From the Detroit Free Press Legislators declared during the 1970s that Michigan ought to develop a statewide transit system, assisted by state funding in all 83 counties. That policy continues to guide the Michigan Department of Transportation. Nearly 40 years later, however, unreliable and inadequate funding threatens to dismantle a statewide system, even as Michigan’s … Continue reading Editorial: Statewide, transit needs a big push

09/04/10

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $3.6 Million for Michigan High-Speed Rail

U.S. Department of Transportation Press Release Battle Creek Station Rehabilitation Project Funded by First Installment of $40 Million from Recovery Act WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $3.6 million for the State of Michigan to begin work on the rehabilitation of the Battle Creek railroad station.  The Department of Transportation will ultimately … Continue reading U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $3.6 Million for Michigan High-Speed Rail

09/01/10

Amtrak’s station shift makes commuting easier

From the Herald-Palladium NEW BUFFALO – Most people dividing their time between Illinois and Southwest Michigan have their primary residence over there and a more modest second place over here. Guy Ballard does it the other way around. And the new Amtrak service from downtown Chicago to New Buffalo helps make it possible. “It’s so … Continue reading Amtrak’s station shift makes commuting easier

09/01/10

Extra train from Niles buys extra time in Chicago

From the South Bend Tribune Need to be in Chicago early — say, 7:30 a.m. — and don’t want to drive? At least this weekend, Amtrak is making it possible for people who live in southwestern Michigan. Rick Harnish, of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, announced today that Amtrak, over Labor Day weekend, will … Continue reading Extra train from Niles buys extra time in Chicago

09/01/10

Amtrak to test Chicago early run this weekend

From the Niles Daily Star Making a Labor Day weekend trip to Chicago just got a little easier for southwest Michigan residents. Friday through Tuesday, Amtrak will be adding an additional early morning westbound train from Kalamazoo that will make stops in Niles and New Buffalo. The train will leave Kalamazoo at 5:50 a.m., stop … Continue reading Amtrak to test Chicago early run this weekend

08/28/10

New judge to try to resolve Troy-Birmingham transit center case

From Crain’s Detroit Business A new judge will preside in an old legal squabble with Farmington Hills-based Grand/Sakwa Properties Inc. and local government officials, as to whether the proposed Troy/Birmingham Multi-Modal Transit Center can go forward or whether Troy’s land reverts to private ownership. Oakland County Circuit Judge John McDonald, who recently received the lawsuit … Continue reading New judge to try to resolve Troy-Birmingham transit center case

08/28/10

Amtrak adds additional Chicago and West Michigan departures for Labor Day Weekend

 Amtrak press release CHICAGO – Why labor through traffic and tolls during Labor Day Weekend when Amtrak is adding service between Chicago and Western Michigan? An early morning westbound train from Kalamazoo gets you to the Lake Michigan beaches or to Chicago in time to get breakfast and “Enjoy Illinois,” while a late evening eastbound … Continue reading Amtrak adds additional Chicago and West Michigan departures for Labor Day Weekend

08/24/10

Jackson to host forum to discuss high-speed rail project

From the Jackson Citizen-Patriot For two years Jackson officials have been going to Lansing to lobby for high-speed and commuter rail. Now they can do it here. Jackson is the next stop in a series of forums the Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers is holding across the state to get input … Continue reading Jackson to host forum to discuss high-speed rail project

08/18/10

FRA Receives 77 Applications for High-Speed Passenger Rail Funding Totaling $8.5 Billion

From a Federal Railroad Administration press release: In an overwhelming show of support for the Administration’s high-speed rail initiative, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has received 77 applications from 25 states for the most recent round of High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grant funding. Application requests … Continue reading FRA Receives 77 Applications for High-Speed Passenger Rail Funding Totaling $8.5 Billion

08/18/10

Dispute between VIA and GEXR stalls passenger rail improvements in Ontario

From the Stratford Gazette An ongoing dispute between VIA Rail Canada and Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) over track usage fees has stalled long-sought infrastructure improvements that could see increased passenger service through St. Marys and Stratford. The issue centres around what is known as the North Main Line, a section of track that runs from London … Continue reading Dispute between VIA and GEXR stalls passenger rail improvements in Ontario

08/13/10

Challenge over land threatens Troy transit center

From the Detroit Free Press A much-anticipated transit center project in Troy and Birmingham may be in jeopardy as a legal challenge over the property mounts. Farmington Hills-based Grand Sakwa Properties — which, under a consent judgment in 2000, conditionally transferred a piece of property to Troy for 10 years for development of a transit … Continue reading Challenge over land threatens Troy transit center

08/05/10

Birmingham-Troy transit center preps for fall groundbreaking

From Metromode The combo rail, bus, car, bike, and pedestrian facility that will serve Birmingham, Troy and the entire area has secured its funding and is now working out the kinks for construction.Other funds came from stimulus money and Michigan Department of Transportation matches. “We’ve got more money than we originally anticipated,” says Jana Ecker, … Continue reading Birmingham-Troy transit center preps for fall groundbreaking

08/05/10

Amtrak adds stops at to accommodate South Shore construction

Amtrak has added special stops in Michigan City, Ind., on three Wolverine Service trains during selected Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, through November 8. This is in response to the construction-related shut down of South Shore Line commuter rail service east of Gary, Ind., on those dates. This amounts to a temporary doubling of the number … Continue reading Amtrak adds stops at to accommodate South Shore construction

08/04/10

Detroit on the move with Woodward Avenue light-rail line

From the United States Department of Transportation official blog: http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/08/fta-working-with-detroit-on-lightrail-line-for-historic-woodward-avenue.html On Friday, I went to the Detroit area with President Obama. There, the President emphatically declared, “The US auto industry is on the move!” Yesterday, I went back to Detroit with Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff to declare, just as emphatically, that “The city of … Continue reading Detroit on the move with Woodward Avenue light-rail line

08/03/10

Ride a train into the 18th century:

From The Kalamazoo Gazette Trip offers peek at Western Michigan University’s archaeological dig of old French trading post in Niles (with video) Through a retired Western Michigan University librarian’s enthusiasm for train travel, a Kalamazoo-to-Niles rail trip to the WMU archeology department’s Fort St. Joseph excavation is planned for Aug. 14. For the past several … Continue reading Ride a train into the 18th century:

08/02/10

Detroit moves forward with plan for light rail project

From The Detroit News Construction on the Woodward Light Rail project from downtown to Eight Mile is expected to begin next year, and the federal government has pledged to conduct an environmental impact study required for the plan to move forward. City, state and federal officials announced plans for the study today at a news … Continue reading Detroit moves forward with plan for light rail project

08/02/10

Woodward rail clears roadblock

From The Detroit News Transportation chief to give details in Detroit stop today Light rail down Woodward will get a boost today when local and federal officials announce the clearance of major regulatory hurdles for the public transit project. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and private funding partners are expected to … Continue reading Woodward rail clears roadblock

08/02/10

Bing to reveal light rail plans?

From the Detroit Free Press Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood regarding Detroit’s nascent effort to build light rail up Woodward Avenue. Officials remained tight-lipped about the news conference, although Bing has signaled that the federal government is putting its support behind the … Continue reading Bing to reveal light rail plans?

08/02/10

$182M power plant in Lansing’s REO Town includes GTW train depot renovation

From the Lansing State Journal The Lansing Board of Water & Light plans to build a $182 million natural gas-powered electric and steam generation plant in REO Town, moving 180 workers to the district south of downtown Lansing. The public utility on Thursday told the State Journal it plans to construct a combined steam and … Continue reading $182M power plant in Lansing’s REO Town includes GTW train depot renovation

08/02/10

Ann Arbor City Council approves resolution of support for passenger rail in Michigan

From Ann Arbor.com The Ann Arbor City Council went on record Monday night to unanimously support the state of Michigan’s efforts to develop and fund a comprehensive system of high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail services. Mayor John Hieftje, who sponsored the resolution, said the Michigan Municipal League is asking Ann Arbor and other communities … Continue reading Ann Arbor City Council approves resolution of support for passenger rail in Michigan

08/02/10

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman’s contract extended through 2013

Amtrak Press Release WASHINGTON – At the July 29 Amtrak board of directors meeting, the board voted unanimously to extend the contract of current President and CEO Joseph Boardman through 2013. Amtrak board chairman Tom Carper made the following statement: “I am extremely pleased that the Amtrak board of directors has unanimously agreed to retain … Continue reading Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman’s contract extended through 2013

08/02/10

N. Michigan Looks to Expand Public Rail System

From Channel 9&10 News in Northern Michigan Roughly 80 people gathered in Cadillac to ride a passenger train into Traverse City. Those people included state representatives, local policy, business and community leaders. This group, along with the public, is looking into Michigan’s freight and passenger rail system and the possibility of expanding it. Many think … Continue reading N. Michigan Looks to Expand Public Rail System

08/02/10

Traverse City residents participate in Michigan By Rail Forum

From The Grand Vision There was something of a Grand Vision twist to last night’s Michigan By Rail Forum at the Civic Center. Roughly 130 people attended and they certainly did not sit around listening to a series of experts talk about rail. Instead, everyone broke off into groups around large sized Michigan maps. And … Continue reading Traverse City residents participate in Michigan By Rail Forum

08/02/10

Time for Better Railroads in Michigan?

From the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service  The automobile drove Michigan’s economy for most of the last century. That singular emphasis on cars, though, left the Auto State with a transportation system ill equipped for the 21st century. Crumbling highways and bridges, their stubbornly high maintenance costs, and chronic traffic congestion signal that, when it … Continue reading Time for Better Railroads in Michigan?

07/29/10

East Lansing train station in line for federal renovation money

From the Lansing State Journal Plans to redevelop the East Lansing Amtrak station are chugging along as the city continues to seek project funding. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved $2.5 million in federal funds to construct a new multi-modal transit center at the site of the train station at 1240 S. Harrison … Continue reading East Lansing train station in line for federal renovation money

07/27/10

Amtrak’s president explains purchase of new equipment during press conference

From Trains magazine WASHINGTON – Amtrak President Joseph Boardman fielded reporters questions today about the 130-car, $298.1 million order the company announced Friday for 25 sleeping cars, 25 baggage-dormitory cars, 55 baggage cars and 25 diners. The winning bidder for the single level equipment, which will replace Heritage cars whose original manufacture dates to 1948, … Continue reading Amtrak’s president explains purchase of new equipment during press conference

07/24/10

Citizens, officials discuss rail service

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle Some like the idea of a better train system Emery Gyr loves to take trains from place to place, and saw much of the country by doing so. Gyr, of Traverse City, attended Thursday’s rail forum at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center, part of the regional planning Grand Vision … Continue reading Citizens, officials discuss rail service

07/23/10

Bing hints U.S. is backing Woodward light-rail project

From the Detroit Free Press Detroit Mayor Dave Bing strongly hinted Thursday that the federal government is on board with a proposed $400-million light-rail project on Woodward from downtown to 8 Mile, which aims to stimulate a transit system that has long eluded the city. Bing said officials will hold a news conference later this … Continue reading Bing hints U.S. is backing Woodward light-rail project

07/23/10

Amtrak to Purchase 130 Rail Cars for Long-Distance Fleet

Amtrak has agreed to buy 130 new single-level rail cars to support national long-distance service as the first step in a long-term, comprehensive fleet renewal plan. The five-year, $298.1 million contract was awarded to CAF USA, which will manufacture the cars in Elmira, N.Y., where it will add 575 jobs to support the work. The … Continue reading Amtrak to Purchase 130 Rail Cars for Long-Distance Fleet

07/21/10

Official: Amtrak to stay in Dowagiac

From The South Bend Tribune  Is Dowagiac in danger of losing its Amtrak service? It depends on whom you ask. Dowagiac resident Ron Leatz, who serves as a member of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, is concerned if the city doesn’t act fast, trains making stops here could be a thing of the past. … Continue reading Official: Amtrak to stay in Dowagiac

07/18/10

Ohio eyes phase 2 of rail plan

From the Toledo Blade While passenger trains are still at least two years away from running on a “Three-C” corridor for which Ohio has obtained federal stimulus money, state officials have begun looking at what they hope will be a second phase, which would include two Toledo routes. The Ohio Rail Development Commission has signed … Continue reading Ohio eyes phase 2 of rail plan

07/17/10

Groundbreaking held for new mass transit center in Pontiac

From The Oakland Press  Elected officials, business leaders and people in the transportation industry gathered for the groundbreaking of what will be Pontiac’s new mass transit center. “The sun is definitely shining down on the city of Pontiac,” said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township. The $1.4-million building will be completed the summer of 2011. … Continue reading Groundbreaking held for new mass transit center in Pontiac

07/13/10

MDOT, Amtrak and Greyhound to host groundbreaking for new Pontiac Transportation Center

MDOT Press Release Contact:  Janet Foran, MDOT Office of Communications, foranj@michigan.gov  517-335-7176 Agency: Transportation WHAT: The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Amtrak, Greyhound and the city of Pontiac will host a groundbreaking for the new Pontiac Transportation Center, which will serve both passenger rail and intercity bus passengers. The intermodal station is expected to be … Continue reading MDOT, Amtrak and Greyhound to host groundbreaking for new Pontiac Transportation Center

07/11/10

Ann Arbor to Detroit passenger rail project moves along

In response to various media reports depicting the Ann Arbor to Detroit passenger rail project as seriously delayed, the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments(SEMCOG), the agency in charge of implementing the project, has begun posting monthly progress reports on their website. The July update includes news about the passenger car design, future funding and station design … Continue reading Ann Arbor to Detroit passenger rail project moves along

07/11/10

Group considers new tunnel under the Detroit River

From The Detroit News Detroit — A consortium of private and public investors is looking into a plan to build a new railroad tunnel running beneath the Detroit River. Announcement of the plan was made today by the Windsor Port Authority, the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the Borealis Infrastructure, a division of the Ontario Municipal … Continue reading Group considers new tunnel under the Detroit River

07/11/10

Group tries to drum-up support for more passenger rail service

From WKAR Supporters of passenger train service are trying to get more state funding for Amtrak and expand its operation in the state. Michigan by Rail is holding a series of public forums across the state to garner support for a state-wide passenger train network. The group was in East Lansing Thursday night. John DeLora … Continue reading Group tries to drum-up support for more passenger rail service

07/10/10

Leadership allows Sault, Sudbury railway to continue

From The Sudbury Star The “historic and unprecedented leadership” by the city is resulting in the continuation of the short line railway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, one Sault councillor says. City council received an update Monday describing “the little engine that could and would” and will see the closure of a deal that … Continue reading Leadership allows Sault, Sudbury railway to continue

07/01/10

MDOT Honors Indian Trails

From Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau 100 Years of Service Recognized The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan State Transportation Commission has honored Indian Trails, an Owosso-based motor coach company, for its 100th anniversary. “Indian Trails is an important part of the transportation network in our state,” MDOT Chief Deputy Director Jacqueline … Continue reading MDOT Honors Indian Trails

06/27/10

VIA Rail and CAW Reach Tentative Agreement

Via Rail press release   Strike Averted Montreal, Saturday, June 26, 2010 – VIA Rail Canada has announced that a tentative three-year agreement has been reached with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), and that there will be no work stoppage. The agreement must be ratified by union members.  This latest round of negotiations between VIA … Continue reading VIA Rail and CAW Reach Tentative Agreement

06/25/10

CAW issues strike notice to VIA Rail

From Progressive Railroading magazine. Yesterday, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) issued a 72-hour strike notice to VIA Rail Canada Inc. after the railroad tabled the union’s first economic proposal Wednesday. The strike deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The union represents more than 2,000 VIA Rail workers who perform on-train and clerical services, including maintenance and … Continue reading CAW issues strike notice to VIA Rail

06/18/10

Michigan by Rail Public Forums

Summer, Fall 2010 The federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) requires states to prepare state rail plans in order to receive federal rail grants.  The Michigan Department of Transportation is in the early stages of putting Michigan ’s rail plan together.  Public participation and input is a requirement of a successful state rail plan.    In the … Continue reading Michigan by Rail Public Forums

06/18/10

Amtrak Train Cuts Car In Half; Driver Uninjured

From WNEM-TV Channel 5 LAPEER COUNTY, Mich. — The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office said a 26-year-old man cheated almost certain death when his vehicle collided with an Amtrak train Friday morning. Deputies said James Brimmer, of Flint, drove his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix around the railroad crossing arms into the path of a westbound train … Continue reading Amtrak Train Cuts Car In Half; Driver Uninjured

06/18/10

High-speed train pushed by Quebec, Ontario

From CBC News Ontario and Quebec say the dream of a high-speed train link between Windsor and Quebec City may finally be picking up steam — if only Ottawa would get aboard. On Wednesday, Quebec Premier Jean Charest said the idea, which has been tossed around for more than decade, is drawing more interest from … Continue reading High-speed train pushed by Quebec, Ontario

06/16/10

Conference of Mayors report lauds HSR

From Railway Age The U.S. Conference of Mayors Monday released a new report stressing the positive impact of high speed rail on various U.S. corridors, citing four specific cities as examples. The four cities—Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Fla., and Albany, N.Y. —could significantly benefit from high speed rail (HSR) with as many as 150,000 new jobs … Continue reading Conference of Mayors report lauds HSR

06/16/10

Forum Attempts to Put Mass Transit On Right Track

From The Rochester Citizen A group of Royal Oak area citizens met with a handful of politicians on Monday in an attempt to jolt Michigan ’s mass transit system onto the right track. A crowd of about 70 withstood the stuffy air inside St. John’s Episcopal Church for a two-hour forum discussing and brainstorming efforts … Continue reading Forum Attempts to Put Mass Transit On Right Track

06/16/10

Indian Trails launches new website

Indian Trails, Michigan’s primary intercity bus/motorcoach service, has launched a new website. The website has a fresh look and feel and boasts a  new schedule and quoting system. Indian Trails promises regular updates on its services and happenings through the website. The address is: http://www.indiantrails.com

06/15/10

Ride the Michigan Northern Arrow special train to Petoskey this Labor Day weekend

This year’s Labor Day weekend will feature a rare and nostalgic opportunity for Michiganians:  a train trip from south central Michigan to Petoskey and two full days in the popular Little Traverse Bay region.  The Michigan Northern Arrow will blend the leisurely ambiance of rail travel with the enjoyment of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, the Straits … Continue reading Ride the Michigan Northern Arrow special train to Petoskey this Labor Day weekend

06/14/10

MARP chairman speaks on WWJ about upcoming passenger rail forums

MARP Chairman John Delora speaks on WWJ 950 AM about the first in a statewide slate of public forums on Michigan’s passenger rail transportation future scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2010 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 26988 Woodward Ave., which is at the southeast corner of 11 Mile Road. Listen to the audio … Continue reading MARP chairman speaks on WWJ about upcoming passenger rail forums

06/11/10

Public forum scheduled for June 14 on passenger rail in Royal Oak

From The Royal Oak Daily Tribune Public can help put modern rail system on track ROYAL OAK — The first in a statewide slate of public forums on Michigan’s passenger rail transportation future takes place from 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2010 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 26988 Woodward Ave., which is at the southeast … Continue reading Public forum scheduled for June 14 on passenger rail in Royal Oak

06/09/10

Columnist: Woman urges others to stop, think before placing blame in Amtrak death

From the Lansing State Journal Here’s some news certain people won’t want to hear: Your inconvenience is not necessarily somebody’s fault. Or, as Judy Goth-Owens put it: “When we rush to interpret every unfortunate event as a personal affront that justifies a belligerent response, doesn’t that get in the way of hearing the small voice … Continue reading Columnist: Woman urges others to stop, think before placing blame in Amtrak death

06/09/10

Amtrak to Start Screening Passengers, Carry-On Baggage

From Agentathome.com The Amtrak Police Department is now periodically conducting random screening of Amtrak passengers and their carry-on baggage at Chicago Union Station. The initiative is part of an ongoing commitment by Amtrak to improve safety and security at stations and on trains across its national network. It is not, Amtrak insists, in response to … Continue reading Amtrak to Start Screening Passengers, Carry-On Baggage

06/03/10

Railroad police asking for help in Amtrak fire investigation

Last week, there was an Amtrak train fire in Van Buren County. Now, the CSX Railroad Police and FBI are asking for your help. The Amtrak train was passing through Columbia Township around 9:15 Thursday night when it hit a pry bar and other debris lodged in the CSX rail tracks. The collision caused the … Continue reading Railroad police asking for help in Amtrak fire investigation

05/29/10

Vandalism possible cause in Amtrak fire

From WOOD TV8 COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Amtrak officials confirm the fire aboard one car of a Grand Rapids bound train Thursday night was a result of a piece of metal found in the middle of the track. Spokesman Marc Magliari tells 24 Hour News 8 the metal hit the bottom of the car, causing … Continue reading Vandalism possible cause in Amtrak fire

05/28/10

Fire on GR-bound Amtrak train

From WOOD TV8  May 27, 2010 — A Grand Rapids-bound Amtrak train hit some debris on the tracks in the Bangor area Thursday night, starting a small fire and causing the train to be evacuated. See a video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfyd8hw6iMI

05/24/10

Ann Arbor Mayor Urges Unity on Fuller Road Station

From the Ann Arbor Chronicle Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission meeting (May 18, 2010): During an hour-long presentation and Q&A, Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje urged park commissioners to support the proposed Fuller Road Station, saying he’d like the city to present a unified front as they pursue federal funding for the $46 million project … Continue reading Ann Arbor Mayor Urges Unity on Fuller Road Station

05/21/10

Michigan Senate passes appropiation for full funding of Pere Marquette and BlueWater routes through Sept 2011‏

Great news!  The Michigan Senate just passed Senate bill 1164 which is the transportation appropriation bill for fiscal year 2011, ending September 2011. This bill provides full funding for Intercity Passenger Rail service (Amtrak) of $8.667 M.  The bill must still pass the House, but we are optimistic that it will do so intact.  This … Continue reading Michigan Senate passes appropiation for full funding of Pere Marquette and BlueWater routes through Sept 2011‏

05/11/10

Niles depot takes part in nationwide event celebrating trains

From the South Bend Tribune As the eastbound Amtrak Wolverine line train pulled into the Niles depot to dozens of excited onlookers, Jack Kessler sat back a ways. He wasn’t there to board the train — only to snap a few pictures of it. Not surprisingly, Kessler was one of dozens who took part Saturday … Continue reading Niles depot takes part in nationwide event celebrating trains

05/11/10

National Train Day in Michiana

From WNDU TV Sunday may be Mother’s Day, but Saturday was also a holiday of sorts; it was Amtrak’s National Train Day, and there were celebrations and events all over the country. On “16 Saturday Morning,” News Center 16 chatted with actor Taye Diggs about his involvement in National Train Day and the event he … Continue reading National Train Day in Michiana

05/11/10

Amtrak beefs up rail service to New Buffalo

From the Chicago Sun-Times In other Amtrak news, starting today, passengers on the Wolverine Service to Pontiac, Mich., and the Blue Water to Port Huron can now travel directly to New Buffalo, Mich., for a day at the beach. A new schedule allows day trips to “Harbor Country” on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. … Continue reading Amtrak beefs up rail service to New Buffalo

05/06/10

On Saturday, celebrate National Train Day in Jackson

More coverage of National Train Day, this time in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/on_saturday_celebrate_national.html Jackson’s Amtrak Station, the oldest continuously operated, railroad designed and built passenger train station in the country, will be part of the third annual National Train Day celebration Saturday. The family friendly event will feature interactive and educational train exhibits, a model … Continue reading On Saturday, celebrate National Train Day in Jackson

04/30/10

Michigan asks Amtrak for another Kalamazoo-to-Chicago train

From The Kalamazoo Gazette KALAMAZOO — The state has asked Amtrak to add another train from Kalamazoo to Chicago’s Union Station. Although it is too early to determine how likely the expanded service is — or how it would be funded — Amtrak could make a decision by the end of the summer, said Marc … Continue reading Michigan asks Amtrak for another Kalamazoo-to-Chicago train

04/30/10

MDOT Requests Additional Amtrak Service Through Southwest Michigan

From WSJM-AM 1400 The Michigan Department of Transportation said on Wednesday that it will make a formal request to Amtrak to add an additional train service in Southwest Michigan between Chicago and Kalamazoo. Last week, several state lawmakers — including State Representatives Sharon Tyler, Tonya Schuitmaker, and John Proos — sent a letter to MDOT, … Continue reading MDOT Requests Additional Amtrak Service Through Southwest Michigan

04/29/10

Day celebrates nation’s enduring love of trains

More coverage of National Train Day, this time in The South Bend Tribune: NILES — Train lovers rejoice — a day has been set aside just for you. Several area train stations will host celebrations May 8 in conjunction with the third annual National Train Day. At the Niles train depot at 589 Dey St., … Continue reading Day celebrates nation’s enduring love of trains

04/28/10

Ann Arbor moves forward Fuller Road Transit Station plans

From Concentrate The Fuller Road Transit Station is well on its way to becoming a reality, wrapping up the public input meetings next week and going through the city approval process this summer. “In the coming weeks there will be a formal submission to the city planning commission,” says Eli Cooper, transportation manager for the … Continue reading Ann Arbor moves forward Fuller Road Transit Station plans

04/27/10

Proposed commuter rail line scaled back, delayed

A proposed commuter rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor has been scaled back and delayed indefinitely as supporters seek new funding to build and operate the system. The future of the project is far from certain. Among the biggest obstacles: up to $50 million in additional money needed to build it, and long-term funding … Continue reading Proposed commuter rail line scaled back, delayed

04/27/10

WALLY isn’t dead but needs $10 million more for demonstration rail service, officials say

From AnnArbor.com A proposed commuter rail line connecting Howell and Ann Arbor “isn’t dead,” a lead organizer said Monday, but about $10 million still needs to be raised before a demonstration service can begin. Capital costs to start up the Washtenaw and Livingston Line, or WALLY, have been trimmed to between $16 million and $20 … Continue reading WALLY isn’t dead but needs $10 million more for demonstration rail service, officials say

04/27/10

Niles Depot to celebrate National Train Day

News coverage of MARP’s involvement in National Trail from The Niles Star: The Amtrak station in Niles will join more than 100 others to honor the history of trains in America on the third annual National Train Day May 8. The station, 598 Dey St., will host interactive and educational exhibits provided by the Michigan … Continue reading Niles Depot to celebrate National Train Day

04/23/10

Fischer: Rail investments will help our planet

Opinion piece by MARP member and  East/Central Michigan Chair Tim Fischer appearing in the Lansing State Journal: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100422/OPINION02/4220324/-1/*/Fischer–Rail-investments-will-help-our-planet Forty years ago, Americans celebrated the first Earth Day. New and startling images of our planet from space provided a unique perspective of our place in the universe and our role as stewards of this small speck of … Continue reading Fischer: Rail investments will help our planet

National Train Day 2010

04/20/10

National Train Day 2010

GET THE INSIDE TRACK at NATIONAL TRAIN DAY On Saturday, May 8th, the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) and fellow railroad organizations come together to celebrate the third annual National Train Day with family-friendly events across the state of Michigan.      The celebration commemorates the 141st anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad’s inception by bringing … Continue reading National Train Day 2010

04/16/10

Interstate bus service is now available

Public-private partners offer rides connected to city bus routes. By ANN-MARIE WOODS South Bend Tribune Staff Writer Local residents wanting to travel to Kalamazoo, Indianapolis or several other cities now have another option with the introduction of an intercity bus service connecting more than 30 communities in Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. The result of a … Continue reading Interstate bus service is now available

04/13/10

Amtrak’s ridership and revenue on record-breaking pace for fiscal year ’10

During the first six months of the FY ’10 fiscal year, Amtrak carried a record high of 13,619,770 passengers — a 4.3 percent increase over last year and roughly 100,000 more than the same period in FY ’08, when the company set its all-time record for annual ridership. A slowly improving economy and continued high … Continue reading Amtrak’s ridership and revenue on record-breaking pace for fiscal year ’10

04/13/10

35th Annual Durand Railroad Days Excursions of May 15th -16th Canceled

From a Steam Railroading Institute Press Release: A very difficult decision has been made by Durand Union Station, Great Lakes Central, and the Steam Railroading Institute to cancel the upcoming excursions for the 35th Annual Durand Railroad Days, to be held May 15th and 16th. After initial approval and much discussion with Canadian National about … Continue reading 35th Annual Durand Railroad Days Excursions of May 15th -16th Canceled

04/09/10

Opinion: Michigan needs to follow China’s example and develop high-speed mass transit system

Originally appeared at: http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/04/09/opinion/doc4bbd262040289293655769.txt By Tom Watkins Special to The Oakland Press I am traveling in China and seeing two futures for Michigan and America: one where we rush to play catch-up and the other where we fall even further behind. China has a public transportation system that works — with trains, 4,000 miles of … Continue reading Opinion: Michigan needs to follow China’s example and develop high-speed mass transit system

04/09/10

Michigan Star Clipper moving to Orlando

RAILMARK NEWS RELEASE – (Walled Lake, MI) – April 7, 2010 Railmark’s RAIL ENTERTAINMENT USA INC. subsidiary announced today that it has acquired the assets and operations of Florida Rail Adventures LLC and commenced operations on March 19th.  Railmark’s iconic Star Clipper Dinner Train®, the first and oldest dinner train in North America, will begin … Continue reading Michigan Star Clipper moving to Orlando

04/07/10

Amtrak Positive Train Control on fast track

From Railway Track and Structures Amtrak is moving ahead aggressively to expand and build out its existing and proven train collision prevention safety technology-commonly known as Positive Train Control-to cover all of the tracks it owns along the Northeast Corridor and on its Michigan Line by the end of 2012, three years ahead of a federal deadline. … Continue reading Amtrak Positive Train Control on fast track

04/07/10

FRA unveils PTC grant program; Amtrak accelerates PTC installation work

From Progessive Railroading Daily News Today, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it will begin accepting grant applications April 9 for the deployment of positive train control (PTC) systems and complementary advanced technologies under a new $50 milion rail safety technology program. Eligible applicants include passenger and freight railroads, railroad suppliers, and state and local … Continue reading FRA unveils PTC grant program; Amtrak accelerates PTC installation work

04/06/10

Amtrak plans to implement PTC by 2012

From Trains Magazine Published: Monday, April 05, 2010 WASHINGTON — Amtrak is planning to implement positive train control technology on the lines it owns by the end of 2012, three years ahead of a federally mandated deadline. The railroad owns the Boston-Washington Northeast Corridor, the Philadelphia-Harrisburg Keystone Corridor, plus the portion of the Wolverine Service … Continue reading Amtrak plans to implement PTC by 2012

04/02/10

SEMCOG delays start of Detroit-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail line

From Crain’s Detroit Business Metro Detroit’s regional planning agency has pushed back its goal of having a demonstration commuter train line running daily between Ann Arbor and Detroit operating by October. Instead, the line will operate for special events, such as University of Michigan football games and Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day parade, said Carmine Palombo, transportation … Continue reading SEMCOG delays start of Detroit-to-Ann Arbor commuter rail line

04/01/10

Commuter train project delay causes Washtenaw officials to question worth of investment in SEMCOG

From AnnArbor.com Washtenaw County commissioners are questioning the worth of the county’s $125,000 annual investment in SEMCOG after running into delays with the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter train project. At an administrative briefing Wednesday, commissioners questioned whether the county should continue paying the annual membership fee to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.  “Their failure to … Continue reading Commuter train project delay causes Washtenaw officials to question worth of investment in SEMCOG

03/29/10

Sun or snow, expect an experience on Amtrak

From The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN Ablustery wind tugged at us as we caught the Amtrak in Winona for a trip to Kalamazoo, Mich., in early December. Weather wasn’t a concern, though. Soon we’d be in a cozy passenger car. Albert and I arrived in Chicago one hour late but had another hour before departing for … Continue reading Sun or snow, expect an experience on Amtrak

03/26/10

Sharing Woodward Avenue

From Metromode Drive down Woodward Avenue and it’s pretty likely you’re utilizing the dominant form of transportation for that thoroughfare. At least for now. The long-time car-dominant corridor makes its intentions known when you first hit McNichols Avenue heading north. The combination of small buildings and a big boulevard subconsciously speeds up traffic on the … Continue reading Sharing Woodward Avenue

03/21/10

Ann Arbor-to-Detroit rail line delayed due to funding shortage

From AnnArbor.com The scheduled date to start daily service of a commuter rail line between Ann Arbor and Detroit has been indefinitely delayed due to a shortage of funding. Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs for the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, said the Ann Arbor to Detroit rail will run only for special events … Continue reading Ann Arbor-to-Detroit rail line delayed due to funding shortage

03/16/10

Save 20% on Amtrak Travel in Michigan

Enjoy a Ride between the Great Lakes See the great state of Michigan as it’s meant to be seen on the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine and save 20% through April 29, 2010. Getting there is half the fun — and on the train your time is your own. Catch up with friends or … Continue reading Save 20% on Amtrak Travel in Michigan

03/16/10

Big ridership gains on Blue Water and Wolverine trains

The Blue Water and Wolverine services each posted impressive ridership numbers during the month of February.  The Wolverine experienced a 13.5% increase over the previous year’s performance.  The Blue Water also experienced an increase of 9.2% followed by the Pere Marquette that inched past last February’s ridership by 0.2%. Ticket Revenue for each of the … Continue reading Big ridership gains on Blue Water and Wolverine trains

03/15/10

Englewood flyover work to begin this year

From Trains Magazine Published: Friday, March 05, 2010 CHICAGO – Officials Friday gathered at Chicago’s busy junction at Englewood to announce that work will begin later this year on a 2,000-foot flyover. The bridge will carry Metra’s Rock Island District commuter route over the Norfolk Southern main line that is shared with Amtrak trains from … Continue reading Englewood flyover work to begin this year

03/11/10

Mass transit for Motor City

From CNN Can Motor City combat its economic ills by becoming Rail City? Along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, a downtown stretch that seems permanently stuck in the “emerging” phase of business development, community leaders are hoping a new light rail system will help spark a renaissance. The city plans to break ground this year on stage … Continue reading Mass transit for Motor City

03/11/10

Time Magazine blog about M-1 Light Rail Project

Take Private Money and Going Public From Time Magazine Something major happened Wednesday to Detroit, and we all should be standing up applauding this game-changing event. The first part of the story is the $25 million the U.S. government committed to the M-1/Woodward Avenue Light Rail Project on Feb. 17. The big news is the partnership … Continue reading Time Magazine blog about M-1 Light Rail Project

Amtrak National Train Day

03/09/10

Amtrak Plans Events to Celebrate National Train Day

Amtrak will host the third annual National Train Day on May 8 with events across the country to celebrate America‘s love for trains. National Train Day commemorates the 141st anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad‘s inception by bringing to life the rich narrative of how trains transformed America. Large-scale, family-friendly events will be held in … Continue reading Amtrak Plans Events to Celebrate National Train Day

03/08/10

Michigan Central Station: Seeking a Future for a Symbol of a Grander Past

From The New York Times DETROIT — The last train pulled away more than 20 years ago from Michigan Central Station, one of thousands of “see-through” buildings here, empty shells from more auspicious times. Many of the blighted buildings stay up simply because they are too expensive to tear down. Yet Michigan Central is in … Continue reading Michigan Central Station: Seeking a Future for a Symbol of a Grander Past

03/06/10

Windsor to get new $6.3M train station

From The Windsor Star WINDSOR, Ont. — The rumours can finally be pushed aside as federal government and Via Rail officials announced Monday that Windsor will see construction of a new $6.3-million train station next door to the current location. Construction will begin this June with a completion date slated for fall 2011. The new … Continue reading Windsor to get new $6.3M train station

03/06/10

Jack Schramm, one of the founders of the Michigan Transit Museum, remembered

From The Macomb Daily By Erica Stark, Macomb Daily Staff Writer Jack Schramm, one of the founders of the Michigan Transit Museum in Mount Clemens, died Feb. 24 after a long illness. Mr. Schramm had a great interest in history, especially Detroit and its railways. He obtained a job with the city of Detroit’s Department … Continue reading Jack Schramm, one of the founders of the Michigan Transit Museum, remembered

03/04/10

Train crashes into ladder truck

From The Detroit News The city’s top fire official spared few words Monday when calling out firefighters who left on railroad tracks a ladder truck before it was struck by a passenger train. “I’m very upset,” Executive Fire Commissioner James Mack said. “It was a $600,000 truck. We’re trained professionals. We should always be thinking.” … Continue reading Train crashes into ladder truck

02/28/10

Durand Union Station getting a new look one year after being damaged by water

From The Flint Journal One year after a water pipe burst and threatened to destroy hundred of historical documents and pictures, the Durand Union Station may just be better than ever.  “We were actually very very fortunate,” Don Westcott, board president for the station said. “Because we had insurance we were able to take advantage … Continue reading Durand Union Station getting a new look one year after being damaged by water

02/28/10

Local legislators to MDOT: Spare our Amtrak route

From The Holland Sentinel For years, keeping the Pere Marquette Amtrak line has been a battle. In 2010 the fight revolves around Michigan’s budget woes and Washington’s recent interest in high-speed rails. Michigan Department of Transportation officials proposed rerouting the Pere Marquette around a dozen years ago. Instead of coming up the Lake Michigan coast … Continue reading Local legislators to MDOT: Spare our Amtrak route

02/28/10

Leader joins fight to retain Pere Marquette

From the South Bend Tribune Shoreline areas will lose rail service if line’s eliminated, he says. State Rep. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, said Thursday he’s on board with efforts to continue Amtrak’s Pere Marquette rail service between Grand Rapids and Chicago. The line, featuring a stop in St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, has been proposed for elimination … Continue reading Leader joins fight to retain Pere Marquette

02/27/10

Getting Back on Track

From Hour Detroit magazine On the evening of Oct. 24, 1998, downtown Detroit was quite literally ground zero. Breathless reporters were perched on rooftops. Every TV station was live. Video beamed across the country via satellite. And then, at 5:47 p.m., explosions ripped through the 87-year-old J.L. Hudson building, and it collapsed in a plume … Continue reading Getting Back on Track

02/26/10

High-speed rail would get Michigan’s economy back on track

From Ann Arbor.com Michigan rode the automobile to prosperity in the 1950s and ‘60s. But now we find ourselves falling further and further behind in the new economy. If we hope to catch up, one of the answers has to be high-speed rail. That is why it’s disappointing to see Michigan’s efforts toward high-speed railroad … Continue reading High-speed rail would get Michigan’s economy back on track

02/26/10

Guest Commentary: MDOT not taking full advantage of toll credits

From The Grand Rapids Press Last month, the Michigan Department of Transportation canceled 243 future road and bridge projects around the state instead of seeking to use the multi-million dollar private investments in the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, inspection plazas and other capital improvements. By doing so, MDOT is ignoring toll credits made possible by … Continue reading Guest Commentary: MDOT not taking full advantage of toll credits

02/26/10

Study estimates benefit to Niles from having depot at $5 million

From The Niles Star DOWAGIAC – Dowagiac’s historic train depot is garnering national notice, station host Ron Leatz reported to Dowagiac City Council Monday night. Amtrak illustrated its season’s greetings Dec. 18 with five U.S. railroad stations, including Dowagiac’s. “We went nationwide just before Christmas,” Leatz said. Next, Leatz drew attention to the winter 2010 … Continue reading Study estimates benefit to Niles from having depot at $5 million

02/26/10

MDOT Officials Discuss Pere Marquette Line In Saint Joe

From WSJM 1400 AM and 94.9 FM State transportation officials were in Saint Joseph this week to talk about the future of the Pere Marquette Amtrak line. Recent documents from MDOT regarding plans for a multi-state rail line called the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative indicate that the passenger service could be rerouted out of Saint Joe … Continue reading MDOT Officials Discuss Pere Marquette Line In Saint Joe

02/26/10

GENETSKI TO FIGHT FOR PERE MARQUETTE

February 25, 2010 Michigan’s transportation department’s proposal to close the Pere Marquette rail service between Grand Rapids and Chicago would be a costly mistake for the state’s economic development and tourism interests, according to local lawmakers. State Rep. Bob Genetski was among five southwest Michigan representatives who sent a letter on Feb. 23 to Kirk T. Steudle, … Continue reading GENETSKI TO FIGHT FOR PERE MARQUETTE

02/22/10

SUV driver arrested after hitting train in Albion

From the Battle Creek Enquirer A 19-year-old Albion woman was arrested Saturday after Albion Department of Public Safety Officers said she drove her SUV into the side of an Amtrak passenger train.  Police reported the accident at 10:30 p.m. at the intersection of Cass and Monroe streets in Albion.  Officers said the Ford Explorer rolled … Continue reading SUV driver arrested after hitting train in Albion

02/22/10

Amtrak asks seven firms to dream up plans for Chicago’s Union Station

From The Chicago Tribune Amtrak has asked seven architectural and real estate firms to submit proposals to redevelop a key part of Chicago’s Union Station and plans to select a winning proposal by the end of May. The firms include the Chicago office of architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Chicago developer U.S. Equities Realty and … Continue reading Amtrak asks seven firms to dream up plans for Chicago’s Union Station

02/20/10

Is high-speed rail worth the expense?

From the Detroit Free Press Local columnists have opposing views on this: Michigan should be grateful the federal government allocated only $244 million to the Detroit-Chicago high-speed rail corridor, writes Randal O’Toole. But, Tim Fischer counters, passenger rail is a catalyst for economic development that invariably accompanies it. Page link: http://freep.com/article/20100218/OPINION02/100218003/1322/Is-high-speed-rail-worth-the-cost

02/19/10

Officials hopeful that high-speed rail system will include stop in Jackson

From the Jackson Citizen Patriot Jackson’s historic train depot was bypassed for high-speed rail funding last month, but local officials are still confident it will be a stop on the proposed Detroit-Chicago corridor. In recent years the Amtrak station, built in 1873 and one of the oldest continuously operating stations in the country, has received … Continue reading Officials hopeful that high-speed rail system will include stop in Jackson

02/18/10

University of Michigan Central Campus transit center planned

From Ann Arbor.com Big transportation changes are on the way for the stretch of North University Avenue between Fletcher and Church streets. The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved plans for a $4.5 million Central Campus transit center at its monthly meeting Thursday. Read more: http://www.annarbor.com/news/university-of-michigan-central-campus-transit-center-planned/

02/18/10

East Lansing transit center plan to go forward

From The Lansing State Journal EAST LANSING – The city of East Lansing will not receive a $27 million federal stimulus grant officials wanted to build a transit center. But the project isn’t dead. The city, along with Michigan State University and the Capital Area Transportation Authority, will forge ahead with plans to redevelop the … Continue reading East Lansing transit center plan to go forward

02/18/10

East Lansing denied $25M grant to improve rail station

From The State News The city of East Lansing will not receive the $25 million it requested from a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant to renovate the Amtrak station on Harrison Road. The grant would have upgraded the Amtrak facility and created a public parking structure, a project which city officials view … Continue reading East Lansing denied $25M grant to improve rail station

02/17/10

Transit Forum Critiques WALLY

From The Ann Arbor Chronicle Chris Leinberger was blunt in his assessment of the proposed Fuller Road Station: If the parking structure is built as proposed, in 20 years it will be torn down. Speaking at a forum on transit-oriented development, Leinberger – a University of Michigan professor of practice in urban planning – said … Continue reading Transit Forum Critiques WALLY

02/17/10

Woodward Light Rail plan in Detroit to win $25M grant

From the Detroit Free Press The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press are both reporting Detroit is expected to receive a $25 million grant on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 for the proposed M-1 light rail project along Woodward Avenue within the city limits. The grant is intended for environmental studies needed to begin the … Continue reading Woodward Light Rail plan in Detroit to win $25M grant

02/16/10

Railroad company faces charges in wildfire

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle Lake State Railway may have operated unsafe train engine  BY ART BUKOWSKI and LINDSAY VANHULLE Record-Eagle staff writers GRAYLING — A downstate rail company faces felony charges for allegedly sparking a massive 2008 blaze that torched about 1,300 acres of forest and several buildings in Crawford County. Michigan Attorney General Mike … Continue reading Railroad company faces charges in wildfire

02/16/10

BLOG: How About High Speed Rail for Every Major City?

From LA Streets Blog by Elana Schor on February 9, 2010 (Image: U.S. PIRG) Now that the Obama administration has awarded $8 billion in high-speed rail grants to more than two dozen states, with $2.5 billion more coming soon, why not keep thinking big when it comes to bullet-train expansion?  That’s the ethos of a … Continue reading BLOG: How About High Speed Rail for Every Major City?

02/16/10

MDOT shares details of reduced 2011-2014 Five-Year Transportation Program

Michigan Department of Transportation press release Contact:  Bill Shreck, Director, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-335-3084 Agency: Transportation February 12, 2010 — The state’s recently approved 2010-2014 Five-Year Transportation Program has been posted online by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on the MDOT Web site at: www.michigan.gov/mdot5yearplan. MDOT also has posted a new document titled “Financial … Continue reading MDOT shares details of reduced 2011-2014 Five-Year Transportation Program

02/16/10

E. Ray Scott, Artrain founder, passed away

From Artrain, Inc. E. Ray Scott, Artrain founder, passed away on Friday, February 5, 2010.  Scott was the embodiment of an arts advocate and demonstrated so over the course of a lifetime. Among his many accomplishments was the founding of Artrain, Inc.  As noted by his long-time friend Robert O’Leary III, “If there is one … Continue reading E. Ray Scott, Artrain founder, passed away

02/16/10

Report highlights benefits of improving railways

From the Niles Daily Star A new research report by the Ann Arbor-based Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) highlights the benefits of improving railways in Michigan and the United States. President Obama awarded $40 million in high-speed rail funds last month to Michigan. The funding could bring high-speed rails to Niles’ Amtrak station. … Continue reading Report highlights benefits of improving railways

02/15/10

Fleshing Out Fuller Road Station in Ann Arbor

From The Ann Arbor Chronicle For Eli Cooper, the city of Ann Arbor’s transportation program manager, a project like the proposed Fuller Road Station happens “once in a lifetime” – an opportunity for the city, he says, to take a vision and make it reality in a fairly short time. What it will take to … Continue reading Fleshing Out Fuller Road Station in Ann Arbor

02/09/10

Online video: Blueprint America-Beyond the Motor City

Aired on PBS, Feb. 8, 2010 Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City examines how Detroit, a symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America. The film debuts nationally on PBS on February 8 at 10 pm (check local listings). Detroit is the crucible … Continue reading Online video: Blueprint America-Beyond the Motor City

02/09/10

OPINION: High-speed rail would get Michigan’s economy back on track

From Ann Arbor.com Michigan rode the automobile to prosperity in the 1950s and ‘60s. But now we find ourselves falling further and further behind in the new economy. If we hope to catch up, one of the answers has to be high-speed rail. That is why it’s disappointing to see Michigan’s efforts toward high-speed railroad … Continue reading OPINION: High-speed rail would get Michigan’s economy back on track

02/09/10

Ottawa mulls buying Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge

From the National Post (Canada) Stephen Harper has instructed his ministers to explore the prospect of buying the Windsor-Detroit bridge — the busiest international border crossing in North America — from its American owner. The Ambassador Bridge is owned by billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun and carries one quarter of all merchandise trade between Canada and … Continue reading Ottawa mulls buying Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge

02/08/10

COLUMNIST: Could new investments in rail transportation be the start of a train boom in Michigan?

From The Lansing City Pulse Proponents of rail travel — either high speed rail between states, or light rail trains in cities, or commuter rail lines connecting close cities — say that trains improve people’s quality of life; trains are good for the environment because they take cars off the road; and, building rail infrastructure … Continue reading COLUMNIST: Could new investments in rail transportation be the start of a train boom in Michigan?

02/04/10

Bullet Trains Passing Us By?

From WXYZ-TV, Channel 7 in Detroit (WXYZ) Bullet trains darting from Detroit to Chicago and across the country–Is this vision just around the corner or decades away? With President Obama’s recent announcement of eight-billion dollars headed for high-speed rail, we took a closer look. High-speed rails may be moving at a snail’s pace for Metro … Continue reading Bullet Trains Passing Us By?

02/02/10

East Lansing’s Amtrak Ridership is Up in a Down Economy

From The Lansing State Journal According to statistics recently released by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), East Lansing ridership on Amtrak’s Blue Water line hit an all-time high in Fiscal Year 2009. A total of 265,702 passengers used the Blue Water service in FY 2009 and, of that total, 50,953 passengers boarded or deboarded … Continue reading East Lansing’s Amtrak Ridership is Up in a Down Economy

02/01/10

Ann Arbor to Detroit rail could be running by year-end, officials say

From Ann Arbor.com An effort to link Ann Arbor and Detroit with a commuter train is inching toward reality, with officials optimistic some trains could be running by year-end. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and Michigan Department of Transportation are spearheading the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit Regional Rail Project. And project managers say it has gained … Continue reading Ann Arbor to Detroit rail could be running by year-end, officials say

01/30/10

Amtrak to upgrade Michigan rails

From The Detroit News Nathan Hurst / Detroit News Washington Bureau Washington –After a disappointment earlier this week, funding for high-speed rail for Michigan is getting back on track, federal railroad officials said Friday. Amtrak, the national passenger railroad, announced it’ll be studying major track upgrades in Michigan, and making immediate improvements to some portions … Continue reading Amtrak to upgrade Michigan rails

01/29/10

Amtrak to perform high-speed rail improvement study in Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  January 29, 2010  Contact: Mark Magliari, Amtrak, (313) 880-5390     Focus on infrastructure needs for future 110 mph train service  CHICAGO – Stressing the importance of its intercity passenger rail service in Michigan, Amtrak today announced it will perform a high-speed rail improvement study that will focus on determining what infrastructure upgrades … Continue reading Amtrak to perform high-speed rail improvement study in Michigan

01/28/10

Higher speed rail in Michigan receives $244 million boost

by Larry Sobczak MARP webmaster Further reading and background: • MARP praises announcement • Official White House press release on $8 billion high speed rail • Detroit-Chicago project background • From AnnArbor.com: $244 million for Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak improvements • From The Detroit News: Mich. gets fraction of sought fed high-speed rail funds • From Michigan … Continue reading Higher speed rail in Michigan receives $244 million boost

01/28/10

President Obama, Vice President Biden to Announce $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Projects Across the Country

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release January 28, 2010 Projects Will Help Create Construction Jobs, Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing Sector Tampa, FL – President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will today announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to … Continue reading President Obama, Vice President Biden to Announce $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Projects Across the Country

01/28/10

Background for the Detroit-Chicago High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program

Awardees: Michigan Department of Transportation, Indiana Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation Total Approximate Funding (entire corridor): $244,000,000 Benefiting States: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois Miles of Track: Upgraded – 300 miles The corridor connects Chicago, IL and Detroit, MI, two of the largest cities in the Midwest, and also provides a link between neighboring states. … Continue reading Background for the Detroit-Chicago High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program

01/28/10

Amtrak National route network benefits from new Federal investments in passenger rail

Over half of $8 billion in grants for state projects will improve current or future Amtrak routes FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 28, 2010 Contact: Amtrak Media Relations 202 906.3860   WASHINGTON – The Amtrak national route network is a significant beneficiary of President Obama’s historic federal investment in intercity passenger rail as approximately $4.5 billion of … Continue reading Amtrak National route network benefits from new Federal investments in passenger rail

01/27/10

Steam Railroading Institute lays off employees

From the Owosso Argus-Press OWOSSO – The Steam Railroading Institute’s corporate officers have laid off all of their employees, except Executive Director T.J. Gaffney. After an all-day meeting Saturday, financial concerns led to slashing the positions of Chief Mechanical Officer Greg Udolph and Marketing Director Kim Lazar. Office Manager Jodi Hak previously was let go … Continue reading Steam Railroading Institute lays off employees

01/27/10

Michigan’s High Speed Train Plan: On Track or Derailed?

From Michigan Radio Thursday, the Obama administration plans to announce which states will receive billions of dollars to build high-speed rail systems. Michigan officials are among those paying close attention. Last year’s federal economic stimulus act included $8 billion for developing high speed rail. The Obama administration has been wading thru the various proposals sent … Continue reading Michigan’s High Speed Train Plan: On Track or Derailed?

01/27/10

Obama to Announce High-Speed Rail Plan Post-Speech

From Mass Transit Magazine/Associated Press A day after delivering a State of the Union address aimed at showing recession-weary Americans he understands their struggles, President Barack Obama intends to award $8 billion in stimulus funds to develop high-speed rail corridors and sell the program as a jobs creator. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan … Continue reading Obama to Announce High-Speed Rail Plan Post-Speech

01/27/10

Group battling for survival of Pere Marquette train

From the St. Joseph Herald Palladium BENTON HARBOR – Momentum is growing to lobby state transportation policy makers for a meeting to resolve the future of Amtrak stops in Bangor, New Buffalo and St. Joseph. All three stops are served by the Pere Marquette route, whose future has been clouded by a proposed rail service … Continue reading Group battling for survival of Pere Marquette train

01/27/10

Local Planners To Lobby State On Behalf Of Amtrak Line

From WSJM 1400 AM & 94.9 FM Local planning officials are working on a plan to save the Pere Marquette Amtrak line, as documents from the Michigan Department of Transportation indicate that the agency may be planning to phase it out. Executive Director of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission K- John Egelhaaf says that maps … Continue reading Local Planners To Lobby State On Behalf Of Amtrak Line

01/26/10

Rail tunnel proposal moves closer to reality

From The Windsor Star The companies behind a $400-million proposal to build a second Detroit River rail tunnel have issued a pre-bid notice — a call for companies to prove qualifications — to conduct the environmental assessment for the project. Borealis Infrastructure and CP Rail, co-owners of the 100-year-old Windsor-Detroit rail tunnel, plan to build … Continue reading Rail tunnel proposal moves closer to reality

01/25/10

1225’s owner hits financial crisis

From Trains News Wire Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 OWOSSO, Mich. – The nonprofit owner of Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 laid off five of its six staff members today in response to a financial crisis. Steam Railroading Institute Executive Director T.J. Gaffney said the locomotive won’t operate this year, and its future is now … Continue reading 1225’s owner hits financial crisis

01/25/10

Cafe car fire forces Amtrak train to stop

From The Michigan City News Dispatch MICHIGAN CITY — For the second time in two weeks, an Amtrak train was forced to make a stop in Michigan City. At about 7:15 p.m. Saturday, officials from a train bound for Detroit called the Michigan City Fire Department and moved the 129 passengers to the front of … Continue reading Cafe car fire forces Amtrak train to stop

01/25/10

Troy transit center lands another $250K in funds

From The Detroit News Troy — The Troy/Birmingham Multi-modal Transit Center is expected to receive an extra $250,000 in funding from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act, officials announced Monday. About $1.3 million already was secured last month in a congressional vote. Groundbreaking on the regional transit center, which will cost about $7 million and be … Continue reading Troy transit center lands another $250K in funds

01/22/10

Bay City to Detroit high speed bus route studied

From The Flint Journal FLINT — The Mass Transportation Authority wants know whether commuters from as far north as Bay City would support a high-speed bus service to Detroit, a potential first step toward establishing a light rail route through Flint in the future. A Genesee County committee has approved plans to study establishing a … Continue reading Bay City to Detroit high speed bus route studied

01/22/10

Lawmakers still skeptical of Detroit-Lansing rail proposal

From the Lansing State Journal State lawmakers have switched on a flashing caution light for a proposed high-speed rail line between Detroit and Lansing. Project investors must disclose financing details before the state can get on board, members of a legislative task force said Tuesday. But although questions remain about the financing and the viability … Continue reading Lawmakers still skeptical of Detroit-Lansing rail proposal

01/22/10

Michigan transit projects expected to get more funding

From the Detroit Free Press Chances rose today for an infusion of federal money for transit projects in Michigan after the Obama administration signaled a change in how it will fund major public transportation initiatives. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said new transit funding guidelines will place a greater emphasis on “livability issues,” including whether … Continue reading Michigan transit projects expected to get more funding

01/12/10

Infrastructure upgrades, PTC and new rolling stock on Amtrak’s 2010 agenda

From Progressive Railroading Daily News With major projects and new initiatives on tap to rebuild infrastructure, increase service and revitalize the nation’s intercity passenger railroad, Amtrak is anticipating “an exciting 2010,” President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said yesterday during a media conference call. This year, Amtrak plans to undertake major track and bridge … Continue reading Infrastructure upgrades, PTC and new rolling stock on Amtrak’s 2010 agenda

01/05/10

Transport Action Canada is the new name for Transport 2000

For immediate release January 5, 2010 (OTTAWA) — Canada’s national voice for sustainable public transportation has a new name, “Transport Action Canada”, replacing the widely-recognized name “Transport 2000 Canada”, which has been in use for over 30 years. “Our voice has been heard through our national and regional organizations on all matters affecting public transportation, … Continue reading Transport Action Canada is the new name for Transport 2000

01/04/10

Legislation defines light rail vision

From The Michigan Citizen DETROIT — Detroit is closer to a light rail line on Woodward Avenue. A federal spending bill, allowing $125 million in matching funds for the project has spurred state legislators to start work on a regional transportation authority to oversee any future mass transit expansion. Until earlier this year, the Woodward … Continue reading Legislation defines light rail vision

12/31/09

Battle continues for control of Southern Michigan Railroad Society

From The Adrian Daily Telegram The dust has still not settled from an attempted takeover of the Southern Michigan Railroad Society at its Nov. 14 board election. Ballot counting that was expected to be completed shortly after Thanksgiving is being delayed by objections raised to the qualifications of almost every voter. The group reviewing the … Continue reading Battle continues for control of Southern Michigan Railroad Society

12/21/09

What’s next in the South Shore issue

From The Michigan City News-Dispatch MICHIGAN CITY – Whether the 11th Street corridor or northern Amtrak route is the best for the South Shore commuter train continues to be a contentious issue heading into the new year. It comes down to who’s defining “best” and who will fund additional engineering studies and, ultimately, the South … Continue reading What’s next in the South Shore issue

12/20/09

Railway hubs lay down tracks for expansion

From The Washington Post CHICAGO — This city was built on railroads that moved meat from its famous packing houses, steel from its mills, corn from surrounding fields. Today Chicago is still the nation’s leading rail hub, with about 37,500 rail cars passing through daily. But massive congestion on Chicago tracks costs millions of dollars … Continue reading Railway hubs lay down tracks for expansion

12/17/09

Construction planned for new transit center after receiving $1.3M in federal funding

From M-Live A new $7-million transit center that will provide connections for trains, buses and taxis is slated to break ground in Troy next summer. Plans for the Troy-Birmingham Multi-modal Transit Center are moving forward after Congress passed $1.3 million in federal appropriations last weekend to help construct the center, according to The Oakland Press. … Continue reading Construction planned for new transit center after receiving $1.3M in federal funding

12/11/09

House approves funds for transit center

From the Royal Oak Daily Tribune Construction plans for the Troy-Birmingham Multi-Modal Transit Center took a step forward Thursday when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 221-200 to approve a $447 billion U.S. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The bill includes $1.3 million for the transit center planned to be built behind Midtown … Continue reading House approves funds for transit center

12/09/09

Revitalized European Cities Might Provide Answer to Detroit’s Recovery

The city of Detroit has become synonymous with the economic restructuring taking place in the United States, including deindustrialization, decentralization, and globalization. As a result, Detroit has entered into a half century period of protracted social and economic decline creating what many consider to be a ”dystopian disaster.” Since 1950, no city has seen a … Continue reading Revitalized European Cities Might Provide Answer to Detroit’s Recovery

12/08/09

Indian Trails Expands U.P. Motorcoach Service from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie and Beyond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 8, 2009 CONTACT: Brenda Cheney, 800-292-3831 (OWOSSO) – Indian Trails has expanded its scheduled motor coach service in the Upper Peninsula, extending its route from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie and adding service to Kinross and Newberry. “The extension of the service which began on December 1 is a natural … Continue reading Indian Trails Expands U.P. Motorcoach Service from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie and Beyond

12/08/09

Amtrak reports ridership record for Thanksgiving week

From the USA Today/Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Did you travel on Amtrak the week of Thanksgiving? If so, you helped set a record.Amtrak says it has set a new record for numbers of passengers it carried the week of Thanksgiving. The nation’s intercity rail operator said Tuesday it carried 685,876 passengers between Nov. 24 … Continue reading Amtrak reports ridership record for Thanksgiving week

12/03/09

2009 CN Michigan Division Santa Train schedule

MARP has heard Santa’s elves whispering about the Canadian National Santa Train schedule through southern Michigan. The train is a vintage trainset which transports Santa between area CN employee parties. You can catch a glimpse of the train as it travels through the area but remember not to tresspass on CN railroad property and the … Continue reading 2009 CN Michigan Division Santa Train schedule

12/02/09

PERE MARQUETTE 1225 SIDELINED

    Press release from the Steam Railroading Institute: The Steam Railroading Institute, in its sixth season of the North Pole Express, hosted over 2,500 passengers this past weekend during its annual winter train excursions. Children and adults, from as far away as California, enjoyed a magical four hour experience which included a trip to … Continue reading PERE MARQUETTE 1225 SIDELINED

12/01/09

Move might make way for Michigan Flyer terminal

From Lansing State Journal LANSING TWP. – Bud Kouts Chevrolet has moved its used car lot across Michigan Avenue to its new car dealership, clearing the way for a possible Michigan Flyer bus terminal. Owosso-based Indian Trails Inc. has an option to buy the land for a new terminal for its Michigan Flyer subsidiary, which … Continue reading Move might make way for Michigan Flyer terminal

11/27/09

Boyne City bus stop discontinued

From The Petoskey News-Review BOYNE CITY — Boyne City residents will have to go about five miles farther east to catch an Indian Trails bus ride after Dec. 1. On Tuesday, Indian Trails will discontinue service to a bus stop at the McDonald’s Restaurant on Division Street in Boyne City. The next closest bus stop … Continue reading Boyne City bus stop discontinued

11/13/09

Drive continues for light rail projects

From The Capital News Service Southeast Michigan officials are pushing for a commuter rail connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit, as well as a light rail running between downtown Detroit and the New Center area along Woodward Avenue. Kirk Steudle, director of the Department of Transportation, said the projects have the potential to offer better options … Continue reading Drive continues for light rail projects

10/26/09

New station at New Buffalo

Amtrak’s Blue Water (train 365) arrives to the new Amtrak station in New Buffalo, Michigan, Oct. 26, 2009 while being greeted by media, passengers, and area residents. The station, located along Amtrak’s high-speed Michigan District line in downtown New Buffalo, opened officially Oct. 26 and replaces the former Amtrak station south of town on CSX … Continue reading New station at New Buffalo

09/22/09

Amtrak Thruway bus service has a new U.P. MDOT Station

St. Ignace and the Upper Peninsula have a new Bus Depot/Travel Center located on US-2, just east of the I-75 intersection on the North side of US-2 near the Mackinac Bridge. An Indian Trails official said the company plans on using the new St. Ignace station starting Sept. 22 with dedication slated Sept. 28. MARP … Continue reading Amtrak Thruway bus service has a new U.P. MDOT Station

06/04/07

Amtrak Adjusts Schedule of Pere Marquette to Accommodate Track Work

Temporary Timings from June 4 to June 21 CHICAGO – Amtrak is temporarily adjusting the westbound schedule for the Pere Marquette service on the Chicago-Grand Rapids route to accommodate track work planned by CSX Transportation, the owner of the train’s route in Michigan. The temporary schedule will begin June 4 and continue through June 21, … Continue reading Amtrak Adjusts Schedule of Pere Marquette to Accommodate Track Work

04/02/07

Two Amtrak Wolverine Trains Have New Eastbound Schedules

Departures tie better to Milwaukee and allow earlier travel CHICAGO – Lake Michigan is less of an impediment to travel between the Milwaukee and Detroit areas, effective with the semi-annual Amtrak schedule change on April 2. That’s because Train 350, the morning Wolverine Service train eastbound from Chicago, has a new schedule allowing for a … Continue reading Two Amtrak Wolverine Trains Have New Eastbound Schedules

03/08/06

Testimony of MARP Chairman Michael Whims before the Michigan House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation

March 8, 2006 The Honorable Shelley Taub, Chairperson Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation Michigan House of Representatives Lansing, Michigan Re: Testimony of Michael J. Whims Honorable Chairperson and Subcommittee Members: My name is Michael J. Whims and I am Chairman of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers. I am a resident of Royal Oak, Michigan. The … Continue reading Testimony of MARP Chairman Michael Whims before the Michigan House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation

07/15/05

MARP treasurer Terry Donnelly died July 15, 2005

Terry Donnelly Michigan Association of Railroad Passenger (MARP) Treasurer and U.P. Coordinator Terrence F. Donnelly died Friday, July 15, 2005 at his home in Harvey, Mich. after a lengthy illness. He was 73 years old. Terry was an active member and past president of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, where he currently served as … Continue reading MARP treasurer Terry Donnelly died July 15, 2005

11/22/04

USDOT releases annual Amtrak report

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation office of the Inspector General released its Congressionally-mandated annual report on Amtrak Nov. 22, 2004. In the report, USDOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead is critical of plans to continue operating Amtrak in its current manner. “Unsustainably large operating losses, poor on-time performance, and increasing levels of deferred infrastructure and fleet … Continue reading USDOT releases annual Amtrak report

05/24/01

Detroit Renaissance Center/Oakland County Commuter Rail Service Demonstration Could Begin this Fall!

FOR RELEASE ON THURSDAY, 24 MAY 2001 AT 11:00 PM DETROIT, MI – John D. DeLora (of Detroit), Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc. (MARP) and Karen D. Kendrick-Hands (of Grosse Pointe Park), President of Transportation Riders United, Inc. (TRU) jointly announced today the feasibility of a modern commuter rail service … Continue reading Detroit Renaissance Center/Oakland County Commuter Rail Service Demonstration Could Begin this Fall!