Category Archives: Station locator

Battle Creek (BTL)

104 Capital Avenue S.W.
Battle Creek, MI 49017

The Battle Creek station underwent a renovation in 2011-2012. (Photo by Steve Sobel)

The Battle Creek station is an intermodal center owned by the Battle Creek Transportation Authority. It has fairly good access by car, and all city buses come to the station. For short term parking, it is recommended that passengers use the ice skating rink parking lot immediately west of the station. Long term parking permits are available from the agent which allows passengers to park their cars in the station drive. The area is quite safe, and cars can be left in the long term parking area for extended periods without worry.

The downtown area of Battle Creek has undergone a substantial redevelopment in recent years, and the station is surrounded by a 4-star hotel, a water park , a convention arena and the downtown shopping district. The exterior of the station retains the lines of a traditional station, but there’s nothing traditional about it at night. Station eaves, roof lines and columns are lit by neon and fluorescent lights, and the result is spectacular.

The new interior of the Battle Creek station. (Photo by John DeLora)

Being an intermodal station with substantial traffic and isused by Amtrak, Indian Trails, Greyhound and Battle Creek Transit . The station was built 30 years ago in what was then a popular design which some call “Urban Gothic,” with concrete, steel deck plate and black leather décor. A $3.8 million renovation was completed in June 2012 that changed some of that. The enlarged facility is a light tan, with new, expanded seating and a much more open and inviting interior. One notable change is that the bus ticket counter has been moved down a hallway to the west, and is now more conveniently located to the intercity bus boarding dock.  The Amtrak agent occupies one half, the bus agent the other half. Vending machines are available in an alcove. There are plenty of restaurants ranging from fast food to Four Star within a short walk.

The city used another stimulus award to relocate the bus transfer center from next to the train station to across McCamly Street at a cost of $230,262. Battle Creek Transit buses now use a loop west of the station with shelters for the east route.

Amtrak station page:

Dearborn (DER)

John D. Dingell Transit Center
21201 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI 48124

Street side view. Photo by Steve Sobel.
Street side view. Photo by Steve Sobel.

In December 2014, the Dearborn station moved approximately one mile west on Michigan Ave to a brand new facility.

Dearborn waiting area. Photo by Steve Sobel.
Dearborn waiting area. Photo by Steve Sobel.

The new station is staffed and it serves as model for what a modern station should look and function like in the state of Michigan. It has adequate parking and it is one of the busiest stations in the state.  It is safe to leave cars here for extended periods of time. Taxis are generally on hand for all train arrivals. Both DDOT and SMART have routes along Michigan Avenue. A bicycle path begins across the street from the station, weaves through the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus before linking to Hines Park and many suburbs in western Metro Detroit.

This station is also a stop on the Amtrak Thruway motorcoach to Toledo Ohio, which provides a guaranteed connection to the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited.  Contact Amtrak or a station ticket agent for details about this connection.

Dearborn is the home of Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Co., which dominates the local economy. Ford’s World Headquarters building is less than a mile away.

Dearborn’s Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is a world class historical attraction and it has an entrance and walkway on the south side of the station.

There is ample hotel and motel rooms in the vicinity as well as a major regional shopping center, Fairlane Towne Center nearby.

Amtrak station page:

013 20141226 The first sunny day in weeks, train353 rolls into Dearborn Transit Ctr. Steve T. Sobel, photo

Detroit (DET)

11 West Baltimore Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202

(Photos by J.R. Valderas)

The staffed Detroit station is located in the New Center area of the city, on Woodward Avenue at the corner of Baltimore Street. This is two blocks south of Grand Boulevard and three blocks north of I-94. The current Amtrak station building was constructed in the mid-1990s and is in very good shape considering the heavy passenger traffic. The staff keeps the waiting room clean, and MARP volunteers maintain the exterior landscaping. There are no vending machines, but a White Castle is located directly across Woodward.

Parking at the station is available and is quite safe. Nearby metered street parking is not enforced on weekends, but is vigorously enforced on weekdays. A taxicab stand on Baltimore has cabs on hand when trains arrive.

This station is also a stop on the Amtrak Thruway motorcoach to Toledo Ohio, which provides a guaranteed connection to the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited.  Contact Amtrak or a station ticket agent for details about this connection.

Woodward Avenue has very frequent bus service provided 24 hours a day. Both suburban SMART and city of Detroit DOT have bus lines on Woodward Avenue. DDOT coaches only operate in the city of Detroit and have yellow and green stripes. SMART coaches can pick you up or drop you off in the city (but not both), and have orange and red stripes. Fares for both systems are $1.50, and a transfer is $.25; transfers are valid on both bus lines’ routes. Exact change required. Contact SMART at (866) 962-5515 or DDOT at (888) 336-8287 for scheduling and route information.

Within walking distance there are plenty of interesting shops, the St. Regis Hotel and the Fisher Theatre. A short bus ride south on Woodward will take you to Detroit’s Cultural Center, a hub of interesting attractions. The main branch of the Detroit Public Library is here, including its outstanding collection of literature, and the famous Burton Historical Collection, home of rare maps, old photographs, Great Lakes regional history resources, and one of the largest genealogical collections in the country. Across from the Library is the Detroit Institute of Arts, which recently completed an impressive renovation/expansion and has a world famous collection. Just down the block is the Detroit Historical Museum, showcasing the history of this tri-centennial city. Three streets away from the Art Institute is the Museum of African-American History, the nation’s largest. If you continue another two miles on the bus, you’ll reach the entertainment district and the core of Detroit’s Downtown. Here you’ll find entertainment venues such as the Fox Theatre and Detroit Opera House, and sports stadiums for the Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park) and Detroit Lions (Ford Field). The downtown area is also home to Campus Martius Park, and the recently opened Detroit Riverwalk.

Detroit has undergone a steady revitalization over the past several years, and is more of a destination that many people will admit.

Amtrak station page:

Dowagiac (DOA)

200 Depot Drive
Dowagiac, MI 49047

Trackside view of the Dowagiac Amtrak Station. (Photos by J.R. Valderas)


The unstaffed Dowagiac station is a beautifully restored 1903-built Tudor Revival building dating from the Michigan Central Railroad.  Today, the Amtrak waiting room shares the interior with the local Dial-a-Ride dispatching office and the city Chamber of Commerce & town giftshop.  Both the grounds and interior are nicely maintained by the city.  An expansive parking lot sits just to the east of the station for passengers’ use; leaving vehicles here for extended periods is no worry in this small town. 

Dowagiac is an example of what a determined small community can accomplish with good leadership and a proactive vision.  Faced with a closed train station and a downtown that would be vulnerable to an outlying shopping mall, the city government decided to pre-empt any attempt to draw people away from their commercial district.  They determined that one of the greatest assets of their town was the existing architecture and attractiveness of the downtown shopping district.  A series of grants allowed the town to enhance the downtown area with an attractive streetscape, and restore and improve commercial building facades.  The result is one of the most attractive small towns in the Midwest. 

Included in the town improvements was a complete restoration of the attractive train station, completed in 1995.   The exterior, including the small tower, was carefully restored.  Inside, an original floor mosaic spelling out “MCRR” is in mint condition, and waiting room woodwork has been refinished.  The train platform was also replaced at this time.  Local transportation service is provided by Dowagiac Dial-a-Ride.  Hours and days of operation are limited, so be sure to call ahead (269) 782-3300.  The waiting room is open for passengers during the week, but may be closed on weekends.  The station is located on Depot Drive just one block from the downtown area. 

MARP commends the City of Dowagiac for its vision and hard work.

Amtrak station page: