325 Depot Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Amtrak Train 351, the Wolverine, stops at the station in Ann Arbor, Mich. on April 20, 2007. (Photo by Steven R. Williams)
The staffed Ann Arbor station is located on the north end of the downtown area on Depot Street. Depot St. is crossed by a new overhead Broadway St. bridge. To the east of the bridge is the beautiful historic Michigan Central Railroad station, today occupied by the famous Gandy Dancer restaurant. The current Amtrak station is located just on the west side of the bridge, in a large one-story station of the “Amshack” design. Aside from the signs, it is an undistinguished building, and could be easily mistaken for insurance or dentist’s offices.
Parking includes some metered and some free parking. Ninety five free spaces for long term parking are located on the north side of the tracks, across from the station. This lot is accessible from the Broadway St. bridge by car, and passengers must climb the stairs and use the bridge to cross the tracks to the station side. Unless you are really into fitness, we suggest you drop your luggage off at the station first if you have more then a simple carry on bag. Immediately west of the station is a parking lot of 35 metered spaces. If this lot is full, a little-known but just as convenient lot with 16 more metered spaces is located directly underneath the Broadway St. bridge, between the current Amtrak station and the Gandy Dancer. Both short term lots are accessible from Depot Street, and meters in both lots are generally enforced. Taxis are generally present for all train arrivals.
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.
Local public transportation is provided by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA,) which can be reached at (734) 996-0400 for scheduling information. As of December 2008, the AATA added route #17 with a link between the Ann Arbor Amtak Station and the Blake Transit Center on Fourth Avenue. Baggage is allowed on the bus although there is no specific luggage compartment. The Blake Transit Center provides connections to other bus routes throughout the city and surrounding area. Check with AATA for the latest bus schedule before making finite plans.
Landscaping at the station has been ignored, and the brick-lined flowerbeds are full of weeds. However, the interior of the station is well maintained by the station staff. Over the last few years, Ann Arbor has regularly been the busiest Amtrak station in Michigan, and the station is often crowded even for non-peak trains. Arrive early unless you don’t mind standing. Crowds often spill out of the station building onto the boarding platform, which has a weather protection overhang. This protects passengers from the many seasonal delights of Michigan weather, including the slush and snow of the winter months. The staff maintains a rack full of Amtrak schedules and train information in the station, and a Visitors’ Bureau rack is full of brochures for local attractions. Vending machines are located within the station.
Ann Arbor is home to one of the world’s great universities, and offers a wide variety of attractions for the visitor. The downtown area is pedestrian friendly, and features a wide variety of interesting shops, cafes, restaurants, and sophisticated cultural sites. Ann Arbor’s downtown is full of one way and angled streets, which can make navigation by car (and sometimes on foot) rather difficult. It becomes impossible to travel before and after football games. Football is nearly a religion here and the University of Michigan Wolverines have sold out every seat of the 100,000+ seat stadium for the past forty years! Traffic becomes and nightmare and it sometimes takes hours for the streets to clear out after a game.
(Please note that Depot Street becomes Fuller Street on the east side of the Gandy Dancer Restaurant.)