Could We Be Getting a Commuter Train from Ann Arbor to Detroit?
Now comes some good news in an area where public transportation is clearly not a high enough priority.
The Oakland Press reports that we could get a commuter train from Detroit to Ann Arbor and Amtrak train service from Detroit to Chicago could be cut to four hours. The Detroit to Chicago train is scheduled to take 4 1/2 to 5 hours, but it can sometimes take 7 or 8 hours with delays.
The paper reports that The Federal Railroad Administration and Michigan, Indiana and Illinois departments of transportation met last week to discuss ways to improve train service.
The paper reported that the Michigan Department of Transportation "is in the process of spending more than $500 million to purchase the tracks between Dearborn and Kalamazoo from Norfolk Southern and improve them, according to officials at the meeting."
A Dearborn official said improving tracks could open the way for the Ann Arbor to Detroit train. There was previously an Ann Arbor to Detroit train, but that was scrapped in 1980s. The service entailed one train in the morning and one in the evening.
Neil Greenberg, a public transportation expert in Michigan, told Deadline Detroit that the purchase of the tracks will help make the trains run on time, and even possibly cut travel time.
"The real good news is that the State of Michigan has comitted to purchase the tracks from and a freight railroad and this will allow passenger trains to have equal priority to freight trains," Greenberg said. "The hour long delays in waiting for freight trains to pass will hopefully go away."