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 2014. The so-called Dearborn Intermodal Passenger Rail Station -- and let us hope that clunky name will change as the opening approaches -- is designed to be a rail gateway to Dearborn and southeast Michigan, able to handle thousands of passengers a year on Amtrak’s service from Pontiac to Chicago as well as local, Greyhound and charter buses and personal vehicles.
Being built with $28.2-million in federal funds, the station also can accommodate a possible high-speed train from Detroit to Chicago as well as the proposed Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter rail line.
The station is being built along the border with Greenfield Village; a passenger bridge will allow visitors direct access to the village grounds.
Located west of the Southfield Freeway, the station will be within walking distance of bars, restaurants and shops in Dearborn's west-side business district and not far from Fairlane Town Center, Ford Motor Co. world headquarters, the University of Michigan Dearborn and Henry Ford Community College. Next door is an old laboratory, now a refurbished doctors' office, that was built by Henry Ford in the early 1940s. The entrance to a walking and cycling trail sits across the street.
Urban design experts are advising Dearborn on how to improve the surrounding neighborhood, with the station as a centerpiece.
The site of the future station had been a parking lot.