1. October 8, 2013 at 11:17 am | permalink

    Glad to see that the time has come for higher speed train service. I’m looking forward to using this improved line to get from Detroit to A2 and A2 to Chicago for work even more than I already do.

  2. October 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm | permalink

    It will be great to have the tracks from here to Kalamazoo capable of handling the same high speeds currently possible west of Kalamazoo (up to 110 miles per hour). The last time I took the train to and from Chicago, the portion of trip from Kalamazoo to Ann Arbor took a ridiculous amount of time.

    It should be noted that we get all of the benefits of the high speed improvements whether or not we spend a bunch of general fund money on a new Amtrak station.

  3. By George Hammond
    October 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm | permalink

    “It should be noted that we get all of the benefits of the high speed improvements whether or not we spend a bunch of general fund money on a new Amtrak station.”

    It should be noted that the existing station is already crowded on weekends, and has insufficient and inconvenient parking. Ridership has been rising over the last few years, and shorter travel times will increase demand, over-crowding the station even more. I’m not sure that the only solution is a new station, but I’m pretty sure that the status quo is not a good solution.

  4. October 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm | permalink

    I get the parking point, but moving the station to Fuller Park would surely make this worse. Hospital employees might try to use the parking (if free) and/or a new parking structure would have to be constructed for train riders as well as employees.

  5. October 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm | permalink

    According to MDOT spokesman Nick Schirripa, that work is likely part of a project that started Sept. 9, covering a section of track from west of Jackson eastward to Dearborn. Next Monday the work will continue towards Kalamazoo, he said. The $23 million project will replace around 130,000 railroad ties and 32 miles of steel rails, as part of the effort to get the track up the level it needs to be to support “accelerated speed” passenger rail travel – that is, up to 110 mph.

  6. By Steve Bean
    October 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm | permalink

    “accelerated speed”

    Is that like advanced age?

  7. By Peter Zetlin
    October 11, 2013 at 6:13 am | permalink

    I believe the free parking just across the Broadway bridge is used by quite a few people who are not traveling by train, just parking there while they are in town.

  8. October 11, 2013 at 7:58 am | permalink

    We used to have a very nice train station and double track all the way to Detroit. Too bad we gave them away.

  9. By Tom Whitaker
    October 11, 2013 at 11:41 am | permalink

    The goals of the Detroit-Chicago corridor improvements are actually fairly modest: an improvement in Amtrak on-time performance and the potential for reducing the total Detroit to Chicago trip time by 30 minutes. Whether or not this is enough to inspire large ridership increases, transit-oriented-developments, and attract tourists and businesses to Michigan is a matter of debate. The 110mph maximum speed will likely be reached only rarely on isolated stretches.

    I’m supportive of the upgrades and if on-time performance does indeed improve, I think more people may consider the train as a viable option for getting to and from Chicago. However, I don’t believe these modest improvements signal the dawning of a new era of bullet trains and boom times for Michigan. They are merely addressing decades of stagnation and neglect of rail infrastructure in Michigan, perhaps bringing it up to the place it should have been 20 or 30 years ago.

  10. By Tom Brandt
    October 12, 2013 at 11:01 am | permalink

    Perhaps the Gandy Dancer restaurant can move somewhere and the old train station reverted to its original function.