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Michigan Passenger Rail Possibilities

March 09, 2016

We have great news from Michigan as a recent study on passenger rail service between Detroit and Holland found that 110 mph service would generate a surplus. The potential new line would directly connect the major cities of Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids with the terminus in Holland. The study evaluated the ridership potential and costs associated with operating the service along a number of different potential routes.

The two routes identified for further study both travelled through Ann Arbor with stops at either Jackson or Howell. Route 1 through Jackson has the highest ridership and route 2 with a stop in Howell has the greatest return on investment.

The study also compared the possibilities of establishing 79 mph service compared to 110 mph. While 110 would require a greater capital investment, the higher ridership would be enough to generate a profit. The slower 79 mph service requires a lower capital investment but would require an annual subsidy to cover operating expenses.

Initial estimates for building the rail line range from $130 to $540 million over a 7 -10 year period. The next major step will be to complete a feasibility study that includes environmental impact analyses, an implementation plan and a review of public-private
partnership options.

This project is part of a developing statewide network that includes upgrades to the Chicago-Detroit Corridor and efforts to establish a north-south route from Ann Arbor to Traverse City.


Dylan Hayward
Manager of Communications

Last Week at MHSRA:
We held a meeting for Indiana passenger rail supporters in Lafayette to discuss the next steps for expanding passenger service on the Chicago-Indianapolis Corridor.

Articles We Enjoyed:

Court Rulings Gives Boost to High-Speed Rail (CA)
“California's high-speed rail system surged past a major legal obstacle this week when a Sacramento Superior Court judge tossed out a long-simmering lawsuit from the Central Valley.”

Senate Commerce Committee Expresses Concern Over Pending STB Decisions
“While we appreciate the STB taking action on its passenger train performance oversight responsibilities, we believe the proposed rule and policy statement could have harmful effects for rail passengers and communities.”

Groundwork Center Pushes Plan to Bring Passenger Traffic to Traverse City
"The wheels keep on rolling in an effort to bring passenger train service to Traverse City." (Michigan)

New Push for Australia to Adopt High-Speed Rail
"There is a renewed push for Australia to act now on a high-speed rail system that would move people from Melbourne to Brisbane faster than air travel"

PA: Officials Considering New Funding Option for Commuter Rail Line
"A concept to enhance passenger rail stops between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, tossed around and studied since the 1980s, now has a viable funding option under the newly enacted, 5-year federal transportation bill"

Minneapolis-Rochester High Speed Rail Decision Expected by July
"The firm that wants to build an elevated high-speed rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities will decide by summer if the project goes forward, a company executive said Wednesday"

Upcoming Events:

2016 Annual Spring Meeting

When: Saturday April 2, 2016 - 9:00am to 2:00pm. 
Check in will start at 8:15am.

Where: IBEW Local 134
600 W. Washington Blvd.
 Chicago, IL 60661

Cost: Single Ticket $40.00
 Student Ticket: $20.00  
*Cost includes lunch

Click Here to Register

Japan High-Speed Rail Tour

We are planning the tour for October of 2016. This trip will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the rich history of train travel the country offers. We are creating an itinerary that includes riding the first high-speed rail line, visiting at least one railroad museum and meetings with experts in the field. We have already begun making contacts to arrange technical visits and train tours. Once we have received 10 fully refundable deposits we will finalize the details of the trip.

Please click here if you would like to learn more about the trip

Dylan Hayward
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625