The Case for Trains at Detroit's Michigan Central Station

Making Detroit the heart of a thriving high-tech region.

Ford Motor Company is rehabilitating Michigan Central Station as a hub for conceiving and designing cutting-edge mobility solutions. It will be home to 2,500 Ford employees and about 2,500 employees from partner organizations.

The 30 acre plan currently includes 3 buildings with a mix of office, innovation/makers space, retail, food & beverage, hotel and 11 acres of open space.

This is a golden opportunity to restore Michigan Central as a working train station—and turn Detroit into the heart of a hotbed of high-tech innovation.

Fast trains would make all of Michigan’s major universities and mid-sized cities—along with Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh—an easy train ride away from Ford. Image: Ford Motor Co.
Creating a prosperous, cutting-edge Detroit

Trains at Michigan Central will multiply Detroit’s economic strength.

Fast trains would make all of Michigan’s major universities and mid-sized cities—along with Chicago, Cleveland and Toronto—an easy train ride away from Ford.

The energy and ideas of those cities will flow into Detroit, multiplying the region’s cultural, intellectual and economic capital.

Fast trains would connect all of Michigan’s major universities and mid-sized cities to Detroit.
The Right Place

Michigan Central is located in Corktown—a neighborhood that’s adjacent to downtown and is making a comeback with a vibrant restaurant and small-business scene.

One of Ford's goals is to create and test paradigm-shifting ideas about how modern mobility can drive urban renewal. And trains are critical to that mission.

With a train station, the hub will be the equivalent of a major airport, but people will arrive without their cars. So Corktown will be an incubator for urban design and renewal—bustling with steady flows of pedestrian traffic, modern trains, and smart auto technologies.

The Michigan Central campus. Image: Ford Motor Co.
Three more key advantages that make it perfect for trains.
  • It’s at the mouth of the rail tunnel leading to Toronto.  Putting Detroit right in the middle of a high-speed corridor that connects two cultural and economic powerhouses.
  • The Corktown campus can handle both auto traffic and pedestrian inflows from the train station.
  • A great opportunity to build commuter rail linking Detroit, Dearborn and Ann Arbor.
Making Michigan Central a transit hub would be a catalyst for bus-rapid transit and other long-discussed transit improvements.
The right time

Trains at Michigan Central will pull together all of these possibilities.

They’ll create a world-class corridor of high-tech innovation by improving Ford’s connections to the whole region. And they’ll make Corktown a catalyst for revitalizing cities generally—and Detroit specifically.

As Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, has said, Michigan Central Station “in many ways tells the story of Detroit over the past century.”

With modern trains at Ford’s new hub, America’s “comeback city” can become a transformative force in transportation, high tech and urban design.

Isn’t it time to write this new chapter?

The next step

How do we make this vision for Michigan Central Station a reality? You can make a difference by sending a message to Lansing.

The State of Michigan is updating its long-range transportation plan. Now is the time to let them know that you'd like to see train service return to Ford's Michigan Central Station in Detroit.