Skip to comments.Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail: SEMCOG says demonstration trains could start next year
Posted on 11/14/2012 11:46:34 AM PST by Darren McCarty
Six newly refurbished, bi-level commuter rail cars made their first test run from Pontiac to Jackson and back Tuesday night, passing through Ann Arbor.
Officials involved in the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail initiative are hoping to hear back sometime next week whether the cars passed the test, which is required to be cleared for service. And if that happens, the public could be invited to ride demonstration trains starting next year.
"Things seemed to go well," said Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
Tuesday's train, led by an Amtrak locomotive, made stops in Birmingham, Royal Oak, Detroit's New Center, Dearborn, the sites of planned commuter rail stations at Henry Ruff and Michigan Avenue near Detroit Metro Airpot and at Depot Town in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Dexter and Chelsea before arriving in Jackson. The cars were tested at normal operating speeds of up to 79 mph.
The Michigan Department of Transportation and SEMCOG were testing the cars in anticipation of using them for two future commuter rail service programs. That includes the east-west Ann Arbor-to-Detroit line and the north-south WALLY line linking Ann Arbor and Howell.
Local officials and many residents in Southeast Michigan have been waiting for years for commuter rail service between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Palombo said the service won't begin anytime soon, but he's hopeful demonstration trains could run during special events next year not this year as previously hoped.
"We don't have dedicated funding for the project yet, but this testing is the next step in the process," he said. "When the testing is completed, and hopefully we pass, the next step is to hold these event trains sometime next year, hopefully several of them."
(Excerpt) Read more at annarbor.com ...
Ole Willie has a blow-up doll in the shape of a train.
That’s what people want, people from Detroit visiting AnnArbor.
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