• Michigan Central Station

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by gokeefe
 
Wow. I think we all missed that one. Well at least we know for sure how Ford (personally and corporately) feels about this.

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
No memtion of MCS within this Wall Street Journal article appearing in print today, but the underlying question must be asked that if WFH is to become the post-Pandemic "new normal" at Ford, what will happen to the MCS redevelopment?

For this I must add "enquiring mind wants to know".

Walk or "press on"?
  by mtuandrew
 
I suspect that all the corporate money allocated to MCS is there as a match to grants. If Ford withdrew from the project, they’d be on the hook to repay - they need to press on, and try to find other tenants.
  by gokeefe
 
mtuandrew is right there are some very significant incentives associated with the project. I'm guessing it will be "press on".

New offices for the Chief Filing Clerk in Dearborn? Probably on hold ...

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well, maybe Ford is not yet ready to "throw in the towel" with Michigan Central:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/fi ... d=msedgntp

Fair Use:
What do you get when you combine a Ford Bronco, Michigan Central Station and a diamond ring? A car fan’s version of “happily ever after,” according to this report from Fox 2. Taylor McQueen was a huge Bronco fan, so when her boyfriend Daniel Kubistec pulled some strings through an uncle at Ford for a ride in a 2021 Bronco, then parked in front of the famous train station and got down on one knee, she was both surprised and elated.
Well, before they do - if they do - "milk" a little PR from it.
  by gokeefe
 
Progress Update ...

My reaction: "My G-d they really are doing this ..."

There is a certain "the world has come full circle" to this project when a car company is restoring a train station.

It also says a tremendous amount about the opportunity that Ford sees in Detroit's future. Even more so now that they are staying the course.

Reminds me of the PRR's investment in electrification during the Great Depression.

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  by Arlington
 
Great Detroit Free Press article from August
Good photos, like
Image
Image
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
....host of mixed-use spaces, including retail, restaurants, co-working space, office space and hospitality as well as a real-world mobility testing ground that will include the old train tracks behind the station.
It appears that Ford has plans for the platform and tracks area; and it doesn't appear to be for resumption of passenger trains using the facility.

Really, volks, so long as Detroit remains an intermediate stop on the Chicago-Pontiac Wolverine route, the existing arrangement is best - no backups required. Lest one envision resumed international service, the tunnel now belongs to CP (maybe SOO, but same difference) and I understand it has plenty of traffic. While CP may not own a rail in Detroit, it does have CRSA access to the auto assembly facilities, and firm trackage over the NS to the SOO in Chicago, as well as KC over "my MILW" (I'm not sure how far West they can keep traffic on their own rails before giving it to the BNSF (GN or NP)).
  by bostontrainguy
 
Can't easily dismiss that a Chicago-Detroit-(Ottawa)-Toronto-Montreal corridor would seem to have great potential, no?
  by electricron
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:08 am Can't easily dismiss that a Chicago-Detroit-(Ottawa)-Toronto-Montreal corridor would seem to have great potential, no?
The Canadian project to increase train speeds between Windsor and Toronto died for lack of funding from Ontario, so no matter what rail Improvements Amtrak and Michigan do, it would only affect Detroit to Chicago trains.

How long must a corridor get before it is too long to be considered a high frequency rail corridor vs a low frequency train route?
Boston to DC is 457 rail miles in length, Chicago to Detroit is 304 rail miles, Quebec to Windsor is 719 rail miles, and Chicago to Quebec would be 1,023 rail miles.

Believe it or not, Chicago to Quebec is further than Chicago to New York City. Yet no one calls that route a rail corridor. Ontario really does not consider Toronto to Windsor worthy to invest more money for higher speed trains. VIA and I believe the rest of Canada, considers Montreal To Toronto a high frequency rail corridor worthy of further investments for increasing train speeds. FYI, Toronto to Montreal is 335 rail miles in length.
  by Bob Roberts
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:08 am Can't easily dismiss that a Chicago-Detroit-(Ottawa)-Toronto-Montreal corridor would seem to have great potential, no?
File under "gee-whiz." I rode Amtrak-Via from Chicago to Montreal way back in 2012. The trip involved the following:
  • CTA to Union Station
  • Wolverine
  • Taxi from Midtown to Grand Circus
  • People mover to Milender Center
  • Windsor city bus through the tunnel and customs
  • (next day) Taxi to Windsor Via
  • Via to Toronto
  • (next day) Via to Montreal
Followed up with the Adirondack to Hudson and then Empire and Crescent back to Charlotte.

It was a great trip, and I genuinely enjoyed the service in Via Business Class on my two legs (but Amtrak was Amtrak). However, I doubt I'll willingly endure the Detroit-Windsor transfer rigamarole again. If a miracle happened and Detroit had Canadian per-clearance and pax rail could access the tunnel, Detroit to Toronto could be a decent corridor. The eastbound time change really hurts the timing of hypothetical Chicago-Canada service.
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Anthony
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:01 am
....host of mixed-use spaces, including retail, restaurants, co-working space, office space and hospitality as well as a real-world mobility testing ground that will include the old train tracks behind the station.
It appears that Ford has plans for the platform and tracks area; and it doesn't appear to be for resumption of passenger trains using the facility.

Really, volks, so long as Detroit remains an intermediate stop on the Chicago-Pontiac Wolverine route, the existing arrangement is best - no backups required. Lest one envision resumed international service, the tunnel now belongs to CP (maybe SOO, but same difference) and I understand it has plenty of traffic. While CP may not own a rail in Detroit, it does have CRSA access to the auto assembly facilities, and firm trackage over the NS to the SOO in Chicago, as well as KC over "my MILW" (I'm not sure how far West they can keep traffic on their own rails before giving it to the BNSF (GN or NP)).
As part of the renovation project to Michigan Central Station, Ford never said that are going to pay for the upgrades to bring Amtrak service back to the facility, they just said that they promise to keep the door open for that possibility. In addition, while the current service plan makes serving MCS difficult, Amtrak is hoping to extend one of the Wolverine RT's to Toronto. If this happens, it would likely mean that Amtrak service will return to the facility, as the current Detroit station would then require a back-up move. The two RT's that won't be extended to Toronto will likely terminate at the MCS, while the Detroit-Pontiac portion of the route would be served by a new commuter rail line between MCS and Pontiac.
  by gokeefe
 

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
....host of mixed-use spaces, including retail, restaurants, co-working space, office space and hospitality as well as a real-world mobility testing ground that will include the old train tracks behind the station.
It appears that Ford has plans for the platform and tracks area; and it doesn't appear to be for resumption of passenger trains using the facility.
I would read between the lines very carefully Mr. Norman. Just exactly what do you think a "real-world mobility testing ground" is? That's engineer jargon for a "real world" train station. As in "there will be real people making real trips in this area". I think what they have in mind is the ability to measure intermodal travel streams. For example what is the best way to connect between one mode and another? How can autonomous vehicles best serve an intermodal facility?

This strongly implies that they might actually *need* "real-world" intercity connections to take place in the facility in order to measure what interests them. I think they want this data in order to prove performance of their products in a whole variety of settings. Think about every single commuter rail station in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. I think they are going to use MCS as a global testing ground for their approaches to new mobility technology. I am also beginning to wonder if they are starting to think that most cars in the future will drive themselves.

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  by mtuandrew
 
FoMoCo has something up its sleeve. It ceased building passenger cars in America (excepting the Mustang) and is building a train station - I wonder whether they’re going to diversify into something else altogether. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them purchase suppliers like Navistar, or even to enter an agreement with a company like Tesla.

To keep this rail-related, even if Ford never reopens a passenger station they would do well to allow for a passenger station. It raises rent prices :wink:
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