high speed rail http://michiganradio.org en Could there be a practical rail line linking Michigan's 3 major cities? http://michiganradio.org/post/could-there-be-practical-rail-line-linking-michigans-3-major-cities <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the never-ending quest to improve transportation in Michigan, how do you get from Detroit to Grand Rapids – the two largest metropolitan areas in the state – with the state Capitol parked right in the middle?</span></p><p>The only answer you get is the highway.</p><p>There is no rail line connecting Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit.</p><p>That has caught the attention of the Michigan Department of Transportion, which will study the viability of a passenger rail line linking those three major Michigan cities.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dan Somerville is with the Michigan Environmental Council.</span></p><p>He said t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he study will look at the market demand, destination patterns, population densities, and current traffic patterns in the highway corridor.</span></p><p>Existing train tracks haven’t had been used for passenger trains since 1971, but are used for freight traffic. They could be upgraded for passenger trains, which would be much easier than buying new land for tracks.</p><p>Somerville said train&nbsp;transportation could also be environmentally friendly.</p><p>“We do need folks to continue to communicate to their elected officials that investments in transportation infrastructure is important,” Somerville said.</p><p>The study will take place over the next nine to twelve months. &nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:16:12 +0000 Stateside Staff 18148 at http://michiganradio.org Could there be a practical rail line linking Michigan's 3 major cities? Michigan's Amtrak subsidy is about to triple http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-amtrak-subsidy-about-triple <p>Beginning Tuesday, the subsidy that Amtrak gets from the state of Michigan is about to triple, from $8 million to nearly $25 million a year.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>The reason for the increase is a 2008 federal law that requires greater cost sharing between the federal government and the states where Amtrak operates.</p> Sun, 29 Sep 2013 17:41:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 14619 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's Amtrak subsidy is about to triple In this morning's headlines: More lights less blight in Detroit, high speed rail, more in preschool http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-more-lights-less-blight-detroit-high-speed-rail-more-preschool <p><strong>More streetlight and less blight in Detroit in 60 days </strong></p><p>Detroit's emergency manager says residents will be able to notice more robust city services within the next two months. As the Detroit News<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130909/NEWS06/309090012/syria-resolution-michigan-congress-sentate-house-of-representatives"> reports, </a></p><blockquote><p>"After five months on the job, Kevyn Orr says efforts to restore streetlights and reduce the number of abandoned structures will become more visible within 60 days. Meanwhile, dozens of new public safety vehicles are hitting the streets, and police officers and firefighters are being outfitted with new gear and equipment."</p></blockquote><p><strong>More high speed rail in south Michigan</strong></p><p>"Michigan is adding more high-speed rail. The federal government will give the state more than $9 million to upgrade train tracks between Dearborn and Kalamazoo. The upgrade allows Amtrak trains to travel as fast as 110 miles an hour," Tracy Samilton reports.</p><p><strong>Funding boost will allow more kids in preschool</strong></p><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">"As many as 16,000 more 4-year-olds will be able to attend preschool in Michigan this fall, thanks to a big boost in the state's early education budget," the Associated Press<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/big-jump-preschool-slots-michigan-children"> reports.</a></div><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;"> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 11:35:23 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14330 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: More lights less blight in Detroit, high speed rail, more in preschool A conference in Lansing this week will attempt to put Michigan railroads on the right track http://michiganradio.org/post/conference-lansing-week-will-attempt-put-michigan-railroads-right-track <p>In Lansing this week, a group hopes to lay the course for developing Michigan's railroads.</p><p></p><p>There is a growing demand for passenger and freight rail transportation. But the question is how to increase capacity on the rail lines that crisscross Michigan.</p><p>Tuesday’s conference at Lansing Community College will try to answer that capacity question.</p><p>Pasi Lautala is an engineering professor at Michigan Technological University and the director of the MTU Rail Transportation Program.&nbsp;&nbsp; He’s also one of the co-chairs of the conference.</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 04:26:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 14127 at http://michiganradio.org A conference in Lansing this week will attempt to put Michigan railroads on the right track Coast-to-coast high speed rail map: fantasy to reality? http://michiganradio.org/post/coast-coast-high-speed-rail-map-fantasy-reality <p>The “road trip” has forever been romanticized as the epitome of carefree, coming-of-age adventures. But what if instead of hopping into your car, you could jump on a train and arrive at the other side of the country in the same day?</p><p>Berkeley graphic artist Alfred Twu&nbsp;created a map of a potential high speed rail system for the United States.</p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 17:03:30 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11376 at http://michiganradio.org Coast-to-coast high speed rail map: fantasy to reality? Report: Midwest firms could benefit from high-speed rail http://michiganradio.org/post/report-midwest-firms-could-benefit-high-speed-rail <p>CHICAGO (AP) - An environmental policy group has identified hundreds of Midwest manufacturers that stand to benefit from the web of high-speed rail routes emerging from Chicago.<br><br>A report released Friday by the Environmental Law &amp; Policy Center says 460 supply-chain manufacturers in seven Midwest states are poised to reap new business, along with a dozen highly visible companies that make rail cars and locomotives.<br> Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:11:14 +0000 The Associated Press 11167 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Midwest firms could benefit from high-speed rail In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-265 <p><strong>State could be forced to pay new Detroit officials&#39; salaries</strong></p><p>Under the consent agreement with the state, the city of Detroit will have to appoint new officials to lead the city out of its financial crisis. Who will pay the salaries for these new officials is a new bone of contention according to Jonathan Oosting at <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/05/could_state_end_up_paying_new.html">MLive</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The [consent] agreement... requires the formation of a nine-member Financial Advisory Board to oversee city budgets and hiring of a Program Management Director to oversee implementation of key initiatives.</p><p>The deal calls for the city and state to split the salaries of advisory board members, who each will make $25,000 a year, while the city is required to cover the full salary of the PMD, expected to earn triple figures.</p><p>As <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/05/the_cost_of_consent_state_coul.html">MLive.com first reported this weekend</a>, some city leaders believe the state may end up assuming full responsibility for those costs.</p></blockquote><p>Some council members feel the Headlee Act prevents the state from mandating new services without compensating the city for those services.</p><p>Oosting reports Detroit City Council is expected to meet in a closed door session with the city&#39;s law department this afternoon.</p><p><strong>U.S. Attorney General says violence in Detroit is &quot;unacceptable&quot;</strong></p><p>U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told thousands of people gathered at an NAACP fundraising dinner that violence in Detroit is &quot;unacceptable.&quot;<br /><br />He told the crowd last night in Detroit that his administration is directing &quot;unprecedented&quot; resources nationally in order to reduce young people&#39;s exposure to crime.<br /><br />Holder said an average of two young black men get killed each week in Detroit. He called the statistic &quot;shocking.&quot;</p><p><strong>Higher train speeds between Detroit and Chicago</strong></p><p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says Michigan, Illinois and Indiana are each contributing $200,000 for a study looking into the creation of a high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit.</p><p>LaHood says the study will seek ways to cut Amtrak passenger train times between the cities and to more efficiently move goods.</p><p>The Department of Transportation says the study will build on the progress that Michigan has made in achieving 110 mile per hour service between Kalamazoo and Porter, Indiana. Mon, 07 May 2012 14:19:24 +0000 Mark Brush & Michigan Radio Newsroom 7363 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... Removing a barrier to high speed rail from Detroit to Chicago http://michiganradio.org/post/removing-barrier-high-speed-rail-detroit-chicago <p>Today&nbsp;could be a significant day for the future of high speed rail in Michigan.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Consultants have until today&nbsp;to submit their proposals to study how to solve a crucial problem for high speed rail between Detroit and Chicago.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The problem: a railroad bottleneck between northwest Indiana and Chicago.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>A high volume of passenger and freight traffic already overwhelms the existing rail lines&nbsp;and threatens&nbsp;to put the brakes on high speed trains.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 12 Dec 2011 08:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 5340 at http://michiganradio.org Removing a barrier to high speed rail from Detroit to Chicago Forget "high speed" trains, how about "mothership" trains? http://michiganradio.org/post/forget-high-speed-trains-how-about-mothership-trains <p>Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in Michigan for <strike>high speed</strike> higher speed rail.</p><p>For that, we&#39;ll get trains that can travel 110 m.p.h. for much of the Detroit to Chicago trip.</p><p>A modest boost in speed is about as much as we can ask for given the state of our infrastructure (over the summer, some passenger trains in Michigan were ordered to travel at 25 m.p.h. because of the sorry state of the tracks).</p><p>One drawback to train travel is the number of stops along the way. Detroit to Chicago has stops in Dowagiac, Niles, and New Buffalo, Michigan.</p><p>What if the train could just slow down around those stops?</p><p>Behold the &quot;Moving Platforms&quot; concept from Paul Priestman of the English design group Priestmangoode (bob head while watching):</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sn7q1Qvp6w</p><p>O.k. - this pie-in-the-sky idea has been around for awhile. <a href="http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/11/moving-platforms-let-you-board.html">New Scientist</a> magazine writes that they first featured an article about a similar idea in 1969.</p><p>Priestman told <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/24/tech/innovation/moving-platforms/index.html">CNN</a> that its valuable to throw off the chains and think big:</p><blockquote><p>While Priestman admits that it will be some time before his vision could be implemented, he says the time has come to rethink how we travel.</p><p>&quot;This idea is a far-future thought but wouldn&#39;t it be brilliant to just re-evaluate and just re-think the whole process?&quot; he says.</p></blockquote><p>But why not dream big?</p><p>Meet George Jetson while you think about it:</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK95NvhvswU Thu, 01 Dec 2011 21:44:50 +0000 Mark Brush 5215 at http://michiganradio.org Forget "high speed" trains, how about "mothership" trains? Feds to invest more than $28 million in new Dearborn train station http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-invest-more-28-million-new-dearborn-train-station <p>The <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/Pages/2.shtml">Federal Railroad Administration</a> has obligated $28,204,450 to the Michigan Department of Transportation to build a new Dearborn train station.</p><p>U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-Dearborn) made the announcement in a press release today:</p><blockquote><p>This funding will allow the City of Dearborn to consolidate its two passenger rail stations into a intermodal station in the west section of downtown Dearborn... The intermodal facility will be designed for the planned Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter rail as well as future high-speed intercity passenger rail service. &nbsp;The station will accommodate city, regional and intercity bus systems; local and tourist shuttles; bicycle and greenway linkages; and, auto, taxi, and limousine connections to Detroit International Airport.</p></blockquote><p>In the release, Dingell said &quot;modernizing rail travel will help attract small business development, increase job growth, and enhance the livelihood of communities and business, by helping to expedite the time and efficiency of people and goods getting from point A to point B.&quot;</p><p>Last May, the U.S. Department of Transportation <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/details-higher-speed-rail-project-announced-today">announced an investment of $196.5 million</a> to improve track and signal systems between Dearborn and Kalamazoo.</p><p>The improvements, the federal government said, would reduce trip times between Detroit and Chicago by 30 minutes.</p><p>The Federal Railroad Administration selected the Dearborn rail station to be funded under the <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/passenger/2243.shtml">High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program. </a></p><p>In total, the government plans to spend $10.1 billion of <a href="http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx">American Recovery and Reinvestment Act </a>money to improve passenger rail service in the U.S.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2011/08/19/news/doc4e4e9b0446b03192356603.txt?viewmode=default">Dearborn Press &amp; Guide</a> reports the announcement puts an end to questions about whether the money would come or not:</p><blockquote><p>[The money] was awarded more than two years ago as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Although the money was awarded, until this week it still had not been obligated and Congressional Republicans are proposing to rescind all non-obligated ARRA funds as part of the upcoming federal budget process.</p></blockquote><p>Dearborn Mayor Jack O&rsquo;Reilly was quoted as saying he was relieved by the news, &quot;I was panicked that our shovel-ready project would never come to fruition. This really is key for Dearborn, as we&#39;ll now be central to any future transportation planning for the region.&quot; Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:47:26 +0000 Mark Brush 3833 at http://michiganradio.org Feds to invest more than $28 million in new Dearborn train station Keeping Michigan on track http://michiganradio.org/post/keeping-michigan-track <p>The future of Michigan&rsquo;s passenger and freight rail services is the subject of a series of public hearings next month. Michigan has thousands of miles of rail lines. Much of it is owned by freight haulers. But the state has some input about the future of those rail lines.</p><p>The Michigan Department of Transportation is holding a series of six public hearings in June from Grand Rapids and Battle Creek to Detroit and Flint.&nbsp;</p><p>Larry Karnes is with the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says they want the public&rsquo;s input on what the future of Michigan&rsquo;s rail service should look like.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;It will include a look at some of the issues&hellip;.and challenges facing the rail system&hellip;and needs&hellip;.and then come up with some strategies for addressing those needs&hellip;in the future.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>High speed rail will play some role in Michigan&rsquo;s future rail planning. The federal government has committed about $400 million toward high speed projects in Michigan. Mon, 30 May 2011 19:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 2671 at http://michiganradio.org Keeping Michigan on track Michigan gets almost $200 million for Detroit-Chicago Amtrak line http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gets-almost-200-million-detroit-chicago-amtrak-line <p>Michigan will get just under $200 million to boost rail service between Detroit and Chicago.</p><p><a href="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110509/METRO/105090371/Feds-award-Michigan-$200M-for-high-speed-rail">U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the official announcement</a> alongside state and local officials in Detroit Monday.</p><p>The federal money comes with no strings attached. Officials say it will let them upgrade a stretch of track between Dearborn and Kalamazoo.</p> Mon, 09 May 2011 21:50:04 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 2415 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan gets almost $200 million for Detroit-Chicago Amtrak line Ten high speed train and rail projects announced today http://michiganradio.org/post/ten-high-speed-train-and-rail-projects-announced-today <p>Earlier today, the<a href="http://www.dot.gov/"> U.S. Department of Transportation</a> announced the investment of over $2 billion in high speed rail projects around the country.</p><p>But what are the actual projects?</p><p>The entire list is available at the <a href="http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot5711.html">Department of Transportation&#39;s website,</a> which has the <a href="http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot5711.html">full press release</a>.</p><p>But here are some highlights (including full descriptions from the press release on the two Michigan projects.</p> Mon, 09 May 2011 17:54:19 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 2410 at http://michiganradio.org Ten high speed train and rail projects announced today Michigan may get more federal money for high speed rail http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-may-get-more-federal-money-high-speed-rail <p>The future of passenger rail service in Michigan may take a big leap&nbsp;forward today. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation will be in Detroit this afternoon for an announcement concerning &ldquo;high speed rail.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Michigan&rsquo;s been down this track before. State transportation officials had high hopes last year when the Obama&nbsp; administration planned to invest billions of dollars in developing&nbsp; high speed rail projects across the country.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>State officials lobbied hard for the federal government to upgrade the&nbsp; rail link between Detroit and Chicago, so trains could travel between&nbsp;the two cities at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. But, while the administration designated billions of dollars for&nbsp;projects in Illinois, California and Florida. Michigan only received a small amount of money to upgrade some Amtrak stations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But, Florida&rsquo;s new governor decided his state didn&rsquo;t want the two&nbsp;billion dollars the Obama administration was offering.&nbsp;&nbsp;It appears Michigan and New York may end up splitting the money. We&rsquo;ll find out&nbsp; specifics later today.&nbsp;</p><p>Florida&rsquo;s not the first state to say &ldquo;no&rdquo; to federal high speed rail&nbsp; money.&nbsp; Wisconsin and Ohio also declined.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Amtrak reported last month that ridership is rising on all three&nbsp; passenger rail lines it operates in Michigan. Mon, 09 May 2011 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 2402 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan may get more federal money for high speed rail Report: Major Michigan high speed rail announcement coming Monday http://michiganradio.org/post/report-major-michigan-high-speed-rail-announcement-coming-monday <p>U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is expected to visit Detroit Monday to make a &quot;major&quot; high-speed rail announcement.</p><p>From the <a href="http://detnews.com/article/20110506/METRO/105060430/1361/">Detroit News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Last month, Michigan applied for more than $560 million in funding - including joining three other states as part of a joint request. Michigan officials expect the state will receive funding for some grants sought.</p><p>The state sought track improvements in Detroit and a new transit terminal in Ann Arbor, and new trains are part of Michigan&#39;s pitch for more federal money for high-speed rail after Florida said it didn&#39;t want $2.4 billlion.</p><p>LaHood is expected to be joined by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and other elected leaders at Detroit&#39;s Amtrak station Monday afternoon. LaHood is to make an appearance earlier in the day at New York&#39;s Penn Station. Bing&#39;s office declined to comment ahead of the announcement.</p></blockquote><p>In the Midwest, there are several sections of rail being improved that will allow trains to travel faster. New money could further develop this system.</p><p>It&#39;s known as the &quot;<a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/passenger/648.shtml">Chicago Hub Network</a>&quot; and includes improvements to the rail connections to St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Columbus. From the DOT&#39;s website: Fri, 06 May 2011 19:47:45 +0000 Mark Brush 2389 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Major Michigan high speed rail announcement coming Monday Michigan left off the list of states getting more money for high speed rail http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-left-list-states-getting-more-money-high-speed-rail <p><strong><span lang="EN">UPDATE 12/9/2010 3:33pm</span>:</strong></p><p><span lang="EN">Michigan's been left off the list of state getting more federal money for high speed rail projects.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/10rail.html?src=mv">The New York Times reports</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span lang="EN">The biggest winners of Ohio and Wisconsin’s money were California, which will receive another $624 million on top of the nearly $3 billion it has received so far toward the construction of a high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and Florida, which will get another $342 million on top of the roughly $2 billion it has received to build a high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa.</span></p><p><span lang="EN">The other states that will get Ohio and Wisconsin’s money will be Washington, which will get up to $161 million; Illinois, which will get $42.3 million; and Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Vermont, which will all get less than $10 million.</span> Thu, 09 Dec 2010 20:33:33 +0000 531 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan left off the list of states getting more money for high speed rail