• Amtrak to Detroit, and the old Michigan Central Station

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by Lucius Ameri
 
Soon to be featured w/Eminem's new single "Beautiful"...here's a picture...probably from the video.

http://twitpic.com/7lf6q
  by buddah
 
To Jsmyers....

Your hopeful reestablishment of MCS may not be in vain. I work with a non-for-profit research and development company, currently were trying to find a viable way to reinstate the Lost International. As of current the purposed route would be "Chicago-Toledo-Detroit-Windsor-London-Toronto" a big change from the original International for various reasons. MCS would be the purposed spot for Customs and an intermediate Amtrak station (not to replace the current Amtrak Detroit Station). Although it would not be using MCS current building It would take over the grounds across the street to the west ( currently used as trailer parking) for a custom office, small station, and the platform areas of the old MCS for 1 new dual sided platform. Using the current MCS is just to costly estimated minimum $20-70 million to renovate the bottom portion of MCS vs. a new small station across the street for only $5-10 million. All Michigan service trains would be left in tact as not to disrupt the purposed high speed plans put in place. This route is to be a secondary option on the CHI-DET corridor similar to how VIA Rail from Toronto- London has two route options. Also greyhound has expressed options to stop certain buses at a new MCS station, and local transit buses traveling on Michigan ave would have a new intermediate stop at the station as a possible transfer point. I had a few post on it a while back look for it if you have the time, but I wont start a thread until we receive government (FRA) funding for the project , However at best this is years away from being implemented, but just something to hopefully lift your spirits. Amtrak may very well in the future reestablish service to MCS ( or part of it anyway). :wink:
  by buddah
 
ramonesfan wrote:why not do this to the station. the bottom level floor be the station the the rest of it be a casino or something.
No organization or developer has come forward with a dedicated proposition for the current MCS building, simply taking on that structure currently with out rectifying the above floors is a much greater legal liability and insurance risk, as well as property tax issue that no one is willing to take on. if there was a dedicated plan for MCS to be restored in the next 5 yrs we would have looked into that as an option. A new building Across the street is far enough away to keep all parties happy with the initial investment costs.
  by Matt Johnson
 
jsmyers wrote:The building might be that far gone, but the structural integrety of the building is still probably pretty good.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is. I know some people who live in the recently rebuilt tower at 1180 Raymond Blvd in downtown Newark, NJ. I believe that building was vacant for a good number of years before being converted to a luxury apartment building about three or four years ago. Having spent some time in Newark in recent years, it's been nice to see the slow renewal of that city, and I hope it continues.

As for Detroit, I've only seen it from the air, having had several airport layovers there. And this is the only train I've ridden in Detroit! :) But it really is a shame to see what's become of the old station and many other structures. Obviously there must be some rail travel demand, if Amtrak wants to upgrade the Chicago - Detroit route for 110 mph operation. Is there much business travel between the two cities?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
OK, before we become realty.com around here, allow me to note this Op-Ed piece from Today's Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/opinion/05barlow.html

Brief passage:

  • A bike gives you the chance to soak up what’s left, hidden neighborhoods like Indian Village with its dappled lanes and old eclectic mansions. Out near the fabled Eight Mile Road you can cruise past an almost forgotten but now happily restored Frank Lloyd Wright house. Downtown, you can circle the ruins of the old Michigan Central Depot.
To contunue:
Matt Johnson wrote:Obviously there must be some rail travel demand, if Amtrak wants to upgrade the Chicago - Detroit route for 110 mph operation. Is there much business travel between the two cities?
Obviously, there is demand for rail travel in this Corridor; "broke" Michigan would be looking for the 'exit strategy' if the case was otherwise. Detroit is 'die totenstadt'; the Op-Ed piece noted above is indicative of that - Big Three somehow collectively recapturing 50% of the market notwithstanding. Likely the World Class universities represent the most stable on-line traffic source. Even if one's kid 'can't get in' to UM or MSU, a perfectly good education awaits at Western Michigan. Even if their religious doctrine is not mine, when driving in the area, I'm always tuned to Andrews Univerity's WAUS 90.7 from Berrien Springs (New Buffalo or Niles for rail service).
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
Matt Johnson wrote:
jsmyers wrote:The building might be that far gone, but the structural integrety of the building is still probably pretty good.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is. I know some people who live in the recently rebuilt tower at 1180 Raymond Blvd in downtown Newark, NJ. I believe that building was vacant for a good number of years before being converted to a luxury apartment building about three or four years ago. Having spent some time in Newark in recent years, it's been nice to see the slow renewal of that city, and I hope it continues.
Newark has the advantage of being across the river from Manhattan, although with NYC rents and property sales rapidly falling.....it isn't hard to see what is in store for Newark. In contrast to Newark, Detroit is surrounded by declining industrial suburbs, and if anyone thinks that Southern Ontario is a future engine of prosperity, they should consider the extent of manufacturing job losses in that part of Canada.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:OK, before we become realty.com around here, allow me to note this Op-Ed piece from Today's Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/opinion/05barlow.html

Brief passage:

  • A bike gives you the chance to soak up what’s left, hidden neighborhoods like Indian Village with its dappled lanes and old eclectic mansions. Out near the fabled Eight Mile Road you can cruise past an almost forgotten but now happily restored Frank Lloyd Wright house. Downtown, you can circle the ruins of the old Michigan Central Depot.
To contunue:
Matt Johnson wrote:Obviously there must be some rail travel demand, if Amtrak wants to upgrade the Chicago - Detroit route for 110 mph operation. Is there much business travel between the two cities?
Obviously, there is demand for rail travel in this Corridor; "broke" Michigan would be looking for the 'exit strategy' if the case was otherwise. Detroit is 'die totenstadt'; the Op-Ed piece noted above is indicative of that - Big Three somehow collectively recapturing 50% of the market notwithstanding. Likely the World Class universities represent the most stable on-line traffic source. Even if one's kid 'can't get in' to UM or MSU, a perfectly good education awaits at Western Michigan. Even if their religious doctrine is not mine, when driving in the area, I'm always tuned to Andrews Univerity's WAUS 90.7 from Berrien Springs (New Buffalo or Niles for rail service).
Two observations:

1. The bicycle riding reporter was taking his life in his own hands. It was only a couple of months back that a pair of Dutch reporters were carjacked in Detroit.

2. I agree that there is a natural market for train service in Michigan, especially considering the large universities but sadly, traveler from the east are discouraged by the fact that a you have to go to Chicago before backtracking to a Michigan destination.
  by george matthews
 
2. I agree that there is a natural market for train service in Michigan, especially considering the large universities but sadly, traveler from the east are discouraged by the fact that a you have to go to Chicago before backtracking to a Michigan destination.
Each new link builds up a network. The network as a whole grows.
  by bmvguye39
 
Thanks for the pictures. What a shame...beautiful old building...in need of lots of work though...much like Buffalo Central Terminal...just needs some money and some community support, which is obviously lacking in the Detroit area when compared to the efforts of the Buffalo folks. Hopefully Detroit will decide not to demolish it but restore it to some future use such as a hotel, restaurant or perhaps hub for commuter rail station or something useful
  by b&m 1566
 
DETROIT - The last train pulled away more than 20 years ago from Michigan Central Station, one of thousands of “see-through” buildings here, empty shells from more auspicious times.

Many of the blighted buildings stay up simply because they are too expensive to tear down. Yet Michigan Central is in a class of its own. Some city officials consider it among the ugliest behemoths to pockmark Detroit and have ordered its demolition, but others see it as the industrial age’s most gracious relic, a Beaux Arts gem turned gothic from neglect but steeped in haunting beauty.

Now Detroit has become embroiled in an urgent debate over how to save what is perhaps its most iconic ruin — and in the process, some insist, give the demoralized city a much needed boost.


See the rest of the article below.

New York Times