• 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

  by Tadman
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 9:04 pm Mr. ExCon, a sadistic power hungry "Iceman" at the Detroit River Tunnel, "So you drove from Chicago just to go to Canada for Dinner?" (Thu was Indpls, Friday Cleveland, at least he didn't say "where did you drop the stash?"). "Where are you staying tonight? "Up there (me pointing to the Renaissance Center)".

After that, I guess he had his fun; "have a good evening" as he handed me my Passport.

Funny how in all my overseas travels, I've never been given "the third degree" like that.
Im with Iceman. Where could you go in Windsor for dinner when Joe Muers, London Chop, or Caucus club beckon in Detroit!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Dunville, Take Five on Erie somewhat North of Parent.

Also, I had to give my new Passport a reason to justify its existence. Owing to health and desire, I think my overseas travels have come to an end. Maybe if I can find trip insurance with adequate Medevac coverage, I'll think differently, as what United Airlines "sells with a click" simply does not ($25K max on something that would cost at least $100K).
  by Tadman
 
Perhaps San Pierre and Miquelon are in your future!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
May TRAINS has a report that Michigan Central - the facility's formal name - will open for commercial use on June 6.

www.michigancentral.com
  by Tadman
 
Been thinking about this building lately. It was supposed to be Ford's big "mobility" headquarters where all of their non-traditional offerings were headquartered - essentially anything that was not a straight-gas auto.

The EV business lately has not been great for automakers other than Tesla. I hope this doesn't mean they scale back or sell the building. Based on recent experience, the Dearborn-area headquarters is way overcrowded, but that was before Covid. All kinds of crummy outbuildings were leased. Assuming the staffing levels stay that same, the MCS would be a great place for hundreds of people to work. But I can't guarantee the occupancy levels are teh same as 2019.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
No question whatever. the demand for EV's is starting to "run out of juice". If EV industry leader, Tesla, is having "issues", then "let's not go there" with the other players, such as King Henry or Miss Mary (and NO, I did not bump into her in the elevator two weeks ago staying at Marriott Ren Cen).

My far more environmentally conscious Sister won't go out of her way to buy one; she holds they simply shift the pollutants around. Even if the one time in this life. I have driven one - a rented Tesla Model Y - it was fun. But after only 75 miles, I didn't have to charge it (Hertz said "we do that"), or worry about where to get it serviced. But with the road trips I take, I don't want to sit around for two hours to charge up for another 400 miles - or worry about depending on outside temperature if I can get 400 miles.

Also, on the Model Y, it didn't have a radio, but it did seem to have audio.

So I think Mr. Dunville's point need be taken to heart. Ford may decide, even with their apparently strong RTO policies, to cut back on their development of EV's and not need the space in MC they had previously planned on.
  by lensovet
 
Not to go too far off topic but every Tesla ever made supports FM radio. Some older ones supported AM as well.

The only service my model 3 has needed in over 5 years of ownership has been new tires, new wiper blades, and new cabin filters (the latter two I do myself). And the super charger network is so dense – with charging speeds so fast – you won't even notice the time it takes away from your trip (especially as most of us have biological necessities that prevent driving for 8 hours nonstop). Most of the time, the stops are so short I don't bother getting out of the car as the charging would be complete by the time you get to whatever amenity you were considering stopping at to kill time.

Legacy auto needs to realize that simply sticking a battery and electric motor into their existing fleet is not going to be sufficient to get people to buy their vehicles. Certainly not for the crazy prices they are asking.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well Mr. Lensovet, you certainly appear to be an EV devotee.

I did ask the Hertz people how to set my side mirrors; they set 'em and I had no reason to touch them again during the 75 miles driven, 24hr rental. So far as where was the FM radio, after I took Hertz's time with the side view mirrors (this young girl had them adjusted in five seconds), I simply wanted to take a few laps around the perimeter of HPN's terminal buildings and then be on my way to my Sister's birthday party in Riverside.

I just did without my WQXR 105.9.

Again, I think this off topic discussion of EV's is in order as the development of such is to be the apparent use of MC. Really, let's just accept that the likelihood of passenger rail transportation at MC is quite remote.
  by Tadman
 
lensovet wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 12:54 am Legacy auto needs to realize that simply sticking a battery and electric motor into their existing fleet is not going to be sufficient to get people to buy their vehicles. Certainly not for the crazy prices they are asking.
This. Most important thing that nobody is saying right now. It's important to notice how many wagon/buggy manufacturers succesfully transitioned to automobiles (none) and how many steam locomotive manufacturers sucessfully transitioned to diesel or electric (none).

Just because it has wheels 4' 8.5" apart doesn't mean its the same thing. Even EMD will tell you this from when they tried to make freight cars in the 1950's. IT's a different business model.

For further discussion of this, it's worth reading up on why Baldwin quit building in 1958 (but kept going making cranes and machine tools for decades after). Their product was a terrific puller but (a) every locomotive order was "clean sheeted" or drawn fresh, while EMD had a pre-engineered catalog; (b) they were not interoperable with others by MU - I believe it had to do with air throttle. Long story short, a "good product" isn't necessarily good enough. Packard also had very good cars, but they couldn't compete with Cadillac.

This is also why I don't think Amtrak is good at operating Acela, Empire Builder, and Wolverines. Those are three totally different trains that use the same track gauge. Having 200 managers in Washington does not make them adept at moving people to Detroit or Seattle. Different business model, different customers, etc...
  by R Paul Carey
 
My 2013 Honda Civic hybrid sedan was the first to offer regenerative braking with a CV (continuously variable) transmission. So far I have accumulated 162,000 miles, achieving 40-43 mpg. The fuel mileage tends to be higher with use of cruise control. This is by far the most efficient vehicle I have ever owned. With its light weight, low center of gravity, and battery boost on acceleration, it is also a shameless performer!

My point is, there remains a space for the better-designed hybrids, as EV development continues to mature.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Regarding Mr. Carey's immediate, as well as my own, I took several laps around the HPN terminal perimeter simply because I had learned about the regenerative braking properties in the Model Y and I wanted to "have a feel" for such before I dared to leave the airport and head on to the 684.

Now to return to the topic of this beautifully restored edifice ( I've seen it), it would be a shame to have it fall into shambles again because Ford curtails EV development and does not occupy the space they intended to.
  by Tadman
 
Before Covid, Detroit's central core was overcapacity and rapidly renovating buildings. After the cash Ford put into this place and the urban renewal around here, they could probably rent the whole thing and make a tidy profit with no regard to their EV plans.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well, I certainly hope that is the case, Mr. Dunville. As Michigan Central is one of the very few structures standing from passenger railroading's Golden Age - transportation use or otherwise notwithstanding.

This Journal article appearing today certainly suggests "the bloom is off the rose" for market leader Tesla. If Tesla is "having issues", what will become of traditional automakers who, as both Messrs. Dunville and Olesen have surmised, simply want to replace the internal combustion engine with electric motors and a battery, and hoping that their longstanding nameplates will hold them market share in the EV universe.

Again, if Ford cuts back on EV development, what impact will that have on MC's occupancy?

Half occupied buildings do have a way of getting run down - and I don't think any participant at this discussion wants that to be the case.
  by Tadman
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:36 pm what will become of traditional automakers who, as both Messrs. Dunville and Olesen have surmised, simply want to replace the internal combustion engine with electric motors and a battery, and hoping that their longstanding nameplates will hold them market share in the EV universe.
As Lensovet has mentioned that's a very risky strategy that is currently working for nobody. If the electric car is to succeed, it will see a different physical concept and likely a different business model than the current ways. Problem with the big three and others, that's hard to execute such a shift in strategy because they have factories, engineering teams, and dealers all set up for today's business model.
Michigan Central is one of the very few structures standing from passenger railroading's Golden Age{/quote}

I think there's more than we realize. I've got a list somewhere of every important station I've been to - modern or classical, large or small. It's a cool list and quite extensive. For example, Duluth-Superior has three classic stations, Mobile has two (plus a platform where L&N stood), and Louisville still has the L&N building. Also outside our country, the railway-hotel concept was popular. Canadian National and British Rail both had extensive hotel networks that are interesting to stay in. Some like Glasgow and Vancouver are stunning and very nice. Others like Liverpool are bit more adventurous.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
It's "too bad" that the Michigan Central structure was "not quite ready" in time for the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, aka The Draft, "extravaganza" starting tonight in Detroit. Such, instead, will be held at a park located at the foot of Woodward Avenue.

For those interested, here is a non-rail article from The Journal reporting on the "comeback kid".
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