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  1. #26

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    And now Amtrak doesn't even run well around here. Does Oakland county even use amtrak at all, considering the majority of their population enjoys rush hour on I-75 and I-696.

  2. #27

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    what high speed amtrak line to chicago are we talking about here? The same line i get on in Ann Arbor that probably goes 80mph tops, stops and sits idly in the middle of nowhere Indiana, inside of Chicago for an hour? I was under the impression Amtrak doesn't own the track and as such freight or whatever else takes precedence. Im baffled. Rail to and from the airport is a fantastic idea though. This has been on my mind for years. You know whats nice about flying into Chicago, Philadelphia, SF and so on? Being able to hop on mass transit that takes you downtown. Dont have to rent a car.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by rex View Post
    what high speed amtrak line to chicagoTh are we talking about here? The same line i get on in Ann Arbor that probably goes 80mph tops, stops and sits idly in the middle of nowhere Indiana, inside of Chicago for an hour? I was under the impression Amtrak doesn't own the track and as such freight or whatever else takes precedence. Im baffled. Rail to and from the airport is a fantastic idea though. This has been on my mind for years. You know whats nice about flying into Chicago, Philadelphia, SF and so on? Being able to hop on mass transit that takes you downtown. Dont have to rent a car.
    Unlike Germany (Deutsche Bahn) and the United Kingdom (Network Rail), the United States does not own its railways except for a few small sections. This means it has little power to make way for passenger services. It's completely up to the will of the private railway owners. This is the principal reason, more than geography, that the US has inferior rail service compared with other major economies and likely will never catch up unless the railways are nationalized, something akin to treason in the nation's political psyche.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by rex View Post
    what high speed amtrak line to chicago are we talking about here? The same line i get on in Ann Arbor that probably goes 80mph tops, stops and sits idly in the middle of nowhere Indiana, inside of Chicago for an hour? I was under the impression Amtrak doesn't own the track and as such freight or whatever else takes precedence. Im baffled. Rail to and from the airport is a fantastic idea though. This has been on my mind for years. You know whats nice about flying into Chicago, Philadelphia, SF and so on? Being able to hop on mass transit that takes you downtown. Dont have to rent a car.

    A few points:
    The typical non-high speed Amtrak trains run at up to 60mph without track improvements. High speed in the US is considered 110 mph speed, and requires special track improvements to get from 60mph to 110mph. This is still much slower obviously than the 200+ mph bullet trains in Japan, France, etc., but from a functional and fiscal standpoint, 110mph is actually a good speed to aim for.

    Amtrak has owned for several years now the stretch of track from Portage Indiana to Kalamazoo, and passenger trains regularly operate at the 110 mph speed on that stretch. Now the 40 miles of track from Portage Indiana to Union Station in Chicago is owned by freight lines, the tracks are horribly congested, and this is the source of the majority of delays you are referring to. Until there is a dedicated passenger rail only segment connecting Portage Indiana to Union Station, the horrible delays will continue.

    Finally, MDOT just bought the tracks from Kalamazoo to Dearborn a few years ago, and has been making upgrades to those tracks to get to the higher 110mph speeds. The construction work associates with those up has caused some recent delays, but those delays should mostly go away once the project is finished. Thus you will soon have a very quick ride from Portage Indiana to Dearborn, but still issues at the ends of the line, particularly around Chicago.

    To provide some other clarification, the Oakland County stops do produce a good number of riders (more than Detroits New Center Station actually). Plus a brand new station in Troy wa just built. Just remember these are Oakland County riders who are mostly all going to Chicago, and not commuting into Detroit. Thus any impact to them will have to be taken into account to reopen MCS to trains.

    The other interesting tidbit is that there has been a push by some locally to reroute the Amtrak line that connects Chicago to NYC to go through Michigan. Currently this line stops in Toledo, and then travels across freight lines inNE Ohio and Northern Indiana to South Bend and eventually to Chicago. The thought is to somehow route it north from Toledo, and then use the "high speed" passenger line from Dearborn to Porter Indiana. While the mileage, would be longer, travel times would actually be better because the higher speeds and avoidance of the congested freight lines in Northern Indiana.

    What has prevented this thus far is they haven't been able to find a rail line they can use through Monroe County to connect the line from Toledo to the Dearborn area. Also, all of the Monroe County lines are also heavily congested with freight traffic, so delays could be a problem. But if it ever happened, Michigan could also gain rail service to Cleveland, NYC, and Boston again.

  5. #30

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    Man, that sure was some groovy light show. Saw this while driving down to the southwest side the other night.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmdPizl8UBY

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    ... Finally, MDOT just bought the tracks from Kalamazoo to Dearborn a few years ago, and has been making upgrades to those tracks to get to the higher 110mph speeds. The construction work associates with those up has caused some recent delays, but those delays should mostly go away once the project is finished. Thus you will soon have a very quick ride from Portage Indiana to Dearborn, but still issues at the ends of the line, particularly around Chicago. ...
    Any updates on that track work between Kalamazoo and Dearborn? I remember reading a lot of announcements about this but haven't seen any real progress reports. Also still hoping they increase service as discussed once the line upgrades have been made.

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junjie View Post
    Any updates on that track work between Kalamazoo and Dearborn? I remember reading a lot of announcements about this but haven't seen any real progress reports. Also still hoping they increase service as discussed once the line upgrades have been made.

    The current phase of work is mostly complete. Although there is still much more work to do from what I have been told, should more funding ever become available. The same can also be said for the frequency increases... funding dependent.

  8. #33

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    As massive as the MCS tower looks on the outside, it is really an illusion. The office tower is realy quite thin, and no usable space is more than 20 ft. from a window, which makes it ideal for hotel/residential use.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Gistok; September-21-17 at 08:47 PM.

  9. #34

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    You need to fill the office tower with income producing businesses or hotel rooms before any train station is economically viable. Train traffic alone can't support a building of that size (unless AMTRAK moves its national headquarters there).

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    As massive as the MCS tower looks on the outside, it is really an illusion. The office tower is realy quite thin, and no usable space is more than 20 ft. from a window, which makes it ideal for hotel/residential use.

    There you go. If the train thing pans out, it could become a layover hotel. With Corktown, and it's fare, and Mexicotown and it's restaurants within Uber distance, you might have something going on here.

  11. #36

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    yea indiana and chicagoland is where it usually stalls. I wish amtrak would buy that stretch of track. I would love a 3.5 hour train ride to Chicago

  12. #37

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    So last night I was out hanging with my soccer team post game and we were all chatting and one of my teammates brought up Michigan Central Station. He said that MCS was in the process of being purchased by Ford who was also purchasing the book depository building to have a Detroit presence. Quickly another teammate of mine confirmed, "Yeah, it is a done deal." Both people work in separate fields and had the same info regarding a purchase.

    Take it for what it is worth but I imagine that there will be an announcement coming soon regarding the purchase and renovation. I debated posting anything but I'm too giddy not to share the potential news slightly before it is made official.

    Happy Saturday!

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    So last night I was out hanging with my soccer team post game and we were all chatting and one of my teammates brought up Michigan Central Station. He said that MCS was in the process of being purchased by Ford who was also purchasing the book depository building to have a Detroit presence. Quickly another teammate of mine confirmed, "Yeah, it is a done deal." Both people work in separate fields and had the same info regarding a purchase.

    Take it for what it is worth but I imagine that there will be an announcement coming soon regarding the purchase and renovation. I debated posting anything but I'm too giddy not to share the potential news slightly before it is made official.

    Happy Saturday!
    We can only hope. Anyone would do a better job owning this building than the Marouns. They are truly despicable people. Ford is moving its mobility/tech operations to Corktown, so this would jive with a larger Ford presence in Corktown.

  14. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gsgeorge View Post
    We can only hope. Anyone would do a better job owning this building than the Marouns. They are truly despicable people. Ford is moving its mobility/tech operations to Corktown, so this would jive with a larger Ford presence in Corktown.
    Almost anybody - with the exception of the Illich clan

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    So last night I was out hanging with my soccer team post game and we were all chatting and one of my teammates brought up Michigan Central Station. He said that MCS was in the process of being purchased by Ford who was also purchasing the book depository building to have a Detroit presence. Quickly another teammate of mine confirmed, "Yeah, it is a done deal." Both people work in separate fields and had the same info regarding a purchase.

    Take it for what it is worth but I imagine that there will be an announcement coming soon regarding the purchase and renovation. I debated posting anything but I'm too giddy not to share the potential news slightly before it is made official.

    Happy Saturday!
    This idea makes a lot of sense for Ford. Putting all the eggs in Dearborn long term not so much.

    Different environments for talent pools with a widening variety of taste but still only 15 minutes apart.

  16. #41

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    Oh please let this be true.

    Also, Ford is moving 220 employees to a former factory at Michigan and Rosa Parks, not too far from either building.

    Creating a Corktown campus of sorts?

  17. #42

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    Ford had also announced that they were spending however many billion dollars on upgrading their Dearborn campus in order to attract better talent. So spending an unreasonable amount of money renovating MCS and the surroundings into a Detroit campus would be consistent with that.

    The large public spaces of the building could be a car showroom, and since it's not a speculative office/residential building they don't have to worry about whether the renovations are profitable, as long as they consider it to be worthwhile overall in terms of talent, productivity, and PR/branding.

    There's also a little bit of history there, because iirc, when MCS was built, Ford bought a bunch of the land around it in anticipation of the station making the area desirable for real estate development, which never happened.

  18. #43

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    I hope this is true and would love to be proved wrong, but I'm calling BS on it. When they announced the whole new campus in Dearborn back in 14', everyone thought it was awesome. I just left working at PDC in October and you wanna know what has been done there in 4 years? 2 new parking decks and the ponds were filled and turned into parking lots. People in the know there have basically confirmed that all other work has been put on hold and those pie in the sky renderings of a $5B dollar makeover ain't happening. Once Hackett took over and realized Ford was not even close to where its crosstown rivals were at with electrification and autonomy, that money is getting funneled into R&D and product development most likely.

    I don't see how a company with a languishing product lineup and stock price can validity spending tens of billions of dollars on an entirely new Dearborn campus, new buildings in downtown Dearborn, a new product lineup as promised just last week, and now MCS.

  19. #44

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    HistoricDetroit.org is teasing that there will be a big announcement this week. I'm guessing it's this. Skepticism on this is expected, but I'm pretty sure this is happening. If they haven't moved at all on their new design campus in Dearborn, this may be in place of it.

  20. #45

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    Announcement within a few hours?

  21. #46

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    Facebook is blowing up for me, a lot of people are now spreading the new. I think the Detroit News and Crain's both have it and there should be something happening today.

  22. #47

  23. #48

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    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/bu...tion/33088971/

    News reporting the Book Depository building part of the deal, but Ford would be a tenant at the Station, not buying it.

  24. #49

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    This, right here...

    One source familiar with Ford's pursuit of the train station said the move is aimed at building a workplace in an urban setting that can attract younger workers to the automaker.


    To me, that says Hackett and Co deemed the several billion makeover at PDC in Dearborn as too costly to do the same thing they can do with MCS at less cost: attract young talent to a new cool campus like Google or Amazon, except this way they are downtown. Kudos to them, I'd be impressed if this is true and amazed if this actually happens.

  25. #50

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    This is thrilling, and I hope it pans out. I would imagine that Ford would be keeping a very large presence in Dearborn, and would locate some divisions to Corktown. There isn't currently enough space for them to pick up and move the whole shebang, but I can see them making the Detroit location akin to what RenCen is to GM: administrative staff. Dearborn would be for R&D, i.e. what Warren Tech Center is to GM. Anyway, if they do indeed move a significant presence there, the whole stretch between Corktown and downtown will be boom and fill in (and grow taller and spread out) like what we see happening along Woodward from downtown to Midtown. And with the extension of the Riverwalk (hopefully) to the Ambassador Bridge... man is that area gonna boom! I looked at and almost bought a small house in the area 6 years ago. *REGRETTING NOT BUYING IT*

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