News & Reviews News Wire Michigan seeks federal funds to upgrade Amtrak route

Michigan seeks federal funds to upgrade Amtrak route

By Trains Staff | February 6, 2023

| Last updated on February 6, 2024

Grant of up to $25 million would be used to repair bridges between Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo

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Wolverine No. 352 speeds through Three Oaks, Mich., on July 6, 2020. Michigan is seeking federal funding for bridge work on the Wolverine route. Bob Johnston

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s Transportation Department will seek $20 million to $25 million in federal grants to repair bridges on a state-owned line used by Amtrak services.

Capital News Service reports the funds would be used to repair four bridges between Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, according to Peter Anastor, director of the transportation department’s Office of Rail. Amtrak’s Wolverines operate on that route, while the Blue Water uses a portion near Kalamazoo.

The funds would come from the $2.3 billion available under the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. The Federal Railroad Administration announced the funding availability in December [see “FRA begins accepting applications …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 7, 2022] under an expanded program that allows grants for new service and planning, as well as improvement work for existing passenger routes, as has been the case previously.

5 thoughts on “Michigan seeks federal funds to upgrade Amtrak route

  1. Honestly ya’ll. Bridges need maintenance. Eventually they need to be replaced.

    We all know that this was something that was heavily neglected in the past and we also know how that worked out (I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, anyone?)

  2. What is the point of committing to such an investment if it fails to assure greater frequencies between end points, as well as to build inter-corridor services?

    Remembering GTW’s introduction of competitive schedules to the necrotic NYC/PC offering, their is no alternative to meaningful competition. Despite how Amtrak dominated since 1971, their has been a lack of commitment towards developing the potential of this corridor.

  3. It might be that Brightline could be interested in such a service even if 110 mph speeds aren’t largely attainable. And I understand that some of the Michigan trackage is now, or will soon be allowed to be run at 110 mph.

    The running time difference per mile is negligible at higher speeds: at 80 MPH, it takes 45 seconds per mile; at 90 MPH-40 seconds; at 100 MPH- about 36 seconds and at 110 MPH it takes 33 seconds to run a mile.

    The very high speed may make a difference in Florida, in the Midwest it may not be as necessary. By the way, Brightline will have a true passenger-only track segment (all-new construction) that is planned for 125 MPH speeds.

    1. Tracks follow the many curves in the river valley that it follows across Michigan. Brightline speeds? Nope. 100MPH speeds, yes.

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