Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’

No Injuries in NS Derailment in Detroit Area

February 18, 2023

No injuries occurred during a minor derailment of a Norfolk southern train in Detroit this past Wednesday.

The Michigan Department of Environment said there was no environmental concern stemming from the derailment because no cargo was leaking.

The Van Buren Township Department of Public Safety said 30 freight cars were involved in the derailment, including an overturned car carrying grain.

Other cars were empty, including several coil steel cars. One car that was carrying a hazardous substance of liquid chloride did not derail.

The derailment led to the temporary closure of several roads.

Wolverines Disrupted by Derailment, Equipment Issues

February 2, 2023

A Canadian National derailment in Detroit has disrupted Amtrak’s Wolverine Service.

The derailment occurred late Tuesday night in southwest Detroit when eight cars derailed, including one that was reported to be leaning over a bridge.

The derailed cars were empty and no injuries occurred as a result of the derailment.

However, Amtrak cited unexplained “equipment issues” for cancelling trains on Wednesday and Thursday in the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) corridor.

The CN derailment led to Train 351 from Chicago being terminated in Detroit rather than continuing on to Pontiac.

On Wednesday, Train 352 to Chicago was cancelled. Today (Feb. 2) No. 350, the early morning departure to Chicago, and Train 355, the late afternoon departure to Pontiac, are cancelled.

Amtrak is providing alternative bus transportation to passengers affected by the cancellations.

Amtrak Says CP Will Allow Passenger Expansion

October 26, 2022

Amtrak said in a brief filed with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that Canadian Pacific has agreed to back the passenger carrier’s efforts to expand service in several locations, including Michigan.

The brief was the final filing by Amtrak in the proposed merger of CP and Kansas City Southern.

CP has agree to allow Amtrak to institute new service between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, that would connect at the latter with trains of VIA Rail Canada. The service would use a tunnel under the Detroit River that is owned by CP.

No details about that proposed service have been released nor is there a timeline for its implementation.

Amtrak’s current Wolverine Service between Chicago and Detroit continues northward to suburban Pontiac. One or more of those trains would have to be diverted to Windsor.

The existing Detroit Amtrak station is not located on the route into Windsor.

Amtrak’ s brief described CP as a “reliable partner in working with Amtrak to provide safe, efficient and effective passenger-rail services.”

The brief said CP also agreed to allow Amtrak to add other additional or new services including:

• Expansion on the CP-owned portion of the Hiawatha Service route between Chicago and Milwaukee;

• Between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, on lines owned by CP; 

• Between New Orleans (IC Junction) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a KCS line.

CP also has agreed to participate in a study with Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and various governmental agencies of implementing new service between Dallas and Meridian, Mississippi.

MDOT Seeks Proposals for Detroit Intermodal Facility

August 4, 2022

The Michigan Department of Transportation is seeking proposals for an intermodal facility in Detroit to serve Amtrak and intercity bus routes.

The proposed facility would expand and improve the existing Detroit Amtrak station, which is located in the New Center neighborhood.

MDOT envisions renovating the existing Amtrak station while also upgrading the boarding area. A bus loading area would be located on the north side of the facility.

The bus station itself would be located on the south side of the Canadian National tracks used by Amtrak and be connected to the Amtrak station via a tunnel.

The proposed facility would be named the New Center Intermodal Facility and, officials said, feature improved safety and faster boarding and unloading. It would have a place to buy tickets, handle baggage and wait for trains and buses on the north side of the tracks.

The bus station would have  drop-off and pick-up areas for taxis and ride sharing services as well as connections to the QLine streetcar and other public transit services.

Construction could begin in 2024 and be completed two years later.

Detroit Depot Restoration Moving Along

January 16, 2022

Restoration of the former Michigan Central station in Detroit is well along and project managers expect it to be complete by the second quarter of 2023.

Once completed, you’ll be able to eat, drink, work and even get married in the longtime Detroit icon and symbol of urban decay, but you won’t be able to catch a train.

The depot’s days as a train station ended in early January 1988 when Amtrak ceased using it and the beaux arts building’s new owner has other plans for the area where passengers once boarded trains.

The 18-story MC station has been owned by the Ford Motor Company since 2018. For decades before Ford bought it, the structure, which opened in 1913, had seemed destined to be razed.

Nearly all of its windows had been broken and anything of value had been stolen or removed.

During a news media tour last week of the station complex, project managers said the building was missing everything imaginable when workers began their renovation five-year work.

Ford plans to locate restaurants and a luxury hotel on the upper three floor of the station.

Offices for Ford and its partners in the mobility and autonomous vehicle endeavors will be housed in the next 10 floors.

The bottom floors will be devoted to public gathering spaces, a coffee shop, a food court, and events space with a capacity of 1,000.

The former boarding area will become a mobility testing site to be named The Platform.

During the media tour, Ford’s project manager, Rich Bardelli, said the project remains within its $740 million budget. Ford bought the building and its adjacent properties for $90 million.

Much of the early restoration work at the station involved restoring infrastructure that had vanished during the years when the structure sat vacant and was a target of vandals, thieves and squatters.

This included installing 300 miles of electric wire; 20 miles of heating and cooling duct work and piping; 6 miles of plumbing pipes; and 8.6 miles of grout in between 29,000 terracotta tiles along the arching ceiling of the front waiting room.

Some of the station’s original architectural features had to be recreated and painstakingly installed.

More than 1,700 of the Guastavino terracotta ceiling tiles had to be replaced, which involved building 252 tons of scaffolding to place them 65 feet above the floor.

Engineers used 3-D printing and resin to recreate 560 new lightweight ornate floral rosettes and leafs that adorn the windows.

Most of the original iron rosettes had been removed and during the restoration process some individuals who had possession of some of them dropped them off at the construction site so they could be reinstalled.

Located in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, the station is the centerpiece of a campus Ford is creating that will cost $950 million.

Ford plans to move 2,500 of its employees in autonomous and electric vehicle development departments to the campus. There will be space for 2,500 more Ford workers from suppliers and partners in the mobility sector.

Aside from the station itself, Ford is renovating the adjacent Book Depository building for use as offices and plans to construct a third office building on the campus.

Bardelli said dining options in the station complex will be located on the top floors of the tower; the former carriage house on the west end of the building along Vernor Highway; and a food court in the concourse.

Negotiations are underway with potential retail, hospitality and hotel vendors and contracts are expected to be reached later this year.

Over the next 18 months craftsmen will be recreating some of the other historic features of the station, including wood wainscoting panels, crown molding, marble borders and wood floors in the former waiting rooms.

“We’re in the midst right now of just starting to put all of that back,” Bardelli said.

The former waiting areas are being repurposed into events space and Bardelli said Ford has already received inquiries from couples who want to get married there.

RAISE Grants to Benefit Regional Rail Projects

November 23, 2021

Projects in Ohio, Detroit and Philadelphia will receive a share of nearly $1 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability and Equity grants.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will receive $10 million to be used for the New Center Intermodal Facility Project.

Project plans include a new station to serve Amtrak trains and local and intercity buses that will replace an existing depot in the New Center neighborhood of Detroit.

The new facility will comply with Americans with Disabilities standards and have a multi-level parking garage.

It will be located on the south side of the Canadian National tracks used by Amtrak’s Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service trains.

The existing boarding platform at the site will be lengthened and rehabilitated. The boarding platform will be connected to the new station by a tunnel.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $15 million to improve the 19th Street and 37th Street trolley subway stations.

That work is part of a larger trolley modernization program. The RAISE Grant will be used to bring both stations into compliance with ADA standards, rehabilitate boarding areas and conduct other renovations to station facilities.

The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District of Findlay will receive $7.1 million for replacement of a bridge carrying Norfolk Southern tracks over the Blanchard River.

The new bridge will be a three-span, through plate girder structure with a ballast deck.

RAISE grants are one of the few USDOT discretionary programs that allow regional and local governments to directly compete for multimodal transportation funding.

The funding provide are to be used for “planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact,” USDOT said in a news release.

The maximum grant award is $25 million with no more than $100 million being awarded to a single state.

Detroit Streetcar to Resume Late Summer

February 17, 2021

The QLine streetcar in Detroit will resume operations in late summer.

Operations of the 3.3-mile streetcar line have been suspended since March 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

M-1 Rail, which operates the service, said the resumption of service will hinge on such factors as COVID-19 virus containment, return to office work for major employers along the route, stores and restaurants reopening without restrictions, and the resumption of attendance at sporting and entertainment events.

Delray Tower in Detroit is Closing

November 18, 2020

CSX is closing Delray Tower in Detroit and transferring its duties to a dispatcher located in Jacksonville, Florida.

Delray is one of the few remaining manned interlocking towers still operating in the United States, and one of just two remaining in Michigan.

It is thought to be the last tower to use strong-arm levers.

The busiest interlocking in Michigan is located on the south side of Detroit.

Work had been underway for some time to switch its interlocking plant to remote operation and involved CSX, Norfolk Southern and Conrail Shared Assets.

Trains of Canadian Pacific and Canadian National also operate through the interlocking on trackage rights.

The Michigan Department of Transportation had awarded a $10.5 million grant as part of its Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal project to rebuild the Delray interlocking.

The work included removing two diamonds and adding a third track along Conrail’s Detroit Line between CP Delray and CP Waterman.

Delray Tower was build in 1945 by the Pere Marquette Railroad.

The tower at one time saw more than 200 moves a day, but that has since fallen to an average of 32 to 38 a day.

An operator is remains on duty for a few days in case of malfunctions during remote operation.

The tower is expected to eventually be razed.

Cleanup of CSX Derailment Finished

October 30, 2020

Workers have finished cleaning up a CSX derailment in Dearborn, Michigan, that shut down traffic on Interstate 94 for a while on Wednesday.

The derailment occurred early Wednesday morning when four cars derailed on a bridge over the expressway.

One car was hanging over exit lanes and the road had to be closed to enable workers and equipment conducting the cleanup to reach the scene.

The Detroit area expressway was reopened after CSX officials determined they could complete the cleanup without the road being closed..

It took workers about eight hours to cleanup the site. No hazardous materials were involved in the derailment and there were no injuries.

Man Killed While Stealing Vehicles From CSX Yard

October 23, 2020

A Michigan man who was part of a group of people stealing motor vehicles from a CSX facility near Detroit died after one of the vehicles being stolen landed in a pond.

The incident occurred Thursday about 4 a.m. Huron Township police received a call about 4 a.m. about the thefts from the yard located on Pennsylvania Road between Huron River Drive and Interstate 275 in Wayne County near Romulus.

The vehicles were parked in a secure lot waiting to be loaded onto auto rack freight cars.

Railroad officials said the thieves were able to steal six vehicles, three of which have since been recovered.

One of the men involved in the thefts, lost control of the vehicle he was driving and landed upside down in a pond located on the railroad property.

It was not clear from police reports if the man who died was in the vehicle that rolled over and was partially submerged.