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Michigan legislature approves spending for high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago

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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 12:34 PM
Original message
Michigan legislature approves spending for high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago
Edited on Fri Sep-30-11 12:48 PM by SpartanDem
Source: mlive

Michigan legislature on Wednesday approved a supplemental spending bill that will unlock federal funds to fast-track improvements along the planned high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago.

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bill, which uses a combination of $39.2 million in local, private and state transportation funds as a match to finish unlocking $358.9 million in competitive federal grants.

Most significantly, the legislation sets aside money for the state to purchase and rehabilitate a 135.7 mile segment of tracks between Dearborn and Kalamazoo that currently is owned by Norfolk Southern. If you've taken Amtrak to Chicago in the past few months, you know congestion on this stretch has been causing regular delays, but improvements are expected to allow trains to travel up to 105 mph and cut the trip from Detroit to under 4 hours.

The bill also authorizes spending on a track connection project in west Detroit and construction of new stations in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

Michigan won a sizable portion of the federal rail funds -- nearly $200 million -- after Florida's Republican governor rejected stimulus dollars awarded by the Obama administration, but Snyder has embraced high-speed rail.


Read more: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/09/michiga...



Thanks Florida
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Seedersandleechers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good for Michigan
Bad for Florida. Yes, elections do have consequences.
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SnakeEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Just hope enough people actually use it
Edited on Fri Sep-30-11 02:21 PM by SnakeEyes
So that it doesn't require a lot more public funds every year otherwise we will never be able to get these built elsewhere. I question the model (acela unfortunately is not because of its region limitations and no coach) having Detroit as one of the anchor given it's economic situation. I think a link between two cities better off would be better.

Cost of a ticket is going to be a key factor too.
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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The route has been used heavily for some time...
...Ridership has gone up every year on the regular routes as is. The only problem is Amtrak presently doesn't own all the track it runs on. The freight line, CN (Canadian National), has much of it. I've used it on day trips from Battle Creek to Ann Arbor frequently. Many college students use the route to go home on the weekends. Lots of Chicago area students go to college in Michigan. I've taken it to Chicago myself and it was during 'Spring Break'. I returned on the Sunday ending the break and the train was full, as in no seats, primarily with college students. I was amazed. On Fridays the station in Ann Arbor is crammed with students heading west for the weekend. Same in Battle Creek with students that bus down from East Lansing (MSU). In addition, many people from southern Michigan that want to spend the weekend in Chicago shopping, clubbing, seeing the fabulous museums etc, use it. Michigan Avenue is a short cab ride from Union Station. It's a great investment because it does get used heavily.
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SnakeEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Fantastic!
Good to hear
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, SpartanDem.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. They should put a stop in Grand Rapids. 2nd biggest city in Michigan is GR
and it's almost exactly half way between Chicago and Detroit.
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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. There is a route from Grand Rapids to Chicago already...
GR is a bit north of the direct East/West line. Battle Creek is on that route and is half way between Detroit and Chicago. There is one route (The Blue Water) that runs up to East Lansing over to Flint and ends at Post Huron. It use to run on to Toronto after crossing under the St. Clair River. I took that on my honeymoon in '87 boarding in Sarnia, Ont. just across the river from Port Huron.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. There is no route from GR to Detroit.
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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. GR to Chicago, I said...
Not Detroit...
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BadtotheboneBob Donating Member (219 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Note this...
http://www.michigan.org/Property/Detail.aspx?p=B7746 ... The 'Pere Marquette' daily GR to Chicago and return.
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