December 2011
& January 2012
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Rail Forum News

There was some good news to report at the annual Passenger Rail Forum presented by the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association and the TMACOG Public Transit & Passenger Rail Committee. There is significant progress in developing passenger rail service in southern Michigan including progress on a Detroit-Ann Arbor-Chicago high speed route. In partnership with Amtrak, Michigan is investing $600 million in this corridor to bring the Wolverine service up to 110 miles per hour. The latest federal funding received was $200 million to upgrade tracks and ties from Dearborn to Kalamazoo.

All around the country, there is growing enthusiasm for train travel. In Ohio, the City of Toledo and Lucas County have signaled continued interest in improving passenger rail by signing on to the Stand Up for Trains resolution. At the forum, these resolutions were presented to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, a non-profit group working on plans to tie together the entire Midwest passenger system and to improve service between the Midwest and the east coast.

To see forum slides, displays, and handouts, go to the TMACOG website here.

Forum speakers Tim Hoeffner, administrator of the new Office of Rail at the Michigan Department of Transportation; and Michael Benham, the project manager for the WALLY commuter rail service in Ann Arbor, with moderator Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak.

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