Joshua Davis performs Sting's "Fields of Gold" on the April 27 broadcast of NBC's "The Voice." (Photo: NBC)

Mt. Pleasant is ready for trains

August 7, 2015 | |

Mountain Town Station brewery now occupies Mt. Pleasant’s historic train depot, which has a nice boarding platform.

Hans Voss and I recently traveled to Mt. Pleasant for a meeting with city staff and community leaders about the Ann Arbor to Traverse City passenger rail project. During our visit, one thing was made clear: Mt. Pleasant is ready for trains.

The visit was part of our effort to learn more about the potential train boarding locations and the impact train service could have on mid-Michigan downtowns.

Mt. Pleasant is one of the largest cities on the line. Its historic train station sits just two blocks from the city’s main downtown commercial and retail strip, and, like Traverse City’s depot, a craft brewery occupies the space.

The station itself has seen its fair share of continued private investment. Over the years, station owners have added a many safety features, a solid boarding platform, and ample outdoor lighting. And city planners told us that sites adjacent to the station are ripe for downtown-style development.

These improvements—and the real prospect of passenger trains connecting the city to places like Ann Arbor to Traverse City—fit well within the city’s efforts to revitalize its downtown and focus investment into the city’s core.

So what’s next?

We’re gearing up to ask communities along the line for letters of support that will help advance a potential feasibility study in 2016. We’ll let you know how you can plug in show your support.

About the Author

James Bruckbauer is Groundwork's transportation policy specialist. Follow him on Twitter at @jimbruckb. Reach him at [email protected].

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