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A2TC: Train from TC to Ann Arbor

Passenger Rail Connects Michigan

Connecting Petoskey and Traverse City to Ann Arbor by Train

There’s widespread interest in establishing passenger rail service, and revitalizing passenger rail is a unique opportunity for Michigan because the state owns the tracks between Traverse City and Ann Arbor. The tracks are in good shape. In fact, about 90% are ready for service. We’re working with partners around the state to build support from civic and business leaders in the cities along the line, while gathering feedback from communities. Groundwork has received dozens of support letters from communities and groups along the line, and we’ve raised funds to advance a major study on the project.

— Jim Bruckbauer, deputy director

 

Economic Bridge

Re-establishing passenger 
rail service between Ann 
Arbor, Petoskey, and Traverse City—homes to growing tech industries—will link the growing northwest with population centers in the southeast. According to a 2009 Grand Valley study, downtowns with once-a-day train service boosted their economies up to $45,000,000 annually. This initiative will solidify Michigan as a leader in a new era of travel.

 

FEASIBILITY STUDY, DEMO RIDES PLANNED

Groundwork is working with 
the Michigan Department of Transportation on a feasibility study and demonstration train rides from Ann Arbor to Traverse City to raise awareness about the project, and to better understand track conditions, safety improvements required, and the interaction between
the communities along the line. Groundwork believes that bringing passenger rail service back to northern Michigan is possible in less than a decade with a focused campaign of public engagement, technical analysis, and support from community, state, and federal agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-establishing passenger rail service between two of Michigan’s most vibrant cities—Ann Arbor and Traverse City—will link fast-growing destinations in the northwest and the economic and population centers in the southeast. This initiative will solidify Michigan as a leader in a new era of modern train travel while boosting economic development along the corridor. In fact, a 2009 Grand Valley State University study found that Michigan cities with once-a-day train service boosted their downtown economies by up to $45 million each year.

Groundwork believes that bringing passenger rail service back to northern Michigan is possible in less than a decade with a focused campaign of public engagement, technical analysis, and adequate support from a cross section of community, state, and federal agencies.

Gaining Steam

Groundwork is collaborating with citizens and public officials on a 2016 passenger rail feasibility study to determine what resources are needed to bring back the rail connection between Traverse City and Ann Arbor.

Citizens, civic leaders, and elected officials all along the line—in cities like Cadillac, Clare, Mt. Pleasant, Alma and Owosso—understand the clear benefits of revived rail travel.

Groundwork is also working closely with the Michigan Department of Transportation to plan demonstration train rides from Ann Arbor to Traverse City beginning in the summer of 2016 to raise awareness about the project, and to better understand track conditions, the safety improvements required, and the interaction between the tracks and the communities along
the route.

Why TC to Ann Arbor? 

EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE: The tracks are still in place, they’re still owned by the state, and they’re in good shape. Often the most expensive part of a transportation project is the cost of buying land and laying new tracks.

WIDESPREAD SUPPORT: There’s tremendous public support and enthusiasm for trains to Traverse City. The number one priority that came out of a statewide rail planning process in 2011 was a passenger connection to Traverse City.

STATEWIDE PRIORITY: A passenger rail line to northern Michigan was included as a goal in Michigan’s State Rail Plan.