High Speed Rail lines identified by Stimulus

Last night, we started a conversation here about the high-speed rail lines being funded by the recently passed stimulus package. I was unclear at the time as to what the $8 billion set aside for the purpose would go toward. Well, thanks to Applejack, we now have a map. The following shows all the lines covered under the new stimulus plan.


As you’ll notice one runs between Detroit and Chicago… Now how do we make sure it runs through Ypsilanti?

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  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    We put a dead cow on the tracks at Cross and River.

  2. Dan
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Most truly high speed rail only stops at a few cities and we would not be likely to make the cut. What we need is a good light rail stop at Ypsi to drop us off at DTW, where we could catch the fast train.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    A quick comparison to current Amtrak lines and the (thank you applejack) map above sure makes it look like, for the most part, the high speed will be on or along current rails. (Whether it stops in Ypsi or not may well depend on our supply of urban cows.)

    My concern (which I doubt will be news to planner types) is Toledo. If those predicting the mega-region future are right (successful cities will be connected to other cities), Toledo is much better positioned with east and west connectors than Detroit (although if the Canadians pitch in, we could get Toronto maybe even Buffalo then on to NYC).

    My thoughts are Southeast Michigan needs to have some high-speed connector to Toledo and, thereby, parts east. Or cut through Ontario.

  4. Dan
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    To add to what Ol’ E Cross says, we have to leverage our path from Chicago through Detroit to Toronto.

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    We ship Lake Erie to Las Vegas and we can bypass Toledo entirely.

  6. Posted February 19, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    As Dan notes, making rail “high-speed” often means making fewer stops. I’d expect Ann Arbor/Ypsi to have a total of one stop. The next in either direction would be Dearborn (or maybe a DTW transfer), and Jackson. Finer-grained stops would be more likely served by “local” lines, such as the Ann Arbor/DTW commuter line.

    What I describe above sounds a whole lot like existing Amtrak service, doesn’t it? That’s what I expect it to be because, for the most part, that’s what the USDoT and Federal RR Administration have posed as high-speed rail: track, signal, and crossing improvements on mostly existing passenger rail corridors to raise the maximum track speed and eliminate conflicts. This isn’t bullet trains – it’s Amtrak going from 65 mph to 110 mph, and not having to yield to freight trains.

  7. Posted February 19, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    By the way everyone, Mark deleted my post about putting rail lines where white people with money live.

  8. Posted February 19, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Oh wait, this is a new thread.

    I think this is a great plan and way overdue.

  9. Oliva
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    In the olden days that big billboard about Ypsilanti Underwear was a big attraction (so they say!) for railroad passengers. Could we get a giant Ypsipanties billboard and see if we can’t lure the light rail here? While at it, can we put one at the Huron Street exit on I-94? A wholesome-looking billboard, no kind of Deja Vu connection . . .

  10. Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of trains in Ypsilanti…

    Which side of the tracks do you want to be on when the train does stop here?

    The debate started at last nights Depot Town Association meeting.


  11. Luke Bison
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    The wrong side.

  12. Robert
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m happy not to see LA to Vegas as one of the corridors. What a waste and a rip-off that would be.

    …and cool map!

  13. Posted February 19, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Yup. If it’s really to be high-speed rail, it won’t be stopping in Ypsi. Still, I’d like to be on the route, and have easy access via local lines to Detroit, Toledo, or wherever the closest hub is.

    As for what side of the track the station is put on, I guess it makes sense to put it on the side with the big, relatively unused parking lot.

    And, my only two concerns, assuming the map is accurate, involve connectivity between regions. I think we need to be able to go coast to coast, and, personally, I’d like a way to get from here to New York.

  14. Posted March 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Washington Post has a good update on where things stand relative to high-speed rail.

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