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metrogrkid

A TRANSIT THOUGHT: GR, Detroit and Traverse City

23 posts in this topic

While much excitement and interest exists now for the eventual metrorail and current Bus Rapid Transit corridor between Central Station and Ford Airport, it has struck me how some responsible and thinking residents of Michigan must think beyond that small endeavor, look to the future beyond that and realize that in a century's time, the Mackinac Bridge and vicinity will become an exurb of Traverse City and the ramifications of a trans-lower-peninsula private commuter or Amtrak rail link between this future northern Michigan hub and its western and south-east Michigan sister cities. Traverse will give Michigan a Vancouver while its sibling down U.S.-131 will have become Michigan's amalgam of Malibu, Minneapolis, Boston and Atlanta and its oldest sibling will continue to be the original Capital of Michigan and its ongoing Capital of the World Automotive Industry.

Any State of this Union that has those three metropolitan areas at such a time AND that is surrounded on three sides by inland oceans with four distinct seasons is destined to become an attractive, stable, diverse and . . . . what, generally pleasant and fun place to live in? Let's take that thought and our obvious collective skills, gifts and creativity (constantly shown here at UP-GR) to get this Great Lakes State there more quickly. It's just a thought . . . . and by the way, thank you for your understanding. Regardless of what may or may not be, the future of the Grand Valley and its Grand Riviera shoreline from Shivering Timbers' summit down to Holland and Saugatuck is becoming what we have hoped and yearned for. It is our time here at UP-GR to insert our benevolent dreams and contributions to the new GR and Michigan that is coalescing right before our eyes.

Also, just to start a little Michigan debate here, I for one prefer Michiganian over Michigander. Comments :whistling: ? :D

Onward we go . . . .

-metrogrkid

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METROGRKID Manifesto was last seen here

Did I miss the open call for Transit Manifestos?

Me? I think we should have every child receive a government paid Ford Mustang at age 16.

Then, turn all remaining greenspace in Michigan into Super Speedways.

But that's just me. I probably wasn't hugged enough as a kid.

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While much excitement and interest exists now for the eventual metrorail and current Bus Rapid Transit corridor between Central Station and Ford Airport, it has struck me how some responsible and thinking residents of Michigan must think beyond that small endeavor, look to the future beyond that and realize that in a century's time, the Mackinac Bridge and vicinity will become a suburb of Traverse City...

Traverse City is 65 miles from Petoskey. Petoskey is 36 miles from the bridge. In a century's time you believe that T.C. is going to sprawl 100 miles up the coastline to Mackinac City? That won't happen...

I'll give you Eastport to the northeast, Suttons Bay to the northwest, Crystal Lake to the west, Kingsley to the south, and Kalkaska to the east. The infrastructure and mindset of the region simply won't let what you foresee happen. Traverse City has this mindset... "We don't have a freeway near us for 30 miles, and that's the way we like it!" They've had 15 year fight to stretch Hammond Rd over the Boardman River for environmental reasons, and prefer to have US-31 backup at Chums Corners for 2 miles as result. The expansion required to meet your vision would be fought tooth in nail by people who like to keep that country green.

...but I will agree on Michiganian. Michigander sounds like we are all some sort of strain of mutant male goose.

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Come ON! No contest. Michigander!

You HAVE to use the nickname that is first attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Not to mention you actually say the name of our state correctly when you say it.

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Metrogrkid, what were you doing up at 3:19 AM thinking about transit issues?

Yes, I don't see TC stretching to the bridge in our lifetimes. But what was the question/topic of discussion again?

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You guys are missing the obvious milestone here, he didn't use any CAPITAL LETTERS in his post this time :D

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I can see TC growing as a hub for the leisure. But with it's continued growth I can also see it attracting, Regional offices for things like insurance companies. I wonder if it will turn into a city the size of Des Moines or Ann Arbor. It does seem far fetched but not impossible. It's being discovered by more and more people every month. And the people that are being attracted to norther Michigans hub, are highly educated, high income earning people, who spend their money in the city and invest in it. Something has to be addressed about TC's road system. I understand people wanting the green, but extending 131 to 75 before the bridge, would be very beneficial economically for the area. And making a loop extender, over to the 31 would also be a smart idea, I think these things can be accomplished, with minimally disturbing the ecosystem of the area.

MetroGRkid, I'm with you on your thinking. I'm a fan of GR but on a bigger level, I'm a fan of anything Michigan, and Michigans sucess in transforming itself into one of the premeir states in the country to live and do business.

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Metrogrkid, what were you doing up at 3:19 AM thinking about transit issues?

Yes, I don't see TC stretching to the bridge in our lifetimes. But what was the question/topic of discussion again?

Amtrak connections... The big issue would be in Grand Rapids as all rail heading north out of downtown has been ripped up and converted to bike paths. TC has rail already running into the center of town, with a depot, that was in use by the dinner train up until last year before it went out of business. The Tuscola & Saginaw still run trains in on the line occassionally. So there is already a direct link between Detroit and TC via that line.

So we have 3 issues to deal with:

1) Grand Rapids/Detroit service - Easiest line to incorporate as the Amtrak could run on the CSX line between the two cities. It features high speed welded high-rail, and a declining use from intermodal freight as CP Rail has now started using a new rail link on the Norfolk Southern in Indiana to bypass the CSX/Pere Marquette line and save some mileage on their cross-country journeys. This is track that is looking for trains to run on it.

2) Detroit/Traverse City service - Again we have a direct connect here, but the quality of the rail is a big issue. Alot of this track is still ancient bolted rail, not welded, so 45 mile speeds and slower restrictions are in effect along this line. After the switch off the main near Fife Lake the rail line quality drops further and trains are restricted to 20 miles per hour or less on the TC spur into downtown. Major rail work would be required before Amtrak could run this line. My best guess is the lines from Durand north would have to be replaced with high speed welded rail before Amtrak could run service on the rails.

3) Grand Rapids/Traverse - Major issues here, as all lines from Comstock Park and northward are now empty beds devoid of rail, with bike trails running over them in some places. The original intention of Rails to Trails if I remember correctly, however, was to preserve the railway right-of-way and provide recreation opportunities until the need for the rails as a mass transit option returned. At that time the bike trails could be removed and rail could be reinstalled. This would be the case for the bike path that runs north from Comstock Park through to Rockford, the bed continues north through Howard City, Lake City and parallels US-131 up through Reed City.

For this line to exist it would need to be completely rebuilt along the RoW preserved through the Rails to Trails program by the state. This would be biggest obstacle for Metrogrkid's vision. Best process would be to do this in stages by connecting rail to the northern towns where people are commuting into GR everyday for work. First stop would most likely be a commuter service set up to service Howard City, Cedar Springs, and Rockford with downtown GR proper. Expand it to service into Lake City and Big Rapids at some point, and then Cadillac where you could finally reconnect it to the existing T&SB rail lines into TC.

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Are you currently or have you done rail time?

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Are you currently or have you done rail time?

Model railroader / train enthuseist. As a kid my grandmother would get the grandkids rides on the switching engine in the CSX/Pere Marquette yard back when it was still the Chessie system. Been hooked on trains ever since :rolleyes:

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Come ON! No contest. Michigander!

You HAVE to use the nickname that is first attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Not to mention you actually say the name of our state correctly when you say it.

A male is a Michigander, a female is a Michigoose!

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This gander needs to find me a goose. o_o

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i think it'd be great if there was high speed rail from Detroit to GR and to TC, certainly would save me some time.

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Amtrak connections... The big issue would be in Grand Rapids as all rail heading north out of downtown has been ripped up and converted to bike paths. ...

That reads as if you believe it's a bad thing.

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That reads as if you believe it's a bad thing.

It is if you want to implement a rail service between GR and TC. ;)

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A user from Tacoma posted in the Urban Transit section Denver's planned transit system expansions including DMU/Commuter Rail, Light Rail and BRT connections:

http://www.rtd-denver.com/fastracks/index.html

Look at those ridership estimates.

In regard to the Rail Trails, I have seen Light Rail share the ROW with bike paths, so you get the best of both worlds.

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I think that it is an interesting idea and I think that it should be expanded all the way to Indiana with stops in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Cadillac, and TC. The big thing is it will allow a lot of out of state money to come into each of the Michigan Cities, as well as reducing the dependence on auto/ 131 traffic. I also think that many of the ski resorts in the area would offer shuttle services from the train station to the hills.

Right now, rail runs along I-96 and I-94 as east west rail traffic, however there is no north south rail traffic.

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Is there some rule on this board that there has to be at least one new thread about rail service posted every day?

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Is there some rule on this board that there has to be at least one new thread about rail service posted every day?

1.3 rail posts per day! :D

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Is there some rule on this board that there has to be at least one new thread about rail service posted every day?

This isn't a buzz so you can't kill it. As evidence to my light rail thread. Railfans bud -- railfans... It's pro-American to be a railfan, things that ride on rails move America. :lol:

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Is there some rule on this board that there has to be at least one new thread about rail service posted every day?

Yes, you're rail post requirement has been met for the day. See you here tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.

Since none of the other media outlets are covering transit very well, we thought we'd shout it out every day here.

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I think that it is an interesting idea and I think that it should be expanded all the way to Indiana with stops in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Cadillac, and TC.

*cough*And Wayland*cough* ;o

Wayland was once a major stop along the old GR-KZoo line.. we had hotels, theatres, you name it. After the service stopped on the line, and the whole of downtown wayland burnt down, the town has struggled to rebuild itself ever since. With the casino being built, a Wayland stop can also attract people from GR, KZoo, Indiana, even people from the east and west: Muskegon, Lansing, etc. and Wayland would become a 'vacation destination' for people in the area. Living downtown, got a day off work, hop on the train and head to Wayland.

(I feel all giddy inside imagining that^^)

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I just finished watching the movie Entrapment (bad movie), but at the end, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones meet at a cool rail station in Kuala Lumpur. Based on some research, I found out it's the Bukit Jalil Station (they actually call it Pudu Station in the movie):

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...6lr%3D%26sa%3DG

Star-LRT-2x.jpg

Kltransit.gif

There's my rail post for the day.

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