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Lmichigan

Woodward Light Rail Route Chosen

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After many months of wrangling over the configuration of Woodward Light Rail, the FTA and city have come to agreement on the route. What remains to be seen is how M1-Rail will react, since they wanted the entire thing to run curbside...

Final route announced for $500M Woodward light-rail project

By Tom Greenwood {sodEmoji.|} The Detroit News

June 29, 2011

...

Under the agreement, the 19-stop rail system — informally referred to as the "hockey stick route" because of its shape — would run from the old State Fairgrounds at 8 Mile south to Congress and then west to Washington Boulevard.

From there it would then move north to the Rosa Parks Transit Center, just north of Michigan Avenue. The rail system will then loop south on Washington to Larned and then east to Woodward and back north to 8 Mile.

The final route will vary from its original proposal, which saw the system running solely on Woodward from Hart Plaza to 8 Mile. Additionally, the new route would have the trolley system running down the center of Woodward, but nearer the curb on Washington Boulevard.

...

It'd be crushing if they decided to take their ball and go home. A dedicated center lane is really the best option.

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Wel the project has been reduced to a 3.3-mile streetcar, but shovels are actually going in the ground, this year, so maybe this will lead to bigger and better things once the new regional transit authority is up-and-running:

 

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood brings $25 million in federal aid for M-1 rail project

 

Matt Helms / Detroit Free Press

 

January 18, 2013

 

After decades of failure to move anywhere on a modernized public transit system, metro Detroit this morning won federal backing -- and crucial cash -- for a streetcar system on Woodward Avenue that supporters say will boost the rebirth of downtown and Midtown and lay groundwork for even more rail options in the coming years.

 

Today’s announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the federal government is awarding $25 million to the $140-million M-1 rail project -- a 3-mile streetcar line between downtown and New Center -- culminates a 40-year effort to bring Detroit on par with other big and medium-sized cities that are building light rail and streetcar systems for economic growth and to create transportation options other than the automobile for walkable, vital neighborhoods and downtown cores.

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Detroit TRU (Transit Riders United) and Matt Cullen (CEO of M-1 Rail) is reporting that boring - to check to see what's beneath the roadway - will begin in the coming months, with construction started slated for late summer.

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Some transit updates for Metro Detroit:

 

The first phase of Detroit's "Golden Triangle" bus rapid transit system, a line down Woodward, has started the planning stages:

 

 

 

Metro Detroit tax touted to fuel rapid bus system

By Leonard Fleming {sodEmoji.|} The Detroit News

September 9, 2013

Bus rapid transit is on the road to becoming a reality in Metro Detroit, according to regional transit officials, who say a voter-approved tax will be needed to fund it.

The creation last year of the Regional Transit Authority and the hiring of its first CEO have prompted transportation officials to start planning possible rapid bus corridors — the first one receiving extensive study runs up Woodward from Detroit to Pontiac — and how to quickly win federal matching dollars.

 

...

 

And for those who missed it, the construction of the Woodward Avenue Streetcar will begin before the year is out:

 

 

Construction firm that built Portland's streetcar system hired for Detroit's M1 Rail

By David Muller {sodEmoji.|} MLive.com

July 31, 2013

DETROIT, MI – California firm Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. has been named the construction manager and general contractor for the $145 million M1 Rail project.

The firm has constructed 17 streetcar developments in the U.S., the first of which was in Portland, Ore. The company is also currently building three streetcar projects in Seattle, Salt Lake City and Dallas.
 

...

 

 

And, the SEMCOG regional rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit is still moving forward, if even at a slower pace.  From SEMCOG:
 

tait.jpg

Commuter train to be used in Southeast Michigan unveiled in Ann Arbor

A small step forward in the proposed commuter rail service between Detroit and Ann Arbor occurred on Friday, June 14, with the unveiling of a renovated double-decker car on display at a late afternoon press conference and following at the Mayor’s Green Fair.

 

...

 

 

Edited by Lmichigan

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Look at what they found under the pavement in Midtown when going to put in new rails:

 

BvB49MbCQAAOppH.jpg

Stacy & Witbeck

 

This also shows a major difference between this new line and the old one in that the original line was median-running, and the new line is mostly side-running.  The reason they are digging in the middle of the street is because the streetcar construction is being done in conjunction with a scheduled reconstruction of Woodward Avenue.

Edited by Lmichigan

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M-1 Rail announced, yesterday, that after the Inekon bid fell apart that they'll be using Brookfield Equipment Corp. for the rolling stock manufacturer.  Brookfield is based in Pennsylvania, and only makes one model of streetcar, the Liberty.  This is the model also being used in Dallas' modern streetcar line:

 

18042083-mmmain.jpg

 

M-1 Rail will use six of these three-segmented cars.  They'd be a bit wider than the base model.  For 60% of the route, they'll operate on lithium batteries reducing the need for overhead wires for propulsion.

 

Updated pictures from the last month of so courtesy of the streetcars's facebook page:

 

11054265_707005692758372_398270852144240

 

11120902_703590079766600_771558296171339

 

11351136_703590069766601_144404249858345

 

11350490_707005729425035_201677600393956

 

10984027_701828836609391_890698823247553

 

11259196_701828819942726_279379511920736

Edited by Lmichigan

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