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Midwest Regional Rail Initiative

The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative is a nine-state partnership to improve commuter rail service and increase train speeds to over 100 miles per hour to connect metropolitan areas throughout the midwest.  This involves construction of new tracks, upgrading of existing tracks, enhancing crossings, and adding more roundtrips per day.


The projected benefits for the improved system include a boost of ridership from 1.5 million to 9.6 million passengers a year; $9 billion in new economic activity; and 4,000 construction jobs.  Read the MWRRI Executive Report here.


Click here to see the official Michigan state rail plan.

Current Service

  • 3 daily Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac roundtrips; 5h 19m fastest trip time
  • 1 daily roundtrip to Grand Rapids and Port Huron
  • 110-mph cruising speed Porter, IN to Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, New Buffalo and Pontiac stations recently renovated

Projects Underway

  • Reconstruction of Dearborn – Kalamazoo segment for 110-mph
  • Bottleneck removals in Chicago & NW Indiana
  • New or renovated stations at Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Jackson and Troy
  • New coaches and locomotives on order

Chicago - Detroit/Pontiac Tier I Environmental Review

220-mph Bullet Trains

Detroit-Ann Arbor Commuter Rail

The Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail project is designed to provide more frequent and convenient service between these two important Southeastern Michigan cities and the intermediate suburbs. At this point, the line has finished refurbishing cars to run along the route when it opens for service. Click here to learn more.

WALLY: Ann Arbor-Howell
There currently is a proposal for a commuter train between Ann Arbor and Howell. By April 2010 this project had received half of the needed $16-20 million in start-up costs. More about WALLY.

Traverse City-Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor
The Michigan Department of Transportation recommends refurbishing an existing rail line in order to connect Traverse City by passenger train with the south of the state. A link between Ann Arbor and Traverse City is estimate to cost $250 million. Click here to learn more.

In its 2011 Rail Plan, MDOT advocates conducting a feasibility study on a possible new regional route between Detroit and Toledo. Click here to learn more.

Grand Rapids Connection
MDOT would like to speed up an assessment of how to best connect Grand Rapids to existing rail networks throughout the state. This project would involve constructing rail lines between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Lansing, and/or Detroit. Click here to learn more.

The State of Michigan has submitted a proposal for economic stimulus funds for federal high speed rail, to contribute to the construction and improvement costs for these three lines.


Below is the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative Rail map.


View the larger image on the Midwest High Speed Rail Association's website.

This page last updated on 12/5/2014.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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Midwest Regional Rail Initiative

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