Tag Archives: passenger rail

Can Trains Go Farther In Michigan?

Where the tracks are.

Where the tracks are.

By Matthew Varcak

Michigan is seemingly divided into two unequal sections, and that doesn’t just mean the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. When it comes to passenger rail service, the bottom half of the Lower Peninsula is serviced by three major corridors, while the rest of the state has none.

But plans are in the works for passenger rail service to reach one northern tourist destination – Traverse City.

While navigating the southern part of the state is fairly simple with the available trains, buses and taxis, the northern half is virtually inaccessible without a personal vehicle or plane. There are few alternatives besides a once-daily bus which departs from Kalamazoo heading north and includes several stops (namely Traverse City) before ending in Sault Ste. Marie, located on the Canadian border.

The lack of passenger rail to the northern half of Michigan will soon change, as the state looks to expand its light rail service.

 “We could possibly have a passenger rail to Traverse City under way in the next five to six years,” said Nick Schirripa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “It may happen sooner.” Continue reading

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