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#1 riderails

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:47 PM

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, Aug. 6, ’17, long-abandoned Michigan Central Station in Detroit (on the National Register of Historic Places) “widely known for its ornate architecture and haunting emptiness and decay” is again the target of talk of full renovation and reuse (e.g., residential units).  Such a possibility might be a bit more reasonable these days given recent long, long overdue redevelopment efforts in Detroit.  The present private owners claim to have put 8 million dollars in the building in recent years.  Several photos (images) of the building are online.  What are your memories, if any, of when you used this part of history? 



#2 SarahZ

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:57 PM

I think it will work best as a mixed-use building. If they can somehow incorporate it as a working train station again, the rest of the building could be used for offices and a hotel.

 

Even if it isn't used as a train station and is purchased for use as offices, a hotel, restaurants, and perhaps even penthouses on the top floor, that will go a LONG way toward revitalizing Corktown.

 

I'd be interested to see it become residences, but only if tours of the building are offered (similar to Open House Chicago). I can't imagine they could fill the building just yet, though. It's a bit too removed from Greektown and Midtown to appeal to anyone who'd want to live close to the sports arenas, casinos, and restaurants. Mixed-use is probably the best way to go at this point.

 

Regardless, I'm excited. When they first started installing windows a few years ago, I was hesitantly optimistic. I'm so glad the project continues to gain traction.


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#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:15 PM

More Good News as the Motor City continues to bounce back from almost being dead!😎

Hopefully Buffalo can also get their Jewel of a Terminal going again!
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#4 railiner

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:59 PM

More Good News as the Motor City continues to bounce back from almost being dead!😎

Hopefully Buffalo can also get their Jewel of a Terminal going again!


And wouldn't it be great if the Niagara Rainbow could be revived as well, to connect them? :)
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#5 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:18 PM

I don't think it makes much sense to reroute the Wolverine to this station as it does not connect to the Streetcar and is not on the line to Pontiac. Having said that, I would be a strong supporter of reviving this as an active train station if the Niagara Rainbow or a theoretical Chicago-Detroit-Toronto train was established. If the Streetcar or People Mover was ever extended to Michigan Central Station it could also make for a good commuter rail terminal. Regardless, it is good news that the station will likely be used again some time in the near future.
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#6 dlagrua

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:04 AM

Its always pains me to see historic works of great architecture abandoned and left to the elements.  Michigan Central Station in Detroit was once a grand thriving railroad station in a city bristling with activity. It would be great to see the station renovated and re-purposed, if only to have limited train service there again. Stations like Michigan Central could never and will never be constructed again. It makes no sense not to use it again. It was once a railroad office building and a station. It could be made into a hotel, residences, restaurants and a RR station again.



#7 dogbert617

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:39 PM

More Good News as the Motor City continues to bounce back from almost being dead!

Hopefully Buffalo can also get their Jewel of a Terminal going again!

The original Buffalo, NY station always intrigued me, from pictures I've seen of it online. I guess Amtrak only relocated to the current 'Amshack' station(Buffalo-Depew), due to deterioration within the original building? Hopefully something happens with that station building, including possibly reactivating it for passenger train service again. It is a good sign that I've read tours of that former Buffalo station, are supposedly held a few times a year.



#8 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:03 PM

More Good News as the Motor City continues to bounce back from almost being dead!😎

Hopefully Buffalo can also get their Jewel of a Terminal going again!


And wouldn't it be great if the Niagara Rainbow could be revived as well, to connect them? :)


Here's the Niagara Rainbow at the Michigan Central Station in Detroit and at St. Thomas, Ontario.....but the old New York Central/Penn Central/Conrail route across Southern Ontario is now abandoned.

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#9 west point

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:13 PM

IMO the only way Detroit and Buffalo can get their stations restored is to have the downtown area revitalized much like Sacramento, Denver and  Kansas City ? The restoration of Cincinnati station that is on going may also show us the way.

Other potential locations for revitalization " might " be Springfield, Ma ( ongoing), Jacksonville ?, New Orleans. Memphis, Nashville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Washington ( planned ). Boston south station ( also planned )

Less likely would be Cleveland Union Terminal



#10 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:17 PM

IMO the only way Detroit and Buffalo can get their stations restored is to have the downtown area revitalized much like Sacramento, Denver and  Kansas City ? The restoration of Cincinnati station that is on going may also show us the way.
Other potential locations for revitalization " might " be Springfield, Ma ( ongoing), Jacksonville ?, New Orleans. Memphis, Nashville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Washington ( planned ). Boston south station ( also planned )
Less likely would be Cleveland Union Terminal

In Buffalo's case, Central Terminal is much further from downtown than Exchange Street, so the downtown area is actually the primary reason the new station will not be at Central Terminal. The restored stations you mentioned also all have light rail/streetcar access, which the current Detroit Amtrak station now has and Michigan Central Station doesn't. Downtown revitalization could help slightly in Detroit, but I think the main reason that Michigan Central Station would be reopened is if passenger trains were brought back through the tunnel to Windsor and beyond.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 08 August 2017 - 09:21 PM.

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#11 Pere Flyer

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:52 PM

 

IMO the only way Detroit and Buffalo can get their stations restored is to have the downtown area revitalized much like Sacramento, Denver and  Kansas City ? The restoration of Cincinnati station that is on going may also show us the way.
Other potential locations for revitalization " might " be Springfield, Ma ( ongoing), Jacksonville ?, New Orleans. Memphis, Nashville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Washington ( planned ). Boston south station ( also planned )
Less likely would be Cleveland Union Terminal

In Buffalo's case, Central Terminal is much further from downtown than Exchange Street, so the downtown area is actually the primary reason the new station will not be at Central Terminal. The restored stations you mentioned also all have light rail/streetcar access, which the current Detroit Amtrak station now has and Michigan Central Station doesn't. Downtown revitalization could help slightly in Detroit, but I think the main reason that Michigan Central Station would be reopened is if passenger trains were brought back through the tunnel to Windsor and beyond.

 

 
I'm all for rail service through Detroit-Windsor, but it will take much more than downtown revitalization to make a case for MCS reinstatement. Detroit's interstate interchanges segregate Downtown, Midtown, Corktown area (near MCS), and north of Corktown into quadrants. Thank followers of Robert Moses for those walls of transportation. MCS is about two miles from Campus Martius Park, which is the de facto center of the revitalization efforts. It will take years of real estate development, regional transit construction, and hopefully a redesign of the local interstates before MCS becomes relevant to the city core.

Attached File  Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 22.36.23.png   848.29KB   24 downloads


Edited by Pere Flyer, 08 August 2017 - 09:55 PM.

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#12 railiner

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:53 PM

NS VIA Fan...you know, I had a premonition you might respond to my post, with appropriate photo's, and let me tell you...you did not disappoint me....outstanding!

In my head, I can almost hear the "chant" of those "567's", and smell the musty aroma given off by those car's Vapor heaters.... :)

 

Yeah, the Canada Southern is gone, but there are alternate rails linking Detroit and Buffalo, so never will I say never.... ;)

*

 

The old Buffalo Central Terminal is not downtown like Exchange Street is, but it is a lot closer than Depew....I believe it is at the point where the lines into downtown divert from the mainline towards Cleveland, so it is the closest location to downtown that can serve both routes...Very likely the reason it was originally built there....


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#13 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:36 AM

 

IMO the only way Detroit and Buffalo can get their stations restored is to have the downtown area revitalized much like Sacramento, Denver and  Kansas City ? The restoration of Cincinnati station that is on going may also show us the way.
Other potential locations for revitalization " might " be Springfield, Ma ( ongoing), Jacksonville ?, New Orleans. Memphis, Nashville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Washington ( planned ). Boston south station ( also planned )
Less likely would be Cleveland Union Terminal

In Buffalo's case, Central Terminal is much further from downtown than Exchange Street, so the downtown area is actually the primary reason the new station will not be at Central Terminal. The restored stations you mentioned also all have light rail/streetcar access, which the current Detroit Amtrak station now has and Michigan Central Station doesn't. Downtown revitalization could help slightly in Detroit, but I think the main reason that Michigan Central Station would be reopened is if passenger trains were brought back through the tunnel to Windsor and beyond.
 
 
I'm all for rail service through Detroit-Windsor, but it will take much more than downtown revitalization to make a case for MCS reinstatement. Detroit's interstate interchanges segregate Downtown, Midtown, Corktown area (near MCS), and north of Corktown into quadrants. Thank followers of Robert Moses for those walls of transportation. MCS is about two miles from Campus Martius Park, which is the de facto center of the revitalization efforts. It will take years of real estate development, regional transit construction, and hopefully a redesign of the local interstates before MCS becomes relevant to the city core.
attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2017-08-08 at 22.36.23.png
I completely agree that highways have divided the city. However, what arrangement would you propose if service across the border was established? If Michigan Central Terminal is not an option, that leaves either:
1. another newly built station
2: no station in Detroit
3: a backup move to the current station
4: termination at the current station or Pontiac
Service would most likely run through to Chicago, so that would eliminate #4. #2 is possible, but it seems idiotic to me to pass through such a large city without stopping. #1 wouldn't make much sense, as if money is going to spent on a new station it might as well be put into Michigan Central Station restoration. #3 could be done, but it would lengthen travel times signicantly to stop at a sub-par station farther from downtown than Michigan Central. It certainly would cost money, but I think restoration of Michigan Central Terminal would be the best option.

NS VIA Fan...you know, I had a premonition you might respond to my post, with appropriate photo's, and let me tell you...you did not disappoint me....outstanding!
In my head, I can almost hear the "chant" of those "567's", and smell the musty aroma given off by those car's Vapor heaters.... :)
 
Yeah, the Canada Southern is gone, but there are alternate rails linking Detroit and Buffalo, so never will I say never.... ;)
*
 
The old Buffalo Central Terminal is not downtown like Exchange Street is, but it is a lot closer than Depew....I believe it is at the point where the lines into downtown divert from the mainline towards Cleveland, so it is the closest location to downtown that can serve both routes...Very likely the reason it was originally built there....

The most likely route for a potential future train from Detroit to Buffalo through Southern Ontario would be to follow VIA Rail's Corridor to Hamilton where the train could turn southeast on the wye to join the Maple Leaf's route to New York. The only segments currently without some form of passenger rail is the segment from the merger off of the Wolverine line to the merger with the VIA Corridor and the very short segment on the wye joining the westernmost section of the VIA Corridor with the Maple Leaf's route into New York. Run time from Detroit to Niagara Falls about 5 hours not including border crossings. The total time from New York to Chicago would be around 20 hours if it could somehow be run with no stops in Canada, which would be about an hour longer than the current LSL but 2 hours shorter than the proposed LSL reroute through Michigan. I would like to see it done, although I would prefer a restored International via Detroit. Even with the border crossing, that route could be done in 12 hours.
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#14 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 07:27 AM

Railiner Yesterday, 11:53 PM
NS VIA Fan...you know, I had a premonition you might respond to my post, with appropriate photo's, and let me tell you...you did not disappoint me....outstanding!

In my head, I can almost hear the "chant" of those "567's", and smell the musty aroma given off by those car's Vapor heaters....

Yeah, the Canada Southern is gone, but there are alternate rails linking Detroit and Buffalo, so never will I say never....

Thanks!

The old Michigan Central Station and the VIA Windsor Station are about 6 miles apart but there is no direct connection through the Tunnel. It would involve a time consuming move and back-up over industrial track. Another option would be to use about 45 miles of current freight only CP track which is in direct alignment with the tunnel.. between Windsor and Chatham and a Jct with VIA's route to London and onto the wye near Bayview (Aldershot/Hamilton) and Niagara Falls.

VIA may not want to do this as they own the track between Windsor and Chatham. East of Chatham..its all CN track.

>>>>>

And currently you can take a daytime trip now between New York City and Detroit (Windsor).

Westbound.....depart NYP at 7:15a on the Maple Leaf and arrive at Aldershot (Hamilton) at 7:00pm. VIA #79 departs Aldershot at 8:13pm and into Windsor at 11:44pm. And if you think using Windsor Station might be inconvenient to Detroit residents......just walk through the parking lot there and note the number of Michigan plates.

Eastbound to New York City would require a tweaking of the connection at Aldershot as the first train from Windsor in the morning misses the Maple Leaf by 20 minutes but this connection has been available at various times..

Edited by NS VIA Fan, 09 August 2017 - 07:28 AM.


#15 the_traveler

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:22 AM

You're correct, Central Station is on the mainline just before the switches for the lines to Cleveland and Niagara Falls.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#16 railiner

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:32 PM

 

Railiner Yesterday, 11:53 PM
NS VIA Fan...you know, I had a premonition you might respond to my post, with appropriate photo's, and let me tell you...you did not disappoint me....outstanding!

In my head, I can almost hear the "chant" of those "567's", and smell the musty aroma given off by those car's Vapor heaters....

Yeah, the Canada Southern is gone, but there are alternate rails linking Detroit and Buffalo, so never will I say never....

Thanks!

The old Michigan Central Station and the VIA Windsor Station are about 6 miles apart but there is no direct connection through the Tunnel. It would involve a time consuming move and back-up over industrial track. Another option would be to use about 45 miles of current freight only CP track which is in direct alignment with the tunnel.. between Windsor and Chatham and a Jct with VIA's route to London and onto the wye near Bayview (Aldershot/Hamilton) and Niagara Falls.

VIA may not want to do this as they own the track between Windsor and Chatham. East of Chatham..its all CN track.

>>>>>

And currently you can take a daytime trip now between New York City and Detroit (Windsor).

Westbound.....depart NYP at 7:15a on the Maple Leaf and arrive at Aldershot (Hamilton) at 7:00pm. VIA #79 departs Aldershot at 8:13pm and into Windsor at 11:44pm. And if you think using Windsor Station might be inconvenient to Detroit residents......just walk through the parking lot there and note the number of Michigan plates.

Eastbound to New York City would require a tweaking of the connection at Aldershot as the first train from Windsor in the morning misses the Maple Leaf by 20 minutes but this connection has been available at various times..

 

The best option would be to use that CP line between the tunnel and Chatham (I imagine it might need extensive upgrading?), as you mentioned, and build a new VIA station for Windsor on that line....

Would the VIA owned line between Windsor and Chatham be attractive or useful to CP, insofar as CP and Via "swapping" routes, or would that hurt CP by cutting them off from the tunnel? I don''t know how much  freight traffic they send or receive that way....


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#17 RPC

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:47 PM

 

 

<snip/>

Would the VIA owned line between Windsor and Chatham be attractive or useful to CP, insofar as CP and Via "swapping" routes, or would that hurt CP by cutting them off from the tunnel? I don''t know how much  freight traffic they send or receive that way....

 

CP paid to enlarge the tunnel for double stacks - I'd imagine they wouldn't want to lose control of it!



#18 railiner

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 03:28 PM

 

 

 

<snip/>

Would the VIA owned line between Windsor and Chatham be attractive or useful to CP, insofar as CP and Via "swapping" routes, or would that hurt CP by cutting them off from the tunnel? I don''t know how much  freight traffic they send or receive that way....

 

CP paid to enlarge the tunnel for double stacks - I'd imagine they wouldn't want to lose control of it!

 

In that case, I'm sure you're right.... ;)

 

Perhaps they would accept the VIA owned line as partial payment for VIA running on their tunnel line...it might have some value for them... :unsure:

Then again, they would probably just not want VIA on their line by any deal... :unsure:


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#19 MikefromCrete

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 03:57 PM

I'm sure CP has no interest in picking up the VIA-owned line. It's of no use to them or anybody else except VIA. The tunnel is a main funnel for their traffic between Toronto and Chicago. If there were any freight of any importance on the VIA line, then CN would never have sold it. Any resumption of the International would require the rebuilding of the industrial line connecting the CP tunnel with the VIA line. That may or may not be feasible from an economic and operational point of view. 



#20 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:11 PM

I'm sure CP has no interest in picking up the VIA-owned line. It's of no use to them or anybody else except VIA. The tunnel is a main funnel for their traffic between Toronto and Chicago. If there were any freight of any importance on the VIA line, then CN would never have sold it. Any resumption of the International would require the rebuilding of the industrial line connecting the CP tunnel with the VIA line. That may or may not be feasible from an economic and operational point of view. 

Google Maps still shows a connecting track with no missing segments linking the CP line with the VIA line just east of the Windsor station. There are also freight cars on the line in satellite view, so I assume it is still used. In fact, there is another connecting track about two miles east. Some renovation may be necessary for passenger service, but I doubt it would cost much. The stations could also be an issue in Detroit and Windsor, but at least in Windsor's case a backup move seems relatively simple. In my opinion, the primary obstacle to an International restoration is the clearance facilities that would be necessary at the border. Operationally, it may actually save money to combine a Windsor VIA train with a Wolverine. The train could change control at the border much like how the Maple Leaf currently operates.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Cardinal CHI-WAS, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL+NYG-YNY, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH, Piedmont RGH-DNC, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

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