Amtrak Receives Funds to Replace Michigan's 40-Year-Old Fleet

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

By Martina Guzmán

Michigan is one of five states to receive federal funding to buy new rail equipment. WDET’s Martina Guzman has more.

The money from the Federal Government will buy new and much needed rail cars for Amtrak's "Pere Marquette", "Blue Water" and "Wolverine" service lines. Tim Hoeffner is Director of the Office of Rail for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says, while the equipment being used now is safe, it hasn't been upgraded since the 1970's.

“What you’re really going to have is all the modern amenities that go along with having new pieces of equipment. It will be a much smoother rider. It will be going at about 110 miles an hour, new comfortable seating, ADA accessible, new bathrooms… I call it the sexy part of inner city passenger rail because it’s the piece everybody sees feels touches smells.”

The trains are expected to be up and running by 2016. I’m Martina Guzman WDET News.