Michigan Line

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Michigan Line
Overview
System Amtrak
Stations 5
Services Blue Water and Wolverine
Operation
Owner Amtrak
Character Single track with passing sidings
Technical
Line length 98 mi (158 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 110 mph (180 km/h)
Route map
Dist. Station
0 mi Conrail Michigan Line to Detroit
273 mi (439 km) Dearborn
Greenfield Village
243 mi (391 km) Ann Arbor
205 mi (330 km) Jackson
184 mi (296 km) Albion
Grand Trunk Western route to Port Huron
160 mi (260 km) Battle Creek
143.4 mi 
230.8 km 
Kalamazoo
156.4 mi 
251.7 km 
Mattawan
160.6 mi 
258.5 km 
Lawton
168.3 mi 
270.9 km 
Decatur
179.6 mi 
289 km 
Dowagiac
190.0 mi 
305.8 km 
Niles
198.5 mi 
319.5 km 
Buchanan
206.0 mi 
331.5 km 
Galien
211.8 mi 
340.9 km 
Three Oaks
CSX Grand Rapids Subdivision
218.9 mi 
352.3 km 
New Buffalo
222.7 mi 
358.4 km 
Indiana/Michigan border
228.5 mi 
367.7 km 
228.9 mi 
368.4 km 
Michigan City
229.8 mi 
369.8 km 
South Shore Line
240.7 mi 
387.4 km 
NS Chicago Line

The Michigan Line, sometimes known as the Chicago–Detroit Line, is a railroad corridor which runs from Porter, Indiana to Dearborn, Michigan. It carries Amtrak's Blue Water and Wolverine services.

It is owned by Amtrak for 98 miles (158 km) from Porter, Indiana, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, the longest stretch of Amtrak-owned rail outside of the Northeastern U.S.. Since early 2013, the line from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Dearborn, Michigan has been owned by the State of Michigan[1] with the exception of a short stretch in Battle Creek, Michigan; the state-owned track is now dispatched and maintained by Amtrak as part of the Michigan Line.[2]

The entire line was originally the mainline of the Michigan Central Railroad.

In 2002, the section from Porter to Kalamazoo became the first passenger rail line in the United States to have positive train control (PTC) technology installed,[3] specifically GE Transportation Systems' Incremental Train Control System (ITCS). In 2005, Amtrak received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration to run trains at up to 95 miles per hour (153 km/h)[4] Most Amtrak trains outside of the Northeast are limited to 79 mph (127 km/h) due to federal regulations. Regular service at 110 mph began from Porter to Kalamazoo on February 15, 2012.[5][6]

In November, 2011, Michigan was awarded $150 million to expand its high-speed rail line to allow speeds of up to 110 mph (177 km/h) along the rest of the line from Kalamazoo to Dearborn, for a total 77% of the routes of Amtrak's Wolverine and Blue Water services between Detroit and Chicago.[7]

Despite the presence of the safety system on the Michigan Line, a derailment occurred just east of Niles, Michigan on October 21, 2012 after a Wolverine train exited the main line and entered a freight yard due to a misaligned switch. The train had a green signal and was traveling at about 60 mph when it hit the switch. The incident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and was found to be Amtrak's fault, caused by one of its employees improperly appliying jumper wires to the signal system, bypassing safeguards that had been designed to prevent such an occurrence.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "STB OKs Michigan DOT Rail Line Buy". 
  2. ^ "Amtrak Michigan Service Improvement Update" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Chicago-Detroit Service Levels". National Association of Rail Passengers. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  4. ^ "AGE’s Positive Train Control Technology is Full Speed Ahead on Amtrak’s Michigan Line" (PDF). General Electric press release. 2005-10-11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  5. ^ "All aboard! MDOT puts 110 mph special Amtrak train video on YouTube". Michigan Department of Transportation. February 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Amtrak Information & Facts". Amtrak. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  7. ^ "$150m awarded to Michigan to expand high speed rail in the Midwest". Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  8. ^ Jon Hilkevitch (October 23, 2012), "NTSB: Chicago-Michigan Amtrak missed freight cars by 21 feet", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 2012-11-06