Brush Street Station

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Brush Street Station was a passenger train station on the eastside of downtown Detroit, Michigan located at the foot of Brush Street at its intersection with Atwater Street and bordered by the Detroit River to the south.[1]


The original station on this site was a passenger ferry terminal and train station opened in 1852 for the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad. This station was destroyed by fire on the evening of April 26, 1866 when someone with a lantern went to inspect a leaking barrel of naphtha being loaded onto a freight car setting off a chain reaction which also destroyed the ferry boat Windsor moored along the river killing 17 passengers on the ferry and one person on a passenger train.[2]

The second station on the site was a two-story red brick structure opened in 1882 constructed as a union station for the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway and the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway.[1] By 1928 it became the downtown terminal of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. This structure was razed in 1973 to make way for construction of the Renaissance Center.[3]

The last station on this site, Franklin Street Station, was built in 1974 approximately a two blocks to the east along St. Antoine Street between Franklin and Atwater streets and used by the SEMTA commuter rail service between Pontiac and downtown Detroit. This simple station consisted of only boarding platforms and a park-and-ride along Atwater Street. The commuter service was discontinued in 1983, and all train service soon thereafter. The site is now the surface parking lot and the rail line to it repurposed as the Dequindre Cut greenway.


  1. ^ a b "DETROIT'S PASSENGER TRAINS OF THE PAST". Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Station: Brush Street Station, Detroit, MI". Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Spina, Tony. "(2448) Buildings, Transportation, Trains, Grand Trunk Railroad Station, Detroit, 1973". Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 

Coordinates: 42°19′41.1″N 83°02′20.4″W / 42.328083°N 83.039000°W / 42.328083; -83.039000