SEMCOG Commuter Rail

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MiTrain logo.png
SEMCOG Commuter Rail
Amtrak Wolverine to Chicago
Ann Arbor
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Greenfield Village
Amtrak Wolverine to Pontiac, MI
Detroit M-1 Rail Line
Detroit People Mover
Cobo Center Station
Rosa Parks Transit Center (Michigan Avenue)

SEMCOG Commuter Rail (also known as MiTrain) is a planned regional rail link along Amtrak's Wolverine route between the cities of Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan—a total length of 38.5 miles (62.0 km)—with stops at new or existing stations in Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Ypsilanti, Dearborn, and New Center (Detroit).[1] The project would connect with a proposed Detroit bus rapid transit service and the under-construction M-1 Rail system.[2] SEMCOG would lease the rail cars from the Great Lakes Central Railroad.[3][4]


Detroit previously had commuter rail service. Until 1983, SEMTA operated Grand Trunk Western Railroad's former service between downtown Detroit, and Pontiac, Michigan. Amtrak continued Penn Central Detroit–Ann Arbor commuter service as the Michigan Executive until 1984.

In May 2009 SEMCOG commissioned a $200,000 study to determine whether commuter trains could operate along the same corridor as Amtrak intercity passenger trains and freight trains.[5] As of November 2012 limited service for special events in Detroit was scheduled to begin in early 2013, while regular commuter service was scheduled for 2014, after further track upgrades are completed.[6] As of October 2013 no operating funds had been identified and service was at least two years out.[7]

From November 12 to 14, 2012, testing of the railcar fleet by an Amtrak GE Dash 8-32BWH locomotive took place between Pontiac and Jackson; while service will only initially operate between Ann Arbor and Detroit, testing the fleet on additional trackage eases the process required for future expansion to Jackson and Pontiac.[6] The locomotives have not yet been tested.


The service is proposed to operate four round-trips during each weekday between Detroit and Ann Arbor and three daily round-trips on weekends.[8] An end-to-end ride would take about 50 minutes, and there would be stops at Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (connected via a roughly 5 mile shuttle), Dearborn and the New Center area in Detroit.[8]

Rolling stock[edit]

SEMCOG Commuter Rail's rolling stock are all ex-Metra Budd bi-level gallery-type cars as the passenger cars and the locomotives are ex-GO Transit EMD F59PH units currently owned by RB Railway Leasing.[9] SEMCOG has painted its rolling stock. Like on Metra cab cars, SEMCOG's cab cars have red and white warning stripes at the front. They have plates that say "MiTrain" on the sides.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "All cities on new Ann Arbor to Detroit rail line pining for new depots". Press & Guide. December 17, 2008. 
  2. ^ Bing, Dave (December 18, 2011). "Dave Bing: Rapid bus system is a win for metro Detroit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ Delaney, Sean (December 15, 2009). "There's a train a-comin'—soon". Press & Guide. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. "Ann Arbor–Detroit Regional Rail Project Update: October 2009" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  5. ^ Stolarz, Christina (May 21, 2009). "SEMCOG to spend $200K on Ann Arbor-Detroit rail study". Detroit News. Retrieved May 21, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Michigan tests cars for future commuter service". Trains Magazine. November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Regional Transit: Where Does Ann Arbor Fit?
  8. ^ a b "Ann Arbor to Detroit rail could be running by year-end, officials say". January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ann Arbor-Downtown Detroit Transit Study: Detailed Screening of Alternatives

External links[edit]