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A Little Rail Nostalgia for the Future

Input Needed on Michigan’s Rail Plan

Today MDOT hosts a public rail forum. The set up encourages visitors to drop-in anytime between 4-7:30 PM and make comments. MDOT officials will also be on hand to answer questions. Michigan’s current rail plan is a few decades out of date and this is the beginning of the public process to rewrite that plan. Once completed, and if it is competitive enough against other states’ plans, Michigan will receive more federal dollars targeted at passenger rail.

The forum is a the Michigan Works Service Center  at 1209 S. Garfield Ave. in Traverse City. Enter through the conference room entrance on the south side of the building. More information is available at MDOT’s website, including a link to make comments online.

There are the obvious comments about connecting Michigan’s cities and how nice it would be to take a train to Grand Rapids, Lansing or Ann Arbor, but there are other details that need consideration as well. Back in August, M-Bike had an excellent suggestion to include in your comments things like roll-on bicycle service. By extension, sheltered, secure bicycle parking at all the stations needs inclusion. Imagine jumping on a train with your bike and arriving in Traverse City ready to roll. Beautiful! What else can you think of?

Does this video inspire any ideas?

And, Don’t Forget the Stations

I just saw this yesterday; a series of iconic images of rail stations from Magnum photographers. Of course, it includes a current image of Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station, but there are plenty of images that capture that romantic feel of some of the world’s greatest rail stations. Like this image of Madrid’s Atocha station by Harry Gruyaert.

Stop in at the Michigan Works building and make your rail plan comments.

FYI, it’s World Car-free Day. Michigan Works is bikable and along the BATA route.

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  1. September 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Madrid’s Atocha train station is by far one of my favorite places in all of Spain. Absolutely beautiful, and useful!

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