Michigan Land Use Institute

Thriving Communities / Projects / A2TC

A2TC: Passenger Rail in Northern Michigan

Re-establishing passenger rail service between two of Michigan’s most vibrant cities—Ann Arbor and Traverse City—will link the resource-rich tourist destinations in the northwest and the economic and population centers in the southeast. This investment will solidify Michigan as a leader in a new era of modern train travel while boosting economic development along the corridor.

The Michigan Land Use Institute believes that bringing passenger rail service back to northern Michigan is possible in less than a decade with a focused campaign of public engagement, technical analysis, and adequate support from a cross section of community, state, and federal agencies.

Why TC to Ann Arbor? 

1) The track is still in place and they're still owned by the state. Often the most expensive part of a transportation project is the cost of buying land laying new tracks.

2) The tracks are in pretty good shape. 90% of the tracks are ready for passenger service, and more than half allows passenger trains to travel nearly 60 mph. Only small sections require investment.

3) There’s overwhelming enthusiasm and support from the public for this idea. The number one priority that came out of a statewide rail planning process in 2011 was a passenger connection to Traverse City. In fact, more people attended the Traverse City forum than anywhere else in the state.

(Click images below to enlarge)

Video: Feb. 16 Rail Event


Proposed A2TC Connection


Proposed A2TC Timeline


A2TC Fact Sheet







Passenger Rail is an Investment in Michigan’s Future

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is under fire right now from state legislators about the department’s lease of 23 passenger rail cars—and unless rail supporters in the state speak up, future passenger rail plans could be in jeopardy. But MDOT’s new focus on rail is a positive sign. The passenger cars are an investment in the future. They could soon be used to expand train service between Grand Rapids and Chicago, on commuter rail lines in Ann Arbor—and eventually to bring passengers up to Traverse City....

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
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