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Train Station

The State and Federal Governments are embarking on a plan to improve the rails between Detroit and Chicago to allow higher speed trains (but not European style high speed trains), The improvements will include having two sets of rails and giving passenger trains the right of way over freight trains. Amtrak is expected to increase the number of train departures from Ann Arbor after the rails have been improved.

Ann Arbor will enjoy the higher speed trains and more frequent service whether or not the City spend any local money on rail service. Nonetheless, the City is using the improved Amtrak service as an excuse to build a new train station. Unfortunately, the City's plan is to relocate the station from the current site to parkland located on Fuller Road.

The City estimates that a new Amtrak station will cost about $30 million, of which $24 million will be provided by the federal government, leaving about $6 million for local funding. The Mayor explained this in a dotcom interview:

"By comparison, Hieftje said, Ann Arbor's station could cost about $30 million. And in that hypothetical scenario, $24 million would come from the Federal Railroad Administration.

"Hieftje said that leaves $6 million that would have be locally contributed, and that could come from any number of sources, including the city of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation."
August 3, 2012 - Mayor John Hieftje details his vision for funding proposed new train station in Ann Arbor


The costs of building parking facilities and improving roads and utilities should also be included if these will be required with the construction of a new railroad station. Numerous published articles document the cost expectation for constructing such a railroad station being as much as $66 million, as detailed in the Ann Arbor government document "AAS Conceptual Construction Costs.pdf from Ann Arbor Station probable construction costs," which can be accessed from the following website: .

In Ryan Stanton's article, entitled "Ann Arbor agrees to spend $550K for next phase of work on new Amtrak train station, " published on October 16, 2012, the following statements appears:

"Eli Cooper, the city's transportation program manager, presented council members with the latest cost estimates for what's being dubbed Ann Arbor Station, showing about $31.7 million in short-term construction costs, plus another $11.1 million for a new south rail platform and crossover in a future phase, which Cooper described as "post-2020" when rail volume picks up more."

"Overall, including contingencies and escalation, the report Cooper provided shows $66.3 million in total long-term construction costs."

Ryan Stanton included the following statement in another article, entitled "$2.6M for train station design included in Ann Arbor's proposed capital budget," published on February 12, 2013:

"The city's long-term Capital Improvements Plan anticipates construction of a new train station could cost $44.5 million, and the city is counting on federal funding to come through for that."

Ryan's article references the government document which clearly mentions the $44.5 million figure. The document can be accessed at this website: .

Ryan Stanton repeats the $44.5 million figure in still another article appearing March 3, 2013 and, entitled "When will Ann Arbor train station project go to a public vote? Council members differ on issue":

"The actual construction cost of a new train station, estimated at $44.5 million, is another piece that remains unfunded, though the city expects the same 80-20 split between federal and local dollars."

"For now, the city is assuming $35.6 million in construction funds will come from the Federal Railroad Administration, leaving an $8.9 million placeholder in the city's general fund in 2015-16."

Subpages (2): Commuter Rail Parkland