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  #601  
Old Posted May 25, 2017, 3:22 PM
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The general perception in Canada is that rail will only reach London from Toronto. The extension to Windsor does not have a viable business plan. There is not a big enough population base in Windsor to make a go of this. To make this all work needs a proper connection to Detroit, which will require 'efficient' customs controls.
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  #602  
Old Posted May 25, 2017, 4:46 PM
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Well, really, it doesn't have to connect into Detroit to tap into the region's population. Detroiters can easily cross the border and board the train from there, Windsor is basically an extension of Detroit anyway.

Windsor and London have essentially the same population (London is only slightly larger) and they're both growing, it wouldn't make sense to stop at London for that reason, that would be a very short and pointless high-speed rail.
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  #603  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 3:53 PM
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So about a month in now, and the QLine is doing... okay.

Most complaints are about it not being as efficient as it could be.

Daily Detroit points out the big ones. Quite possibly the biggest complaint is how useless the estimated time screen is. In fact, I don't think there's yet a fixed schedule on when trains are supposed to arrive which might explain why they use this method.



Quote:
The “estimated” times are a flat out joke. They’re rarely correct. The best guess you have is to watch the little dots with the blue tags for where the next train is, because those minute estimations seem to be never right.
http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/...ove-need-talk/

The other complaint is that the whole length of the route can be walked in about the same time it takes for a train to complete it - about 45 minutes to an hour. You could probably beat the train if you rode a bike, though you'd have to maintain a good speed and have some decent endurance. Besides all that, using the QLine doesn't require too much exercise which is pretty convenient.

A lot of people are finding that they're not really fans of the shared-road method; mainly they dislike the train having to stop at red lights. Without having a dedicated separate grade ROW, some are saying the QLine needs signal priority.

A possibly good complaint is that the whole system very quickly reaches capacity during peak times. There's never an empty train and it seems like very soon more streetcars are going to be needed.

So QLine gets a 6/10 for being a good idea with ambitious goals but not such a perfect execution. Any future expansions, without a doubt, would need higher capacity trains, dedicated ROWs, and a fixed schedule.
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  #604  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 6:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
Well, really, it doesn't have to connect into Detroit to tap into the region's population. Detroiters can easily cross the border and board the train from there, Windsor is basically an extension of Detroit anyway.

Windsor and London have essentially the same population (London is only slightly larger) and they're both growing, it wouldn't make sense to stop at London for that reason, that would be a very short and pointless high-speed rail.

not exactly, london was possibly targeted in part because cleveland and port stanley have been talking high speed ferry service for a long time. i certainly agree service should extend to windsor too though. seems silly not to do that. and lets get better cleveland-buffalo amtrak service and loop hamilton/toronto in while we are at it.
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  #605  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2017, 2:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
not exactly, london was possibly targeted in part because cleveland and port stanley have been talking high speed ferry service for a long time. i certainly agree service should extend to windsor too though. seems silly not to do that. and lets get better cleveland-buffalo amtrak service and loop hamilton/toronto in while we are at it.
The Ontario government is slowly working towards extending Go Transit Rail service to Niagara Falls. There are already summer excursion trains on weekends in addition to the current Via Rail/Amtrak service. There are major challenges in Hamilton to extending Go Service that they currently working on. We will not see more international trains until there is an effective method of dealing with trains at border crossings.
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  #606  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2017, 10:26 AM
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http://www.freep.com/story/money/bus...day/417333001/

QLine is now free until Labor Day.

Among other changes, it will behave more like a bus and not stop at empty stations. Trains will only drop off riders per request.

M1 is working with MDOT to get priority signaling at select intersections along Woodward. The goal is to get wait times down to 12 minutes from the current 15+ minutes.

Anecdotally, there were over 100,000 riders during the first month of operation.
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  #607  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 4:40 AM
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I felt conflicted reading the whole article. Making it run like a bus short of defeats it's purpose as it relates to actual transport. It's also going to need more than 100,000 per month for me to call it a success, though I imagine it opening in the late spring probably didn't much help with the numbers thus far, and we'll see bigger numbers when folks get back to school. I also wonder if it'll get the huge surge the PM gets when the NAIAS is in town?

I guess I kind of expected them to be a bit more prepared with how to drive ridership than they were. Some of these wait times are unacceptable, but the signal priority should help that. I've never been under any illusion about what a streetcar is and isn't, but one of the concerns I did have was the number of cars. I thought they should have bought more. I wasn't looking for them to zip passengers up and down the corridor, but if some of the wait times I'm hearing are true, at certain times of the day you'd be better off taking a DDOT bus. The QLine should be at least as frequent as the buses.
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  #608  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 1:37 PM
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This has been a long time coming, and will affect multiple Amtrak lines across the state, including the Wolverine (Pontiac – Detroit – Ann Arbor – Chicago), the Pere Marquette (Grand Rapids – Chicago) and the Blue Water (Port Huron – East Lansing – Chicago). These routes will soon be powered by new, greener, Siemens-built Charger locomotives that can run at speeds of 125 mph.

Quote:
Fast, green locomotives coming to Michigan
by Karen Hopper Usher - Capital News Service
June 21, 2017

Greener trains are coming to the Great Lakes region.

Technically, they’re locomotives. That’s the part of the train that does the pushing or the pulling. The Siemens Chargers, which are due to arrive by fall, meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s “tier four” standards. Tier four is the agency’s highest standard for emissions.

Besides leaving a smaller carbon footprint, the locomotives can get up to speed faster than older models. A 94-mile section of track between Porter, Indiana, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, for example, could see trains flying through at 110 miles per hour without a long acceleration period.

...

Image: A Siemens SC-44 Charger in Denver, CO, 2016.
Image Source: Wikimedia

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 24, 2017 at 2:28 PM.
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  #609  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:41 PM
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The actual design of the new Charger locos is kind of ho-hum and not nearly a slick as what they should have been and what was suggested in earlier renderings. On the other hand, whoever is responsible for that awful paint scheme should be scalped.
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  #610  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 6:57 AM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
The Ontario government is slowly working towards extending Go Transit Rail service to Niagara Falls. There are already summer excursion trains on weekends in addition to the current Via Rail/Amtrak service. There are major challenges in Hamilton to extending Go Service that they currently working on. We will not see more international trains until there is an effective method of dealing with trains at border crossings.

slow progress is progress, so thats actually very encouraging news to hear --

unfortunately, until we hear of any movement from the southern states to meet up at niagara we are a long ways off from worrying about crossings.
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  #611  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 1:26 PM
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Speaking of the US-Canada connections, the Gordie Howie Bridge took a major step forward yesterday.


Quote:
$48M deal for Detroit land in Windsor bridge project includes relocation money for residents
BY DANA AFANA. MLive Detroit. June 23, 2017



The city on Friday announced a $48-million deal to sell land for the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project, and $33 million of the funds would go toward moving residents who live in the area or retrofitting their homes with safety elements.

If approved by City Council, the rest of the money from the sale would go toward job training and health monitoring initiatives, according to the mayor's office.

About 450 families live in the vicinity of the bridge project in Detroit's Delray neighborhood.

The city wants to move those who live south of I-75 into vacant, renovated homes in other neighborhoods.

"My proposal is going to be if you are a homeowner who lives in this community ... you look at the thousand houses we have available ... we'll renovate it for you and then you'll essentially swap us houses," Mayor Mike Duggan said in the Friday announcement.

....
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/in...al_brid_4.html

Among other things, residents north of 75 will be offered new insulation, windows, and HVAC systems along with air pollution monitoring. 36 parcels of land including under ground utilities and 5 miles of city streets were sold to the state to make way for the bridge.


Meanwhile on the Canadian side, a lot of the pre-construction has been done. Contractors will be chosen by November and construction (as well as a finalized design) is expected to start early 2018.

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  #612  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 2:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The actual design of the new Charger locos is kind of ho-hum and not nearly a slick as what they should have been and what was suggested in earlier renderings. On the other hand, whoever is responsible for that awful paint scheme should be scalped.
Agreed. The paint scheme feels very...institutional / government-y. I suppose it makes sense that it has the same aesthetic as a typical Amtrak station (thinking of the many that aren't housed in historic stations).
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  #613  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 8:39 PM
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^I'm not sure about "government'y" ... i would just go with sucky. Hell just a solid color would be better.
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  #614  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2017, 4:25 AM
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**reposted from skyscrapercity**

I missed this back in May, but when it was announced that the study to determine what to do with I-375 started back up, they also put out a few new schematics. These are oriented with the top of the image facing east.

#1: This is the as-is option with few improvements. The most notable is a widened off-ramps.



#2: Same as #1, but this actually extends the freeway beyond Jefferson with a connector. This one also adds bikelanes to the service drives.



#3: This one totally reconstructs the freeway shifting it west south of Lafayette also bringing it at-grade south of Lafayette. It also keeps the riverfront connector in #2 and shifts Jefferson northward opening up new land for development between the avenue and Woodbridge.



#4: This option gets to the most radical point of elevating the entire street to a surface street south of Gratiot, shifting the now-street a full block to the east opening up lots of land for redevelopment. This also keeps shifting Jefferson north opening up land to the south. This option would also include a significant non-motorized path running adjacent and east to the new boulevard.



#5: This option is the similar to #4, but shifts the new boulevard to the west opening up land to the east.



#6: The final option keeps the freeway footprint, but turns it into non-motorized path similiar in function to the Dequindre Cut. The former freeway is instead rerouted onto the service drives.



I should mention all options except one include the riverfront connector. Also, there are two options for the reconfiguration of the I-75/I-375 interchange north of Gratiot. Option #1 would remove the left-hand ramps onto Madison and instead add a more traditional interchange with Gratiot. The I-75 Gratiot connector at the south of Eastern Market would be raised to become a surface street and shifted significantly south creating new land to develop on the south side of the market. Option #2 is more radical, completely reconfiguring the I-75/I-375 interchange by removing the Gratiot connector entirely. This is accomplished by bringing I-375 up to the surface AT Graitot removing the need for the Gratiot Connector south of Eastern Market. This option opens up tons of land; apart from the Gratiot connector eliminator, this would also mean significant new land in the southwest quadrant of the freeway interchange. This option is only possible with alternatives #4, #5, and #6.

I think my prefered option would be #4. While seemingly little different than five, I think if you're going to create any significant land to be developed, you do it inside instead of outside downtown.
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  #615  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2017, 3:27 PM
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I like option #4 as as well although I'd rather not have driveways cut up the newly opened up land. The Holy Family Church would be the only exception and I think it might be better to have a little bit of decorated green space in between the church and the new surface street.



Quote:
QLINE updates: increased ridership, more cars running, first accident
BY ROBIN RUNYAN JUL 28, 2017 Curbed Detroit.

The QLINE has been running since mid-May and it’s been going through some growing pains. It still remains free to ride through Labor Day, and the M-1 Rail has been making improvements throughout the summer.

According to the M-1 Rail, ridership has increased from about 4,000 trips per day of the week on June 12 to about 6,300 trips per day the week of July 17. Five streetcars are now running between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The wait time for a streetcar, one big complaint that riders had, has decreased during that time from 19 minutes to 16:49, taking about 6 minutes off a round trip ride according to the M-1 Rail. They’re aiming for 15 minute wait times, ideally.

In addition, M-1 says they’ve hired more operators. They started with 17, they’re now at 21, and aiming for 27 when they start charging riders in September.

Additionally, signal priority has been implemented at a few stops and they’re only stopping at stations that have riders waiting or indicating to stop. Charge times for the streetcar have also been reduced.

M-1 says they’ve issued 30 tickets and towed seven cars for obstructing the rail line. Please, we’ve said it before, do not park along the rail line!

While these improvements are moving in the right direction, the QLINE did have its first bigger accident this week. On Monday, a driver turned right in front of the streetcar at Ferry Street. The streetcar had minor damages, but was running again shortly thereafter, according to the Detroit News.
https://detroit.curbed.com/2017/7/28...ased-ridership

According to Crain's, ridership is expected to drop once the system is no longer free to use, but M-1 has the system budgeted for an average of 5,000 daily riders with an expected increase to 8,000 per day in five years.
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  #616  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2017, 6:42 PM
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Even with the development option in #4 I can't imagine it being all that pleasant. Kind of like the Congress parkway in Chicago. No matter how many buildings go up alongside it or how much pretty landscaping is done, it still sucks to walk along because wide boulevards in American cities generally suck to walk along. Cars go fast and they take long to cross and new development is usually coarse grain and kind of faceless. I'd actually much prefer keeping the freeway and capping it in portions with extremely intensive programming that will encourage people to go there.
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  #617  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2017, 4:39 AM
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To be honest, the only reason MDOT is talking about I-375 is because they are trying to get maintenance cost down. Capping the freeway does the opposite of that because now you still have to maintain the freeway and now you've got to maintain the cap. That's not feasible for them given the reason behind the study. Let's be real: basically they are trying to reduce the number of bridges they have to keep up.

Anyway, maybe not as much of an improvement as totally taking out auto traffic, but that is rarely ever an option in an American city. Indisputably it's an improvement from a number of perspectives.
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  #618  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2017, 5:12 AM
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If they cap it then that awkward intersection on Jefferson would still be there, it's unacceptable the way it is now, it just needs to go.

Option 4 all the way.
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  #619  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2017, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LMich View Post
To be honest, the only reason MDOT is talking about I-375 is because they are trying to get maintenance cost down. Capping the freeway does the opposite of that because now you still have to maintain the freeway and now you've got to maintain the cap. That's not feasible for them given the reason behind the study. Let's be real: basically they are trying to reduce the number of bridges they have to keep up.

Anyway, maybe not as much of an improvement as totally taking out auto traffic, but that is rarely ever an option in an American city. Indisputably it's an improvement from a number of perspectives.
This is the problem with this mindset, that simply because there is less traffic, then there should be planning for infrastructure for reduced maintenance. It's contrary to big city planning where the intent is to totally remove freeway infrastructure or to build more bridges to connect communities and increase economic development to pay for the maintenance and pay off the cost of expensive public investments. Of the entire count of bridges MDOT maintains, they see a need to remove some in the heart of downtown of their largest city? Does that not seem like a load of BS? The problem I have are these proposals do little to create an actual attractive solution. They're glorified offramps. Either eliminate entirely or partially hide it underground. My approach would be to devise a solution to reduce as much traffic as possible at grade level to create better development opportunities.
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  #620  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2017, 4:03 AM
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375 doesn't really get much traffic. Most traffic exits at Madison (game day traffic) and Lafayette (Greektown Casino) with less than a quarter continuing all the way to Jefferson. So why keep it a freeway if only the first two exits are the ones being used?

Even according to SEMCOG data, roads like Telegraph, 8 Mile, Mound, Gratiot, etc. all are equal to or handle more daily traffic than 375. Plus, at each intersection, there can be dual-turn lanes reducing the need for everyone to merge into a single-lane at the ramps. On paper that seems like better traffic flow.
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