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Written By: Gary on August 1, 2009 3 Comments

I’ve never even heard of the Michigan Central Station before today. I happened to see a photo of it in the (overly-dramatic titled) The Remains of Detroit photo essay on Time.com (which got mention on one of The Economist blogs) yesterday.

Michigan_Central_Station.jpg

Opened in 1913, the terminal was designed by the architects Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stern, the same firm that designed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. “It’s staggering,” says Hemmerle, “that such a phenomenal piece of architecture could stand empty for twenty years.”

– From Time.com

I did a little more looking and found this six minute video.


Direct link to Michigan Central Station video.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard mention of such a huge train station in Detroit; at the time it was built it was the tallest train station in the world. I can’t even picture it, so I might have to take a ride this week to see where it is.

I guess the city was looking to demolish earlier this year and I never heard a peep (someone is suing Detroit since it’s a historical landmark). And they filmed some scenes for the Transformers movie here a few years ago, never heard anything about that either.

The video mentioned 75 trains in and out a day. I felt like those were mostly passenger trains, but maybe I was wrong. I’ve mentioned many times before that I love the train but now the Detroit station has six passenger trains a day (see page 2), three going west and the same going east from a small building near the Fisher building. These are the same trains that hit the Dearborn station a mile from my house which makes it very convenient when I want to head towards Chicago.

Photo courtesy of WikiPedia.

Written By: Gary on August 9, 2008 3 Comments

So the guy at the Amtrak station always makes me feel funny when I stop to pick up my tickets the night before (I’ve already pre-paid them) like I should wait until the next day. But I always think I’ll feel rushed in the morning when I do it. And today I did feel rushed and there wasn’t even a line. I’ll just be getting my tickets in advance next time, it’s just not something I need to have to be concerned about (I’d rather get 5 minutes extra sleep).

They train isn’t too full and I got a seat with power! So that means my laptop is powered and I’m all set for the ride (I can charge my phone as I tether it too).

There are two little girls and a baby in front of me, so I’ve been pretty entertained by them. Although the older ones are already half-asleep

The poor woman behind me wants to go to Hammond (Indiana) but I guess this one doesn’t stop there, the next one does so she’s trying to figure out what to do. I always thought these three trains did the same route all three trips. Now that I’ve checked out the Wolverine Wikipedia entry it still seems like it stops there.

Unfortunately, my return train is already sold out, so that’s gonna be packed. Well, if the last thing I do is roller blade, maybe no one will want to sit next to me :)

Later: This train is starting to fill up.

Written By: Gary on October 5, 2007 One Comment

So my friend who was in the Train Crash last year tends to have more problems on the train than most people I know. Delays at the start of the trip and at the end so we tease him about it. Today I called him after he left for his parents and the train left about 20 minutes late, no crisis. But, he calls me about an hour later, they’re stopped west of Ann Arbor and they hit someone on the tracks. He didn’t have much in the way of details.

So I just called him for a status and it turns out it was a guy on a bicycle (I’m assuming on the tracks); I guess the conductor said he saw him before they hit him (I’m surprised they gave them that much info). The train was stopped for a while (I’m guess less than 2 hours) while things were checked out; he could see flashlights and cameras going off. The odd thing is they never found the guy, but they found the bicycle.

Update – This mLive Ann Arbor Article says no one was hurt and contradicts a bit of what my friend says that he heard the conductor say. It’s the only article I can find and it was from early last night, so I have no other way to verify info. (This is the right link, their whole site just seems to be having problems right now)

Written By: Gary on May 31, 2006 4 Comments

Clickondetroit.Com.TrainSo yesterday I knew Mark was on a train home from Battle Creek and gave him a ring just to see if he was home yet. He was still in Jackson. Turns out they hit a dump truck crossing the tracks on a private drive (the driver was likely killed instantly). He said a few of them got thrown to the ground as they stopped (which took about a 1/2 mile). They were in the car directly behind the engine (remember that if you watch the videos) and he said the windows turned black with smoke. Fifteen people had minor injuries and went to the hospital. They were then emergency bussed to the train station (city and school busses) and waited for hours to get another bus back home (I think he was supposed to get back around 2 and got back around 6:30…

He’s fine (mostly fine, today he’s complaining about his back) so that’s a good thing. This WLNS news report has 3 different videos (all with a little more info) if you’re interested. I don’t know how long they’ll keep the story/videos (which I never did get to play on my Mac, does yours play it).

I could be wrong but I don’t think they gave any of these people a free train trip or anywhere to call if they had problems after or anything. He did say the Red Croos showed up at the train station to hand out water and check on people.

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Written By: Gary on December 1, 2004 No Comment

So I had a quick (less than 24 hours) trip to Kalamazoo, it was supposed to be longer but it got cut short (hmmm… I never mentioned that my sick grandfather passed away last weekend, did I?). I’m liking K’zoo more and more. It started off great in that I took the train and I love the train; so easy, so cheap. I got a great room, they were full or they liked my smile or something but it was a nice suite for the same price as the other people at the conference. When I say “nice” I mean the bedroom was bigger than most hotel rooms, the living room was bigger and they kitchen had a dishwasher, I had a couch, seven chairs, three phones and a gazillion lamps. And wired high-speed Internet! (thanks to my airport express) I (and my neighbors) had wireless Internet access. The city has some lights set up but by the time I checked in it was pouring outside (which later must have turned to ice which closed the schools). The snow looked great this morning, I wish I could have checked them out in the dark with the snow. Last time I was there we went to the museum and the planetarium and the very nice (new) library. BTW, the session at the conference was very good, so it was a successful trip.

Written By: Gary on December 29, 2003 2 Comments

Well it’s been a nice long weekend (5 days). I got to ride on the train (did I tell you I love the train?) and visit the crew on the west side of the state again (Heather, Nan, Tina and more…) and we ate (lots) and played games (WordDrop/Euchre). We also went to a museum which had all sorts of cool stuff (and the signage actually explained stuff) and a planetarium visit. Got to play with Heather’s & my blogs. Saw many other friends and managed to relax a whole lot…

Well that’s a bit of a few sentences that doesn’t say much specific.
Hmmm…. “I had lots of quality time with friends, had lots of fun and relaxed a lot!” That pretty much says it all…

Written By: Gary on December 26, 2003 No Comment

I’m off to see friends (Heather, Nan and the rest of the Allegan crew and whomever is visiting) and I’m on the train from Dearborn to K’zoo and I’m loving it. It’s so easy and you get the landscape (if you can call it that) floating by the window and I can blog/read/computer/etc. It’s pretty full (and left a little late) and I’m sitting next to this really quiet woman (reading Steven King) with my coke, my blog and I’m ready to watch a movie or something…

The Dearborn train station is a mile from my house and has free parking that’s right next to the police station which makes this extra convenient for me!

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