Matty Moroun and the Michigan Central Station Chicago to Windsor HSR Fable

The station in 1982, photo- Jessica  Trevino

Billionaire and one time jailbird Matty Moroun has his son Matthew floating a fable to the media and  public.
This fable suggests that high speed  trains will run from Chicago through the abandoned Michigan Central Station in Detroit through the Tunnel to Windsor.

Unfortunately some simple facts make this fable difficult to believe.

  • The Moroun family themselves have clearly shown a total disdain for for cooperating with officials in the past. They have owned the Michigan Central Station since 1995 and have left it to rot. They only recently replaced the windows in it because the City of Detroit was agreeing to sell them some nearby land.
  • Matty and Matthew Moroun (owners of Detroit International Bridge Company, who own the Ambasador Bridge) were held in contempt of court and spent the night in jail January 12, 2012 due to their delay in allowing the Michigan Department of Transportation to complete the Gateway Project. That project would build connecting roadways to the bridge and take trucks off the residential streets near the bridge entrance on the USA side. Jail seemed to work as the Morouns began to cooperate and the much delayed project was completed in November 2012.
  • CP Rail and Borealis Transportation Infrastructure Trust (a venture of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) own the current rail tunnel and use it exclusively for freight trains. The chance of passenger trains using the tunnel now is zero.
  • The decade old Continental Rail Gateway $400 million plan by CP and Borealis to build a new twin rail tunnel for freight and use the existing old tunnel for trucks between Detroit and Windsor is dead. Besides the plan never considered that passenger rail would be part of this now doomed project.
  •  The Michigan Central Railway Station would cost over $100 million to restore. 

So let us put this fable to rest….

The 15:17 to Paris is a New Clint Eastwood Movie on High Speed Rail in France and end to ISIS attack

Clint Eastwood in France Filming the Movie
Clint Eastwood is in France directing a film that re-enacts the dramatic end to an attempted Islamic State group attack on a high-speed train that saw three Americans take down the gunman.

After renting a Thalys train for five days of filming "The 15:17 to Paris," work was wrapping up in Arras, the town where the express ended up after Ayoub El Khazzani was overpowered by passengers, including the childhood friends from California.

They received the Legion of Honor, France's highest decoration. Variety has reported that the friends will play themselves in the movie

If the VIA Rail train is going through Perth, it will stop here says Mayor of Perth

Well it seems like barely a week or so goes by when the VIA Rail milk run idea to run slow trains on the old Ontario & Quebec railway line is in the news.

perth railway station
Could these be the site of the new Perth Railway Station

The Mayor of Perth John Fennik was one of the first ones to dream that Perth will get a stop on the proposed VIA Rail $5 billion boondoggle. The media has released some of VIA's secret plan map and sadly Perth is not on it. The thriving Sharbot Lake, population 1,413 (per amalgamation) seems to have one the battle to get a stop on the VIA Rail milk run.

Recently news out of Perth council  has stated they support the VIA RAIL proposed slow train service. Mayor Fennik has declared, "If the train is going through Perth, it will stop here."

Redraw the map add Pontypool and Perth. Then add another hour on to the schedule to ensure the train is even slower than the existing train on the mainline.

Pontypool Ontario the Next Stop for VIA Rail trains?

Pontypool the Next Stop for VIA Rail

Passenger rail  history buffs are excited about VIA Rail's proposed milk run from Toronto - Peterborough into Ottawa.  VIA Rail officials are courting politicians along the line and promising their community might have passenger rail service restored that had been abandoned for over a half of century.

With the media announcing that Sharbot Lake is getting service again, the guessing name of where VIA will stop next on their slow speed, multiple stop 1950s style passenger rail service, has begun.
Now come news from Kawathra Lakes Region that Pontypool  Ontario will be pushing for a stop on the  VIA Rail milk run.

Pontypool is probably best known lately for the filming of the budget conscious Zombie movie named after the community.

Pontypool Railway Station and Grain Elevator

It has been awhile since the railway station platform at Pontypool was filled with passengers. This 1908 photo shows the station packed with people.

Pontypool Railway Station circa 1908

Many people from the Toronto area would take the train to vacation in Pontyool. This photo shows Toronto folks at the busy station.

Toronto People Loved Ponypool

Seattle-Vancouver High Speed Rail - The Seattle Transit Blog Series

With the state of Washington investing $1 million into the first extensive study for a Portland - Seattle  Vancouver high speed rail line there is some optimism building.

Here is an audio file on a previous media report about the study. Now the Seattle Transit Blog have a 4 Part Series on some of the technical issues of the high speed line between Seattle and Vancouver.
It is an interesting read.

Amtrak Cascades Currently Travels Between Eugene Oregon and Vancouver