Public invited to Dec. 15 open house at new train station

Photo by John D’Angelo The public is invited to an open house on Dec. 15 at the new intermodal passenger rail station.

Photo by John D’Angelo
The public is invited to an open house on Dec. 15 at the new intermodal passenger rail station.

Amtrak will move operations Dec. 10

DEARBORN — The public is invited to a free open house at the city’s new train station, the John D. Dingell Transit Center, from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 15.

The station is at 21201 Michigan Ave., at the entrance to the downtown west end business district.

At the open house, the public can tour the station, view informative displays and talk with people knowledgeable about the future of train travel.

In addition, people attending the open house can enter a drawing to win free tickets to The Henry Ford’s Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village.

They can also get a look inside an MITrain car, which will be positioned outside of the station on The Henry Ford’s side. These completely refurbished double-decker commuter cars will be used to connect passengers to Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Dearborn and Detroit in the future.

Amtrak trains will begin stopping at station on Dec. 10. Amtrak is moving its operations from the current train station behind Dearborn Police Headquarters.

The new 16,000-square-foot Dingell Transit Center promotes intermodal transportation, connecting travelers via train, bus, taxi and pedestrian and bike paths to work, education, cultural attractions, shopping and recreation in Dearborn and beyond.

The station is an important component in initiatives to boost commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit and accelerated speed rail from Pontiac to Chicago.

Six Amtrak trains will continue to stop daily at the station, with increased Amtrak service and the addition of commuter rail expected in the coming years. In fiscal year 2014, almost 79,000 passengers used the existing Dearborn station.

“Dearborn is excited to be part of the future of rail,” Mayor John. O’Reilly Jr. said. “We will continue to work with our partners to increase convenient travel that starts in Dearborn and takes riders throughout southeast Michigan, as well as between Dearborn and Chicago.”

The new transit center was funded entirely with $28.2 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The city owns the station and the 7-acre site, and Amtrak will run the facility.

The Henry Ford has historic displays inside the center, including an iconic Davenport train engine.

The station also features a pedestrian bridge over the tracks that will allow travelers to access a new entrance to The Henry Ford complex. About 1.6 million people a year visit The Henry Ford.

Ford Motor Co. plans on having a new F-150 truck on display at the transit center.

The station has a silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design. The building has a metal roof with solar collectors, energy efficient lighting, and geothermal heating and cooling.

Inside the building is also a large tile mural created by students and volunteers in the Pockets of Perception art project. The initiative, led by the Dearborn Community Fund, brings together high school students from across the city to create community art.

A POP representative will share more information during the open house.