Peter Dudley

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September, 2021

Peter Dudley's projects

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Commented on Michigan Central 2 weeks, 3 days ago
Return Amtrak to Michigan Central members favor reviving rail passenger service at Ford Motor Company's landmark Michigan Central Station (MCS), currently undergoing renovation in Detroit MI.
The last Amtrak train departed from MCS on January 5, 1988. For more information, please copy-and-paste the attached link. Amtrak's announced plans include a proposed Chicago / Detroit / Windsor / Toronto WOLVERINE section, which will make its Detroit stop at MCS. https://www.facebook.com/groups/returnamtraktomichigancentralstation
Supported a comment by Tales R on Michigan Central 2 weeks, 3 days ago
Tales R
It would be fantastic if you could bring Amtrak trains back to MCS!
Commented on Michigan Central 3 weeks, 5 days ago
Two of my sources have confirmed that the rusted 1914 bridgework elevating 16 parallel sidings adjacent to MCS has deteriorated until it can no longer safely support trains. One of these folks had investigated all of the vertical columns and horizontal girders under the tracks, while employed by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) -- some were OK (with original paint intact), but others could only be described as "pure rust". The still-active CP double-track mainline (aka MCS Tracks 13 and 14) is still in good shape -- the steelwork under those tracks was cleaned, coated, and encased in concrete some time ago. CP demolished the MCS Train Shed (above MCS Tracks 1 through 11) to make way for its short-lived Expressway Yard (2000-2004). The shed's vertical clearance was too-short to enable too-tall double-stack container cars. Tracks 1 through 11 over the West Vernor Highway underpass are gone. I salute Ford's attempt to adaptively re-use part of the MCS Viaduct (Detroit's largest railroad bridge) as a "Mobility Platform". If and when Amtrak returns to MCS, and requires additional sidings beyond the existing CP mainline, Amtrak will need to rebuild them. I can't justify a slavishly-accurate reconstruction of this lost viaduct, but I hope the possibility of future construction of a modern, functional rail passenger corridor, connecting the MCS Main Concourse with CP's mainline, will be preserved. This new corridor could include amenities enroute, similar to airport concourses. Moving sidewalks and elevators / escalators could help move future passengers. For some history and a photograph, copy-and-paste the attached link. https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=2979849328940020&set=gm.4254176508044489
Commented on Michigan Central 3 weeks, 5 days ago
Ford is renovating MCS as a private-sector going concern -- its main-floor "public" areas are expected to re-open to the public in 2023. I don’t expect MCS to become a museum, but I'd like to see the landmark’s history addressed on part of the main floor. Given that Amtrak is closing ticket offices at its stations, and moving toward online ticketing and electronic check-in, "yours truly" (Peter Dudley) has nominated the station’s centrally-located Ticket Office and Ticket Lobby for adaptive re-use as a repository of MCS history. Detroit Historical Society (DHS), which has a working relationship with Ford, should curate and operate the new Michigan Central Station Museum / Visitor Center. The Henry Ford could be invaluable in this endeavor. MCS is the world's most-famous / infamous historical landmark. Despite being officially-closed to the public for more than 30 years, this building actually functions as an important tourist attraction. Events at nearby Roosevelt Park (the landmark's "front lawn") draw thousands of visitors, with MCS serving as a mere backdrop. Shortly-after Ford purchased MCS in June 2018, thousands of people visited Detroit's favorite ruin, during Ford's four-day MCS Open House. In short, MCS is, and will be, an unavoidable magnet for visitors. This continuing phenomenon needs to be addressed. For more information, please copy-and-paste the attached link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/100654233396758
Commented on Michigan Central 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Members of the attached Facebook group favor establishment of a Museum / Visitor Center at Ford's Michigan Central development. https://www.facebook.com/groups/100654233396758
Commented on Michigan Central 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Actually, John Dingle Transit Center in Dearborn (completed 2014) already includes a platform adjacent to the MDOT-owned Michigan Line (dispatched by Amtrak), which was intended to function as an exclusive rail passenger entrance to Greenfield Village. All that's lacking is the will to use it -- some say it's never been used.