Freshwater Railway
Freshwater Railway

Michigan Central Station

Once the symbol of Detroit's decline and ruin, Michigan Central Station stands tall today – reborn as the centerpiece of the city's 21st century transportation infrastructure. But the road back was a long one.

After lying dormant for a quarter-century, suffering years of vandalism and dodging constant talk of demolition, the historic structure began its journey to recovery with an unexpected pilot project in 2011. Spearheaded by then-owner Manny Maroun, the experimental project restored the windows and the roof.

This initial work was fairly limited in scope, but it set the stage for large-scale reinvestment in the property – especially after the 2013 reallocation of gasoline taxes to fund high-speed rail initiatives. The naming of the Chicago-Detroit-Toronto corridor as a "top tier" priority jumpstarted state, provincial and local governments to coordinate and plan for future initiatives.

With these announcements, 2013 marked Michigan Central's centennial, and also the transfer of ownership from private hands to Freshwater Railway Corporation, in exchange for development rights on surrounding sites.

Over the next decade, the Michigan Central Project will see the restoration of the historic structure, as well as upgrades to the surrounding yards and connecting high speed rail tunnel to Canada. Nearly one billion dollars has been secured from a number of sources, both private and public, making the project one of the largest investments of its type in the country.

Today, Michigan Central's iconic grand hall and waiting room again welcome thousands of commuters and visitors daily, just as they did in their heyday. The Michigan Central Trust, created by the Maroun family to fund the upkeep and beatification of the building's public spaces, serves as a national model for private-public cooperation.

The tower floors are a mix of uses, including offices for Freshwater Railway Corporation, US and Canadian customs authorities, and a small hotel and conference facility. Throughout the main concourse, a range of services and amenities are available, including restaurants, salons, shops, and two bars – Fresh Waters and The Roundhouse.

Five of six Freshwater Railway lines connect through Michigan Central Station, as well as high-speed intercity lines with service to Chicago, Toledo and Toronto. Many other local and regional transit lines also connect through Michigan Central Station. Explore more connections on this website...

Photo gallery coming soon!


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