The Michigan Department of Transportation has proposed to construct the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railway Section Improvements on a 135-mile section of the NS rail line from Dearborn to Kalamazoo in southern Michigan. This project consists of a series of infrastructure investments to the NS line between milepost (MP) 7.5 to MP 143.7, including upgrading the existing signal system, adding positive train control (PTC), grade crossing improvements, and replacing track, ties, and ballast to bring the line into a state of good repair and allow 110-mph passenger operations. In addition, the project would involve acquiring this segment of the NS line for public ownership to establish long-term stability for corridor maintenance and operations.
The project supports the existing National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak) service between Detroit-Pontiac, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, and Indiana as well as the planned Midwest High Speed Rail service between Detroit and Chicago. The Dearborn to Kalamazoo, Michigan rail corridor, owned by Norfolk Southern (NS) is a federally-designated High Speed Rail corridor that shares freight service with passenger rail service. On September 16, 2011, based on the information presented in the EA, the FRA Administrator signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). As a result, all Federal environmental requirements have been satisfied for this project.