Michigan Air Line Trail in the News

The Michigan Air Line is the name of a railroad that ran east and west across Michigan.  Nearly all of that railroad line has been abandoned and much if not most of it is now rail-to-trail.

(Note that the Michigan Airline name has nothing to do with air travel.  In fact, the Airline route was developed before bicyclists Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their first plane.)

A part of the Michigan Airline lies between the Huron Valley Trail and the West Bloomfield Trail.  It was the Coe Railroad which ran a dinner train.  The dinner train has ended and efforts are underway to abandon the rail line and convert it to a trail.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, this would be a hugely critical and popular trail connection.  We also noted last month that West Bloomfield was recommended to receive grant money to purchase their portion of the railroad.

The Spinal Column ran another article this week that sheds more light on the progress or lack thereof.

The Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train made its final run on Wednesday, Dec. 31, closing a 24-year chapter in Walled Lake’s history but also opening up negotiations on selling the railroad’s land to local municipalities.

Railmark Holdings Company CEO and President B. Allen Brown has entered into discussions with Montoff Transportation Company to sell the railroad land. Although no official transaction has been finalized, Brown insists a deal is close at hand.

“There are legal complications but that’s to be expected in such a complicated transaction,” he said. “There are at least five parties involved. Suffice it to say that as of Dec. 31, there was no deal, but all parties are committed and we are all making a final push this month to finalize something by end of January.”

Rail-trail conversions are never easy or straightforward.  So, with a little luck and committment, there’s hope this missing trail link can become a premier connection in the near future.

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2 Responses to “Michigan Air Line Trail in the News”

  1. Todd Scott Says:

    The Detroit News ran an article on this at http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090121/METRO02/901210358/1409/METRO

  2. Wixom gets on board with new trail group | m-bike.org Says:

    […] we’ve reported prior, this would connect the Huron Valley Trail with the West Bloomfield Trail (and their planned […]

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