Six refurbished, bi-level, stainless-steel rail cars are being tested this week between Pontiac and Jackson, Mich., as part of preparations for proposed commuter-rail services.
The cars are being tested for eventual use by the proposed Detroit-to-Ann Arbor and Washtenaw and Livingston Railway (WALLY) commuter-rail services, said Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials in a prepared statement.
Amtrak is operating the test train using its locomotive, while Amtrak, Great Lakes Central Railroad, MDOT consultants and the Federal Railroad Administration are conducting the tests.
The cars were purchased from Metra in Chicago and refurbished by Great Lakes Central in Owosso. The cars' new seating was manufactured by American Seating in Grand Rapids.
The cost to refurbish each car totaled $310,000, with funding provided by state and federal sources, MDOT officials said.
Funding for both commuter-rail services is not yet finalized. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is working on funding for the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit Service, and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is seeking funds for the WALLY service between Washtenaw and Livingston counties.
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