Michigan Executive

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Michigan Executive
Michigan Executive at Jackson, October 1978.jpg
The Michigan Executive at Jackson in October 1978
Service typeCommuter rail
LocaleSoutheast Michigan
First serviceJanuary 20, 1975
Last serviceJanuary 13, 1984
Former operator(s)Amtrak
Ridership26,000 (1983)
StartJackson, MI
Stops5 (3 after 1982)
EndDetroit, MI
Distance travelled74 miles (119 km)
Average journey time1 hour 35 minutes
Service frequency2 trains daily (weekday)
Train number(s)373, 374
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s)Conrail
Route map
through trains to Chicago
0 mi
0 km
(discontinued 1982)
21 mi
34 km
(discontinued 1982)
38 mi
61 km
Ann Arbor
46 mi
74 km
66 mi
106 km
74 mi
119 km
Detroit (MCS)

The Michigan Executive was a commuter train operated by Amtrak between Detroit, Michigan, and Jackson, Michigan. Amtrak took over the service from Penn Central in 1975 and discontinued it in 1984.


1972 Penn Central timetable showing the Valpo Local and Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter service

As Amtrak's mandate did not cover commuter operations, Penn Central continued to operate a weekday commuter service between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan after Amtrak had assumed control of its intercity operations. By the mid-1970s Penn Central asked to discontinue the service, citing dwindling ridership and the aging Rail Diesel Cars it used. Amtrak and the U.S. state of Michigan agreed to step in, and the Michigan Executive made its first run on January 20, 1975, running between Detroit and Jackson (to the west of Ann Arbor).[1]:196

In the summer of 1975, the westbound Friday Michigan Executive operated all the way to Chicago, returning the following Sunday.[1]:195 Under Amtrak, ridership increased 50% and peaked at 96,573 in 1979.[2] Chartered buses carried passengers from the Detroit station to downtown Detroit.[3] Declining ridership due to the decline of downtown Detroit, a recession, and ticket price hikes led Amtrak to discontinue the westbound Michigan Executive on June 14, 1982 and eastbound service between Jackson and Detroit was truncated only running from Ann Arbor to Detroit. Returning commuters took the Chicago-Detroit Twilight Limited which was modified adding stops to accommodate former westbound Executive passengers. By 1983, annual ridership had fallen to 26,000.[2]

Amtrak completely discontinued the remainder of the Michigan Executive on January 13, 1984, after Michigan withdrew its support citing low ridership.[1]:197 State transportation officials estimated that the discontinuance would save $200,000/year, and daily ridership had dwindled below 60.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3.
  2. ^ a b Sanders, Craig. "Michigan Executive". Amtrak in the Heartland. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  3. ^ Pollack Design Associates (November 15, 1979). "The Ann Arbor Depot: A First Phase Investigation of Location Alternatives for Rail Passenger Facilities" (PDF). p. 15.
  4. ^ "Several Options For Commuters". Argus-Press. December 20, 1983. Retrieved 2011-06-06.

External links[edit]

Media related to Michigan Executive at Wikimedia Commons