Norfolk Southern, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration have signed a deal to transfer ownership of a 135-mile stretch of NS trackage in the state to MDOT for $140 million.
Amtrak uses the line for its Wolverine and Blue Water passenger rail services between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, and once ownership has been transferred, the passenger railroad will be performing upgrades to support faster trains.
Transfer of ownership is expected to be complete by spring 2013. NS will retain an exclusive freight easement to preserve its freight business.
The $140 million used to purchase the line included FRA High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program grant funds and a state match of $37.5 million.
The FRA also awarded $196.5 million to MDOT for track and signal improvements on this corridor.