USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Chicago-to-Detroit/Pontiac Corridor Investment Plan

PROJECT WEBSITE: Michigan DOT project website:

All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.





0 out of 0


Surface Transportation

Surface Transportation

Project Category

Project Category DOT Projects

Department of Transportation

Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published in the Federal Register (83 FR 61709-10) on November 30, 2018, a notice to advise the public that FRA is rescinding the Notices of Intent (NOI) for the Chicago to Detroit/Pontiac Corridor Investment Program. The project sponsor and FRA have agreed to rescind the NOI, however the associated alternatives analysis and service development plan may be used for further environmental reviews, where necessary.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has evaluated passenger rail improvements to improve mobility along a 304-mile rail corridor between Chicago, Illinois and Detroit/Pontiac, Michigan and provide a competitive alternative to automobile, bus and air service. The Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Rail Corridor Program (Program) is being prepared in partnership with the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation, in association with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and will provide sufficient information for the FRA to potentially support future decisions to fund and implement a major investment in the passenger rail corridor.

A tiered environmental process, commonly used in the development of complex projects, is being utilized for the Program. With a tiered approach, the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluates impacts of a broad-scale project with focus on more qualitative than quantitative impacts on specific resources, in accordance with 40 CFR 1508.28. The EIS will evaluate the effects of upgrading rail infrastructure and facilities to safely accommodate potential passenger rail service improvements. Effects on the natural environment, jobs, the economy, air quality, traffic, and neighborhoods will be considered.

Current Activities and Next Steps:

The Program team (FRA and MDOT) are in the process of reviewing and preparing responses to public and agency comments on the Draft EIS received between September and December 2014. 

Following completion of the Tier 1 Final EIS NEPA document and issuance of the ROD by FRA, subsequent Tier 2 NEPA documents are developed to quantitatively evaluate the environmental impacts within one or more specific logical sections or phases of the Program, which would be developed through separate but related projects.

Documents available for download:

Notice of Intent (published August 31, 2012)


Please click on the links below to download and view an electronic copy of the Tier 1 Draft EIS. Options for downloading the document in its entirety or by individual section are available below.  Downloading of the PDF may take several minutes.

Complete Tier 1 DRAFT Environmental Impact StatementExternal Link
Executive Summary and Table of ContentsExternal Link
Signature PageExternal Link
Chapter 1 Purpose and NeedExternal Link
Chapter 2 Alternatives ConsideredExternal Link
Chapter 3 Affected Environment and Environmental ConsequencesExternal Link
Chapter 4 Public Involvement and Agency CoordinationExternal Link
Chapter 5 Next StepsExternal Link
Chapter 6 List of PreparersExternal Link
Chapter 7 ReferencesExternal Link
Chapter 8 Distribution of the Tier 1 Draft EISExternal Link
IndexExternal Link

Complete AppendicesExternal Link
Appendix A Level 1 Alternatives Screening SummariesExternal Link
Appendix B No Build ListExternal Link
Appendix C Preliminary Full Build-Out Train ScheduleExternal Link
Appendix D Mapbook Part 1 of 4External Link
Appendix D Mapbook Part 2 of 4External Link
Appendix D Mapbook Part 3 of 4External Link
Appendix D Mapbook Part 4 of 4External Link
Appendix E Ridership and Revenue Forecasts and Operating and Maintenance CostsExternal Link
Appendix F Demographic InformationExternal Link
Appendix G Emissions Calculations and FuelExternal Link
Appendix H Hazardous Materials ReportsExternal Link
Appendix I Water Resources DataExternal Link
Appendix J Threatened and Endangered Species ListExternal Link
Appendix K Public Meeting SummariesExternal Link

In addition, pertinent information can be found at the project's FRA webpage,

Permitting Timetable

The permitting timetable below displays data as reported by agencies. Dates for Environmental Review and Permitting processes (Actions) that are in 'Paused' or 'Planned' status are subject to change and are not indicative of a project's final schedule.

  • For information about extensions, select an Action from the timetable below and select 'View Action Details' at the bottom of the page.
Loading ...
Overall Project Timetable
Extension or Delay
Ahead of Schedule
No End Date

Action Information

For additional information, please select an Action from the Permitting Timetable above.

  • Action:  
  • Responsible Agency:  
  • Bureau:  
  • Action Status:  
  • SHPO:  
  • Action Identifier:  
  • Action Outcome:  
Milestone Original Target Date Current Target Date Milestone Complete

Environmental and Community Outcomes

Other (e.g., public health improvements)

This Project is needed to better serve existing rail users, as well as serve expected growth in population and resulting increases in regional intercity travel demand over the next 20 years and beyond. The existing rail corridor is constrained in terms of capacity and includes outdated infrastructure, collectively resulting in travel delays, safety, and reliability issues. These problems will increase as travel demand in the region continues to grow. The intercity highway system, commercial airports, and passenger rail serving the regional market are currently operating at or near capacity, and cannot be feasibly expanded without large public investments for maintenance and expansion to meet existing and projected travel demands.

Changes to the project’s environmental and community effects:
Avoidance of resources, Minimization of effects