The Importance Of The Detroit Windsor Jobs Tunnel  

The Importance Of The Detroit Windsor Jobs Tunnel  

By region, Canadians do the most business within the Great Lakes region by nearly four times over the Midwest region.

The Automotive Industry in Canada

With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the automotive industry found Canada and Ontario in particular a welcome place to do business. Recently, automotive jobs in Ontario are on the increase while in Michigan they are on the   Detroit Sign Company

decline. Last year, Ontario built more cars and trucks than any other location in North America.

Detroit/Windsor Rail Corridor Is Vital to the National Transportation Network

The Detroit River Tunnel Partnership (DRTP) owns and operates the 100-year-old rail corridor that runs from Highway 401 in Canada to I-75 in Detroit. All the land within the corridor is owned by the DRTP. The tunnel serves CPR and any other railroad operators that wish to use the tracks, making this a “neutral tunnel.” The Detroit rail crossing run by the DRTP is an ongoing business and carries over 450,000 rail cars a year. This is equivalent to over 1,000,000 truckloads.

The DRTP/CPR corridor is an existing, 100-year-old transportation corridor through Windsor and Detroit. Much of this corridor is surrounded by vacant or industrial land.

Keeping Viable Rail Service in Detroit

This tunnel is challenged by its age. Next-generation rail cars are being put into service by the railroad industry now and will continue over the next several years. These taller rail cars are bigger than the inside diameter of the existing tunnel. In 1906 when this tunnel was built, no one could have imagined a rail car 21 feet, 10 inches tall!

Below is a recent article regarding American Honda Motor Company’s purchase of $100 million worth of the new, taller rail cars. These new cars will not fit through the existing Detroit/Windsor rail tunnel.

Honda is shipping cars by new Auto-Max railcars

The Greenbrier Companies announced today it has
received the largest order ever for its Auto-Max railcar
used for transporting new automotive vehicles. The $100
million order is from American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The extra-wide decks in Auto-Max railcars can be adjusted to adapt to changing consumer patterns. In addition to carrying passenger vehicles three high, Auto-Max is the only railcar that carries most sport utilities, cross-over vehicles, compact pickups, and minivans in a tri-level (three-high) configuration. The decks are also readily convertible to carry large SUVs and large pickup trucks in a two-high configuration due to Auto-Max’s patented features.

[Posted Feb 14, 2006 at Inside Line, an, Inc. blog]
The Solution

As discussed previously, the next-generation, high-capacity rail cars and double-stacked seatainers will not fit through the existing tunnel. A new, larger tunnel must be built. The new, larger tunnel will be built next to the existing tunnels.

How the New DRTP Rail Tunnel Will Be Built


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