All Aboard! – Ann Arbor Trains, Past and Present, Bring Passengers to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Kathy Toth and Team, Keller Williams Market Center, Ann Arbor, MI 734.426.6669, Ann Arbor Train Station
Ann Arbor Amtrak Moves People in the Right Direction – To Ann Arbor, Michigan

Train Heading in the Right Direction

All Aboard! – Ann Arbor trains, past and present, bring passengers to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor has had 3 train stations over time:  The Michigan Central Depot; the Ann Arbor Railroad; and the current active Amtrak Station. The first  2 stations were up and running before the turn of the century and built within 3 years of each other.  The city of Ann Arbor is currently considering eight different site options for a new Amtrak station as well.

The First Train Station – The Michigan Central Depot at 401 Depot Street in Ann Arbor, built in 1886. This prominent station had very elaborate architectural design elements constructed of stone boasting rounded 2/3 cut stone arched windows. Ann Arbor was a busy stop with the University of Michigan campus bringing passengers to and from the University.

The station was designed by architect Frederick Spier from Detroit who was also the architect for other stations such as Grass Lake and Jackson, Michigan just to mention a few.

In 1914 the University of Michigan Mens Football team traveled by train on the Michigan Central Railroad out of Ann Arbor  to Allston-Brighton, Massachusetts to play Harvard in Football.  University of Michigan fans, back then – like now – were very supportive of their football team. Fans packed in around the Michigan Central Railroad building to give the U of M football squad a rousing send off.

Past Presidents William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, Dwight David Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy either used this station or gave campaign appearances at the Michigan Central Depot.

The original Michigan Central Rail Station on Depot Street is now the Historic Gandy Dancer restaurant purchased in 1969.  The Gandy Dancer was named after the men who maintained the railroad tracks.  Here is a terrific article published in the Ann Arbor Observer, Then and Now, by Author, Grace Shackman.

The Second Station – The Ann Arbor Railroad built in 1889 was a smaller, more modest station constructed over on Ashley Street in Ann Arbor.  The Ann Arbor Railroad was known to most as the ‘Annie’. During the summer months, the Ann Arbor Railroad scheduled day trips to Whitmore Lake, Michigan.  Boarding at 416 South Ashley Street in Ann Arbor, the train made several round trips a day for passengers to get out of the busy city of Ann Arbor and head to the lake and to work. Other stops were in Hamburg, Lakeland, and South Lyon, Michigan. The Ann Arbor Railroad gradually ran North all the way to Frankfort, Michigan, and came up from the south to Ann Arbor from Toledo.  Today the Ann Arbor Railroad station is the Doughty Montessori School.

With the onset of interstate travel, with better roads, expressways, cars, trucks, and semi-haulers; freight traffic soon had other means of reaching destinations without the use of the rails.  Many rail lines were abandoned and other means of transportation energized.

AmtrakThe Third Station – The current Amtrak Station in Ann Arbor was built in 1983.  The Amtrak station is located at 325 Depot Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan just walking steps from the Gandy Dancer.  Station ridership in 2011 (for fiscal year October-September) was 148,911.

Children love the train.  This is a fun experience for them and educational as well.  Have them read about the history of the local train stations here in Ann Arbor and take a trip on the Rails.  Kids tickets, ages 2 – 15 ride the rails one half off everyday. See the Washtenaw County Rails Map.  Take a trip on the rails this fall for a beautiful Pure Michigan color tour.

Travelers enjoy taking the train today, to and from Ann Arbor, and find this to be a very relaxing mode of travel. The Wolverine line out of Ann Arbor, has daily service between Pontiac and Chicago. Get your tickets and plan your trip with friends on the Amtrack.

The map below gives directions to the Ann Arbor Train Station.

View Larger Map

Amtrak Train Station is Located at 325 Depot Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Ann Arbor offers great access to the expressway to get to Detroit or beyond quickly. A hop skip and a jump away is Zingerman’s DeliKerrytownKerrytown Farmers MarketBriarwood MallU of M campus, Medical Center and University of Michigan football games. Drive to Veteran’s Park for figure or hockey skating, baseball, sledding, swimming, or enjoy fresh produce at Plum Market or if you are looking for a fun afternoon out in the area, check out the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum for some great family fun! Get your picture and push the interactive art by artist  Tony Rosenthals “Endover” the Cube off State Street North of the Student Union.

If you are looking for entertainment and things to do, be sure to Visit Hill Auditorium! Take in a show at the beautiful Michigan Theatre in Downtown Ann Arbor.    Want some unique gifts and garden tips? Find out more from the Ann Arbor Experts! For some specialty items be sure to visit nearby Morgan and York with videoAnn Arbor is a great place to live – convenient for all, including the Detroit metro airport, which is around 30 minutes away! Remember to be sure to visit world famous Ann Arbor Arts Fairs held every July.

To search for homes in Ann Arbor and the Surrounding Area go to

Kathy Toth & Team – Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor Market Center, Ann Arbor, MI – Call 734.426.6669.