Building Detroit’s New Light Rail System

June 2015

I live in the neighborhood at the north end of the new QLine,  so it was easy for me to document its construction.  I took these photos when I was a passenger, riding in cars or buses and while I was out walking. In this post and in the next post, I’ll share some of the best of my hundreds of photos.


September 2015

The construction process was messy, and just getting around it could get pretty difficult. Sometimes you had to add ten or twenty minutes to your travel time.  One time when I was going to Main Library on foot I felt like I was in a maze.  Path after path dead-ended, and I had to retrace my steps and try to find another way to get from the street to the library’s door.

Although there has been some controversy connected with this project, including complaints that it serves an already thriving neighborhood, I can see why the line was built here: this stretch seems to have the best chance of succeeding.  The Woodward bus line has long been one of the busiest, most jam-packed lines in the city, and maybe this train could take some of the pressure off of the bus system.  And if the new trains can get enough paid fares, it would increase the chances of extending the rail line further up Woodward. It’d be great if there was a train going from downtown to 8 mile or even into the suburbs.

October 2015

I’m part of the target audience for this light rail thing, but I hope that the bus system continues to improve as well.  I haven’t ridden a bicycle in nearly ten years, and I don’t drive.  I get rides in cars more often nowadays than I used to, but the bus is still my main means of transportation.  I enjoy going downtown, but we’ll see how often I use the train. If there’s something special going on downtown, it’d certainly be handy and convenient to take the QLine.  I’m glad that they built it, yet I haven’t ridden it since the opening day.

November 2015
Still, I love a good train ride.  New York and Chicago have amazing train service, and riding the NYC subway is always endlessly interesting to me.

Currently, the ride’s free for one more month.  If you live in or around Detroit, come down and check it out.  Paid fares are scheduled to begin July 1, 2017.

An update: free fares have been extended until Labor Day

May 2016

More information:

If you do facebook, I’ve an album of my construction photos, here:


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