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A blue train engine with its lights on pulling rail cars.
Department of Transportation


Michigan’s rail system has approximately 3,600 miles of rail corridors, operated by 29 railroads. Four of the seven Class I railroads operate in Michigan. The system carries about 17 percent of all the state’s freight tonnage and 21 percent of the commodities by value. This system also supports three intercity passenger-rail routes. The system is almost exclusively privately owned and financed by the railroad industry.

The Office of Rail works to ensure that Michigan’s rail system meets the economic needs of the state and is safe for the motoring public, rail passengers and railroad employees. Responsibilities include:

  • Intercity passenger rail operations
  • Crossing and rail-worker safety regulation
  • State safety oversight of light-rail systems (QLINE and People Mover)
  • Crossing funding programs on local roads and state trunklines
  • Grade separations involving trunklines and/or state-owned tracks
  • State-owned rail line management
  • Rail-related economic development programs
  • International border crossings