Why We Need A Replacement Rail Tunnel At The Detroit-Windsor Crossing

Current Status:

1. The current rail tunnel under the Detroit River is 100 years old and links southwest Detroit and Southeast Ontario. It is owned and operated as an ongoing business by the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership (DRTP).

2. The DRTP consistors of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Borealis Infrastructure Trust, a part of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)

3. The current rail tunnel carries over 460,000 rail cars per year

4. The Detroit / Windsor rail tunnel is a vital link between the Port of Montreal, the rest of Canada and the entire US Midwest. Canadian Pacific Railway also uses this rail tunnel to reach into the southern and southern United States as well as Mexico.

5. The existing tunnel despite excellent physical shape finds itself undersized and unable to handle today's taller rail cars

6. The existing rail tunnel has been designated as critical infrastructure by Homeland Security

The Problem:

1. Container traffic out of the Port of Montreal is expected to double in the next ten years and utilizing more and more double-stacked container cars; automotive companies are shipping vehicles and auto parts in the new, high-capacity Automax rail cars

2. The existing Detroit / Windsor rail tunnel is not tall enough to allow double-stacked container cars or Automax cars to pass through.

3. Without a replacement rail tunnel, rail service will have reduced options

4. The replacement rail tunnel will allow Detroit to become a logistics hub

5.A replacement rail tunnel will enhance economic rail freight shipping through the Midwest and the South.

The Solution:

1. The Detroit River Tunnel Partnership (DRTP) would like to build a replacement rail tunnel near the existing rail tunnel

2. The replacement rail tunnel will bring the following to the Detroit / Windsor region:

1. Over 1,700 jobs

2. Over $ 600 million in investment

3. It will bring more rail freight to the region

4. It will help save current and future jobs

Internal Diameter

27.5 ft. (8.4 m)

Tunnel Length

9,334 ft. (2,845 m)

Sub-River Length

2,640 ft. (750 m)

Maximum Grade


Lining Thickness

1.6 ft. (0.5 m)

River Depth

49.2 ft. (15 m)

Minimum Cover – River

18 ft. (5.5 m)

Minimum Cover – Land

13.1 ft. (4 m)

Operating Speed

50 mph (80 kph)

5. Replacement Rail Tunnel Specs

It will be the first transport infrastructure in over 75 years at this border crossing

6. The DRTP has completed engineering to ensure the viability of this project

7. Some of the support the relocation rail tunnel includes: MDOT, Detroit Renaissance, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, the UAW and many other government, business and labor leaders

8. The replacement rail tunnel can be completed in less than four years

Source by Sam Knapp