Audit: MDOT spent $9.5M to refurbish idle rail cars

February 13, 2015

LANSING — A state audit released Friday criticizes the Michigan Department of Transportation for refurbishing and leasing passenger train cars for commuter rail service before making upgrades to the tracks for two planned Metro Detroit routes.

MDOT’s Office of Rail spent $9.5 million on train cars sitting idle at a rail yard in Owosso that the agency “neither owns nor expects to use until at least 2017” because upgrades in tracks between Howell and Ann Arbor and Detroit to Ann Arbor remain years away…

The state agency is on the hook for another $6.5 million to lease and renovate 14 more coach cars, state auditors found…

The audit also criticized MDOT’s rail office for failing to request federal funds on a timely basis and misidentifying capital and maintenance expenditures for Amtrak passenger service from Dearborn to Kalamazoo…

Read the rest of the story in The Detroit News, 13 February 2015.

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