Michigan DOT As – Needed Engineering

As part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration, The Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Rail purchased 135 route miles of emerging high-speed rail track between Dearborn and Kalamazoo, MI on the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Amtrak corridor in order to enhance intercity passenger rail service. Serving as the as-needed engineering consultant, Quandel is supporting MDOT during start-up phase as a new owner of the railroad infrastructure, and aiding in the development of track and signal infrastructure improvements in the corridor to allow passenger trains to achieve up to 110 MPH.

Services Provided

Program / Project Management

Quandel is aiding MDOT in managing the $400 million rail improvement program by providing project management and project controls support. Quandel manages the overall grant budget by reviewing and tracking contractor expenditures. Quandel also manages the federal deliverable requirements and coordinates program issues between MDOT, FRA and Amtrak to ensure the program is executed to meet the service goals outcomes agreed to by project stakeholders.


Quandel is supporting MDOT in planning the development of the corridor build-out to allow passenger trains to run up to 110 MPH. Quandel is providing oversight review of a Tier 1 EIS NEPA document detailing a service expansion of up to 10 round trips per days, and utilizing Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) software to model track capacity and train speeds for future service. Quandel is also assisting MDOT in the overall capital and maintenance planning and management of the newly acquired railroad asset.


Quandel is providing conceptual, preliminary and final design engineering services for civil and track infrastructure improvements in the Dearborn to Kalamazoo segment of the corridor. Design activities include curve modifications, special trackwork installation, at-grade crossings, earthwork, and utilities.


Quandel is assisting MDOT and Amtrak in planning the future operations of Amtrak trains utilizing RTC modeling software. Quandel modeled next generation trainsets and locomotives to determine the optimal track configuration and curve parameters to allow trains to maneuver efficiently through the passenger-freight shared corridor.

Construction Management

Quandel is providing construction engineering and oversight support on several projects in the corridor. Quandel team field staff assists MDOT in developing complex track and signal construction staging plans prior installing, and assist MDOT in inspecting newly constructed track and signal infrastructure to determine compliance with project specifications and contracts.