North South Commuter Rail

Quandel Consultants is serving as the railroad sub-consultant on a project team to prepare a commuter rail feasibility study between Ann Arbor and Howell, MI on tracks owned by the State of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Railroad (Watco).The study is led by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) with funding by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).The route will connect Washtenaw and Livingston Counties along US-23 and has been known as the WALLY project by regional advocates.

Services Provided


Quandel analyzed multiple service options, employing the industry standard, Rail Traffic Controller computer simulation model to establish travel times and passenger schedules for four service options along the route.The schedules have been employed in the FTA’s STOPS model and a regional model to establish the potential ridership.Quandel developed operating plans, operating costs and revenue forecasts for each of the service options to identify the most promising alternative for advancement.


Quandel evaluated the adjacent land use and topography to establish possible locations and footprints for stations and maintenance and layover facilities and the track conditions and track geometry to define permissible speeds and the required infrastructure improvements to support the service.Track, signal and passenger rail infrastructure improvements were presented on track schematics and scaled plans and summarized in a capital cost report, organized to facilitate a future FTA Small Starts Application.