Penske Tech Center Opening Marks Milestone for M-1 Project

Penske Tech Center will be the nation’s first vehicle storage and maintenance facility to operate completely off-wire and it’s the last step before the arrival of the QLine streetcars.

By Alexandra Pacurar, Associate Editor

Penske Tech Center rendering
Penske Tech Center rendering

Detroit—M-1 Rail officially opened the 19,000-square-foot Penske Tech Center, a major step in the development of Detroit‘s streetcar system. Located in the North End neighborhood, the facility will house M-1 Rail administrative staff, and will function as the maintenance and operations center for the QLine streetcar vehicles. The facility will also be the country’s first vehicle storage and maintenance facility to operate completely off-wire.

The project was named for civic leader Roger Penske, founder of Bloomfield Hills-based Penske Corp. and chairman of the M-1 Rail project. “A decade ago as we prepared for Super Bowl, we were boarding up buildings in this area. Woodward Avenue is becoming one of the most successful and vibrant corridors in our state and much of that has to do with this project”, said Roger Penske, who took part in the opening ceremony.

The nearly $7 million Penske Tech Center was developed by a team including Turner Construction Co., 3.L.K. Construction, ABE Associates, Inc. and RNL, a Denver-based designer of light rail and mass transit maintenance facilities.

“Just as the QLine itself will unite Detroit communities like never before, so too was it important for our team to unite Detroiters with the design and construction process”, said David Kelly, Business Manager at Turner Construction Co.

The next significant step in the development of the M1-Rail system along Woodward Avenue is scheduled to take place this fall, when the first modern QLine streetcar will arrive at the Penske Tech Center for the testing and safety certification process. In total, six custom-made streetcars will operate along the 3.3 mile-long tracks that will connect Downtown Detroit to the New Center neighborhood.

“The QLine was made possible by the unprecedented private public partnership fueling this project. QLine is a catalyst for economic development and business growth, but it’s also the first step toward creating a great regional transit system in Detroit”, said M-1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen.

The QLine streetcar system should be fully functional by spring 2017.

Image courtesy of M-1 Rail