Today M-1 RAIL officially dedicated its Penske Tech Center, marking the latest milestone in the construction and infrastructure for the QLINE — the streetcar which will run along the Woodward corridor. Located in the North End neighborhood, the facility is sponsored by Penske Corporation and named for Roger S. Penske who serves as the chairman of the board for M-1 RAIL. It will house the M-1 RAIL administrative staff and function as the maintenance and operations center for the QLINE streetcar vehicles.
Roger Penske, honored as part of the ceremony, touted the transformational impact of the QLINE. “A decade ago as we prepared for Super Bowl, we were boarding up buildings in this area,” said Penske. “Today 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.”
The event brought together project supporters, partners, elected officials and community members to celebrate the new home of the QLINE. Mayor Mike Duggan, Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Wayne County CEO Warren Evans attended in support of the project.
“The QLINE was made possible by the unprecedented private public partnership fueling this project,” said M-1 RAIL CEO Matt Cullen. “QLINE is a catalyst for economic development and business growth, but it’s also as the first step toward creating a great regional transit system in Detroit.”
The Penske Tech Center was designed and constructed by Detroit-based Turner Construction after a thorough community feedback and involvement process to ensure the facility fit the character of the neighborhood.
“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 Ph.D., P.E., Business Manager, Turner Construction Company. Embracing the community was the cornerstone of our plan from Day One – not only in terms of design input but as actual builders of the Penske Tech Center itself. The community answered this call with gracious support.”
The Penske Center will be the nation’s first vehicle storage and maintenance facility to operate completely off-wire. The first modern streetcar is expected to be delivered to the Penske Tech Center in the fourth quarter of 2016 when testing and safety certification will begin.