This new tech center acts as the central nervous system of M-1 Rail's QLine streetcar system in Detroit
A mostly curbside fixed-rail streetcar circulator system, Detroit’s new QLine shuttles people through Midtown, to the river, past sports stadiums, and stops at 12 stations along the way. Opened to the public in May 2017, it has already seen a large amount of interest with more than 50,000 riders in its first week of operations. So, how did the city plan on maintaining its new investment?
We designed the 20,000-square foot (1,858-square metre) Penske Tech Center facility to serve as the headquarters for M-1 Rail operators of the QLine—also as the maintenance, washing, and storage center for the streetcars. On-site employee parking, parts delivery, and required utilities are concealed behind the building, all while sustaining the historic street front requirements.
The streetcars operate 60% off-wire and 40% on-wire and can charge their batteries at some of the stations or from the wires above the street. Because of this, the Penske Technology Center is also the nation’s first vehicle storage and maintenance facility to operate completely off-wire. With this facility in place, QLine operators have a dedicated space to maintain the transit system assets that have been improving Midtown transportation.
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