Michigan's passenger rail system is about to get an upgrade, and the possibility of high-speed rail could soon become a reality thanks to the latest announcement from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

In fact, Michigan could see its rail system expand across the border into Canada with the latest proposal, making trips to Canada even easier.

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Last week, the FRA announced its highly anticipated funding for rail projects across the country, which includes some of the country's first high-speed rail projects ever. Most notably, a line that would run directly from southern California to Las Vegas.

But the midwest is expected to benefit greatly from the recent announcement. Michigan will receive $500,000 in funding to connect existing services between Chicago and Detroit. It would also update current Amtrak lines from Port Huron to Chicago, and expand passenger rail services from Grand Rapids to Chicago.

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But maybe the most exciting for Michigan is a proposed extension to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. This could also become a future stop on a proposed loop high-speed rail line.

In addition to Michigan, Ohio also received $500,000 in funding that will benefit Michigan. A proposed project would connect Cleveland to Detroit through Toledo.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is excited for the opportunity.

"By investing in development of new and improved passenger rail service, we have an opportunity to transform how Michiganders travel across our state and region. I advocate for each of these MDOT projects because this funding will make rail transportation a more available and reliable option for travelers while spurring economic development."

U.S. Transportation Secretary, and new Michigander Pete Buttigieg said the new funding would also begin a new step toward providing high-speed rail service, like so many other developed countries already offer.

"With this funding, we'll deliver America's first high-speed rail on a route between Southern California and Las Vegas, complete major upgrades for riders... and announce a comprehensive plan that makes it easier to expand passenger rail lines in 44 states."

Will Michigan get high-speed rail?

While it isn't included with the current funding announcement, there is a proposed high-speed rail route that would connect much of the midwest with New England, and parts of Canada. With it, you could theoretically be on the Atlantic shore within two hours.

The proposed loop would connect Detroit to Washington, which would then roll up the eastern seaboard through Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, then cut back to Montreal, down through Toronto, and back to Detroit.

Proposed "Greater Northeast Corridor" High-Speed Rail line. /Adam Paul Susaneck
Proposed "Greater Northeast Corridor" High-Speed Rail line. /Adam Paul Susaneck

If this express line were put in place, you could theoretically leave Detroit in the morning, catch an afternoon game at Fenway Park, and be back in Detroit that same night.

The "Greater Northeast Corridor" track would also have a more local-level train that would have connecting stations to the express line.

While it is still just a proposal, the idea of being able to make it to Boston in about two hours from Detroit is intriguing.

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Gallery Credit: Kristen Matthews