August 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm

First shipment of steel rails delivered to Detroit's M-1 Rail construction site

M-1 Rail project foreman Tim Sonnenfeld, 44, of Columbus Township, uses a pry bar to slightly adjust several 80-foot, 'sticks of rail,' steel rail lengths delivered on Thursday. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

The M-1 Rail project on Thursday received its first delivery of steel rails.

About a third of the shipment — one mile of rail — was delivered from Indiana to a holding area in the Cass Corridor.

“Things are well underway and this delivery of rail is another milestone in our progress of delivering a streetcar to the city of Detroit,” said M-1 Rail spokesman James Canning.

Each piece of the rail is 80 feet long and weighs more than 3,000 pounds, Canning said. The rails will be assembled in 560-foot sections within the next two weeks and later brought onto Woodward, he said.

Construction to prepare for the streetcar system is underway between Campus Martius and Adams. It will eventually stretch about three miles from Hart Plaza to the New Center area.

Crews are also removing the old rails from the city’s previous light rail system the city ended in the 1950s in favor of cars and buses.

The M-1 system is expected to be complete in 2016 and have 20 stations serving 12 stops.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com