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Announcement of M-1 Rail name delayed until later date

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

The reveal of the closely guarded name of the downtown streetcar rail, which was expected to be made public Tuesday, has been delayed.

With little explanation, M-1 Rail officials announced late Monday that the public, which has been trying to guess the name for days, will have to wait indefinitely to learn the moniker. The 3.3-mile light rail line is more than a year from operation.

“The streetcar’s name will be announced at a later date as we have some additional steps to complete in the process,” said Dan Lijana, spokesman for the project.

“Construction continues on schedule as we build toward passenger operations in early 2017.”

The name was so shrouded in secrecy that not even the top transit officials in the region knew the name. .

M-1 Rail officials had planned to team up with Quicken Loans President Jay Farner for the announcement in front of the former Compuware Building downtown, now known as One Campus Martius.

Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans, has been a large financial contributor to the $137 million project, which has faced numerous delays over the years.

The latest delay, rail officials announced last summer, stemmed from new federal safety requirements and the delivery of the streetcars. Ground was finally broken on the project last summer.

M-1 Rail officials hired Brookville Equipment Corp. to design and build six streetcars for $32 million. The Pennsylvania company has worked on streetcar projects in other cities such as Dallas. M-1 said it will begin buying the six streetcars in the final three months of 2016.

The line will run from downtown Detroit to the New Center area. It is the largest transportation project in Metro Detroit in decades.

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Twitter: @leonardnfleming