I’ve heard speculation about adjustments to local rail options off and on since we moved to Ypsilanti late summer, 2009. But this article from Crain’s Detroit Business, “Word on Detroit-Ann Arbor Commuter Rail Expected Next Week,” pretty much gives the impression that a rail Detroit-AA rail loop is taking shape. I say “pretty much” because it is a curiously hazy report, one with details that could be interpreted as going either way: rail is impending, or rail is wholly dependent on funds yet to be committed. Right away, there’s a big “if” tied to federal funding. Hold off on blowing the horn, Dinah.

Organizers of a Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail project expect to learn next week if $200 million in federal capital funding will be approved.

But elsewhere, with references to environmental assessment, fleet refurbishment, and even the colors of the cars, it sounds like the project is well underway.

Work is under way on the federally required environmental assessment.

Three locomotives and nine passenger cars have been leased from Great Lakes Central Railroad, which is owned by Farmington Hills-based Federated Capital Corp., and are in the process of being refurbished and painted, Palombo said.

The lease and refurbishment work is about $2 million. The livery will be green, yellow and blue, and trains will be a locomotive with two cars.

I will continue to watch how this plays out, fingers-crossed that we will within the next year or so have commuter rail running between AA and Detroit, notably with stops through Ypsilanti and the Detroit Metro Airport.