Port Huron, Michigan
2223 16th Street Port Huron, MI 48060
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Parking Lot Ownership||Amtrak|
|Platform Ownership||Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad|
|Track Ownership||Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad|
|65 Long Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Platform||Accessible Restrooms|
|Accessible Ticket Office||Accessible Waiting Room||Accessible Water Fountain|
|Dedicated Parking||Enclosed Waiting Area||Help With Luggage|
|Quik Trak Kiosk||Restrooms||Ticket Office|
- Blue Water
Local Community Links:
The Amtrak station in Port Huron was constructed in 1979 in a modular design which Amtrak once considered using as a prototype for small staffed stations; however, this design was never replicated. The waiting room contains about twenty seats.
As it is located just west of the American portal of the St. Clair River Tunnel, it is common to see railroad enthusiasts nearby watching for Canadian National Railway (CN) freight trains emerging from the tunnel. There are actually two St. Clair River tunnels which were built under the St. Clair River between Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Mich. The older, which was finished in 1891 for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW, succeeded by Canadian National Railway), was the first full-sized subaqueous tunnel in North America—it was the first large enough to allow a railroad to run through it—and the world’s first international tunnel. The original tunnel measures 6,025 feet from portal to portal—over a mile long—cost $2.7 million to build, and used innovative technologies at the time. The second tunnel, a replacement, opened in 1994 at which time the former closed permanently. In 2004, the newer tunnel was renamed the Paul M. Tellier Tunnel in honor of Canadian National’s retired president, who had foreseen the impact it would have on the company’s eastern freight corridor.
Port Huron sits at a confluence of water ways where Lake Huron meets the St. Clair River and the smaller Black River. French fur traders worked in the area in the 17th century, and the temporary Fort St. Joseph was built by the French explorer, Duluth, in 1686, as an outpost on the strategically important upper end of the St. Clair River during the French and Indian wars. This site was later occupied by Fort Gratiot and the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, which was built in 1829. This lighthouse, the oldest surviving in Michigan, was built to its current height in 1860 and automated in 1933. The lighthouse still stands guiding shipping on Lake Huron from within the Coast Guard station that now surrounds it.
The European-descended permanent settlement of Port Huron began with Fort Gratiot, which was established in 1814, when there were only a few French families in this heavily wooded area. The village was platted in 1837, and the city of Port Huron organized in 1857.
The area grew after the construction of the Fort Gratiot Turnpike between Port Huron and Detroit. As a result of this connection lumbering, saw mills, furniture, wagon-making, and agricultural implements became the first industries along with the port at this site. As the railroads began building from the port inland railway shops, dry docks, shipyards, and iron works grew up as well. Today, this deepwater port of entry is an important shipping center with railroad shops and plants that manufacture transportation equipment, building materials, machinery, salt, metal and paper products.
The Chicago, Detroit and Canada Grand Trunk Railroad was built between West Detroit and the Fort Gratiot area of the city in 1859. The Grand Trunk expanded westward toward Flint in 1869 and was connected to Sarnia by ferry until the building of the St. Clair River Tunnel. It is a point of pride in Port Huron that Thomas A. Edison’s family moved to Port Huron in 1854, and at age 12 he found employment at the Grand Trunk depot at Fort Gratiot. Edison convinced the railroad to allow him to sell sundries to passengers on board the daily Detroit trains, and used this money to buy chemicals and experimental materials. This Edison Depot has been preserved and is open to the public as one of Port Huron’s museums.
The Blue Water service is financed primarily through funds made available by the Michigan State Department of Transportation. Amtrak provides ticketing but not baggage services at the Port Huron station, which is served by two daily trains.