Express Tram cars at Detroit Metro Airport each eclipse one million miles-earn three week vacation

Scheduled maintenance to replace the cables pulling the Express Trams

News Releases
Sep 01

DETROIT (September, 1 2015)—The Express Tram cars operating in Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal have now each traveled one million miles, and will take a break from September 21st until October 12th to replace the two steel cables pulling each tram car. All Concourse A gates remain accessible by using the network of 20 moving walkways along the concourse, or wheelchair service. Customers may want to allow extra time to reach their departure gate.

“Delta has averaged better than 99.5% reliability on the Detroit Express Tram System since the McNamara Terminal opened in 2002,” said Dennis Farmer, Delta’s General Manager - Facilities Maintenance & Operations. “Replacing the original tram cables, now, allows us to continue providing Concourse A’s dependable customer transportation.”

The two 1 1⁄2 mile long tram cables are nearing the end of their projected useful life cycle and are being replaced for the first time since the McNamara Terminal opened in 2002.

“Preventative maintenance on the facilities is important, as safety is the number one priority for Detroit Metro Airport and Delta Air Lines,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “It’s astonishing to think that both trams have traveled more than one million miles...enough to circle the earth 40 times.”

Otis Elevator Company, under contract to Delta Air Lines will be performing the tram cable replacement. Signs will be posted throughout the McNamara Terminal informing passengers and employees of the temporary tram closure, along with email notifications being sent by Delta to their passengers traveling through Detroit Metro Airport.

While our Express Trams are receiving their well-needed break, some concessions with- in the terminal will be giving passengers a discount to help make their travel experience more enjoyable. While in the McNamara Terminal, please visit The Body Shop for a complimentary skin care sample, or Be Relax Spa, ZOZO, Detroit!, Wall Street Journal, Time Newsstand, Desigual, Sunglass Icon, Z Market & Mills Pharmacy, Green Store, and Creative Kidstuff and ask for the “Tram Special” to receive 10 % off your purchase.

Express Tram facts:

  • Detroit Metro Airport’s two Express Trams have each traveled more than one 
million miles 

  • The Express Trams are literally horizontal elevators as they float on a cushion of 
air and are pulled by cables 

  • The Express Tram system is capable of moving almost 4,300 people per hour in 
each direction 

  • The Express Tram’s maximum speed is just over 30 MPH 

(Delta Air Lines) Anthony Black
(Airport Authority) Michael Conway
Erica Donerson
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority
Lisa Gass
Media Relations Manager
Wayne County Airport Authority