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Make Plans Now to Attend MARP Meeting at Chicago Union Station, Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) is planning a special meeting for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Chicago Union Station. The meeting will take place in the historic Barbershop that has been impressively restored as a meeting room. It is located adjacent to the new Legacy Lounge off the southwest corner of the Great Hall. To accommodate Wolverine passengers, the meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. Informal socializing at 11 a.m.

We cordially invite our colleagues from All Aboard Wisconsin, Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers, Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, All Aboard Ohio, Ohio Passenger Rail Association, and All Aboard Minnesota to join us. We will have time for brief updates (5-10 minutes) from your organizations on developments in your states.

Martin Bloedt, sales and product manager-locomotives, Siemens Industry Inc., will speak about next-generation passenger train equipment, including the SC-44 Charger locomotives currently being delivered for use on Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri routes.

Laura Kliewer, Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (miprc.org), will update us on the FRA-led Midwest Regional Rail Planning Study (MidwestRailPlan.org) that has recently gotten underway. A 43-member stakeholder planning group has been named and has undergone the first of four workshops to be held throughout the 18-month study period.

We will have a guided tour of the Joseph C. Szabo Chicago Control Center that oversees nearly 510 train movements daily, carrying almost 130,00 people, in Chicago Union Station, on the Michigan Line and in New Orleans.

Some pleasant surprises are in store if you have not visited Chicago Union Station lately. Ticketing and queuing to board trains now takes place in the Great Hall. As you approach the Great Hall, you will envy the business and first class passengers seen on the other side of the large windows who are enjoying the comforts and amenities of the new Metropolitan Lounge. The former Ladies’ Lounge, a space unused for many years, has been beautifully and meticulously restored and is available to rent for large gatherings. Guided tours are available most weekday afternoons. The famous steps have been rebuilt with travertine from the same quarry as the original.  Among the stone masons who worked on the steps are descendants of some of the original workmen. We hope to have time to tour these reclaimed spaces and others slated for upgrades. In any case, you will have an opportunity to look around and be impressed.

Come on down to the Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit for the April 2017 meeting

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, April 22, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon

Grand Trunk Pub
612 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI 48226

Map & Directions

Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit (Photo by Larry Sobczak)

MARP members will gather on April 22 at the Grand Trunk Pub near the corner of Woodward and E. Congress in downtown Detroit. A thriving establishment in the heart of downtown, the Pub retains much of its character from the days when it served as the fairly elegant place where downtown commuters could purchase their tickets without the necessity of going to the station.

Our speaker will be Nicole Brown, Community Relations Manager for M-1 Rail, host line of the Q-Line streetcar that will run on Woodward Ave immediately in front of the Pub.

When this meeting was planned we had hoped that the new Q-Line streetcar would be in revenue service. That eagerly awaited event is now scheduled to take place on May 12.

Please plan to stay on site after the meeting to enjoy the comestibles offered by the Pub and some conversation with your fellow MARPers. Check out the menu and the photos HERE.

The 2Detroit Parking Structure is around the corner at 160 E Congress, but note that  Congress is one-way, so you will have to go around the block to enter the garage from East  Congress.

If you have not been in the Motor City for a while, you likely will be surprised by the residential and commercial development that is happening along Woodward Avenue.

A MARP “housekeeping” note: due to a mix-up with our P.O. Box in Okemos, some of you may have had your membership payments returned to you. The problem has been taken care of and you can re-send your payments to P.O. Box 1368, Okemos MI 48805-1368. We apologize for the inconvenience.