Category Archives: Announcements

Amtrak Sale – Save 25%

Book Now Through October 4 for Travel October 1 – December 15

All aboard for big savings on Amtrak travel.

Kick back, relax, and save aboard Amtrak. Right now, get 25% OFF already low fares across the country. Skip the hassles of driving, long lines and save on Coach and Acela Business Class. Plus you’ll enjoy all the great perks Amtrak offers including:

  • Convenient easy boarding process
  • Stay connected with free Wi-Fi and power outlets at every seat
  • Stretch out with plenty of legroom
  • Get to where you want to be with downtown-to-downtown service

Amtrak’s Chicago Access Presentation

Amtrak’s Chicago Access Presentation

Derrick James from Amtrak’s Government Affairs office gave a presentation during the September 15th Member Meeting.

Amtrak, along with Illinois and Michigan, is applying for funding for a project called Chicago Access / Michigan East that has important implications for the future of Michigan’s train services.

Slides are provided here:



Register now for the 49th Annual MARP Meeting scheduled for Oct. 22, 2022

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers
142 W Michigan Ave., Grass Lake MI 49240
22 October 2022     10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Make plans now to attend! Our featured speaker is Mr. Tim Hoeffner, former MDOT Office of Rail Director and now Senior Advisor for Quandel Consultants, who will talk about the role of advocates in improving passenger rail services.

We look forward to our first in-person meeting in some time. However, due to continuing COVID-19 concerns, we do ask that those planning to attend be fully vaccinated. Masks are welcome, but not required.

The cost to attend is $25 per person and includes a catered luncheon. Your registration must be received by Wednesday, October 12, 2022.


Click the button below to register online using PayPal, a major credit card or a debit card

ACT NOW! The deadline for online registration is
Wednesday, Oct.12, 2022.

Prefer to send your registration by U.S. mail? Click on the form below, print it, fill it out and mail along with your check to:

MARP, Inc.  |  c/o Jean Merckel
33373 Hampshire Road  |  Livonia, MI 48154-2952

Lawmakers Accelerate Northern Michigan Rail



The effort to connect people and businesses in northern Michigan to the rest of the state and country with modern passenger train service reached a huge milestone recently with new funding through state and federal agencies.

In July, Michigan state lawmakers, led by northern Michigan’s Senator Wayne Schmidt, included $1

million to advance the northern Michigan passenger rail Phase II planning study in the State of Michigan’s 2023 Labor and Economic Opportunity budget.

Then, just last week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation would support the Phase II study by providing the remaining $1.3 million through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program.

The grant was awarded to the Cadillac/Wexford Transit Authority, which will work in partnership with Groundwork and a team of partners to complete the planning study.

The boost of new funding is a major milestone in the long-term effort to bring passenger rail service—and related economic development—to towns all along the north-south route and give families and workers a safe, environmentally friendly way to travel throughout the state while also reducing cars on our highways.

This planning study builds on work completed over the past several years to restore passenger service to the Traverse City area. In 2018, Groundwork and many other partners completed an initial feasibility study that explored what it would take to get trains up and running along an active state-owned railroad corridor that runs from southeast Michigan to the Traverse City and Petoskey areas.

The study showed that the proposed service is economically viable, and since the study’s release, the state has been improving the tracks for freight and potential future passenger service. In 2019 and 2021, state lawmakers approved funding to repair tracks near Traverse City. Then, in 2022, the Michigan Department of Transportation was awarded a $21 million federal railroad grant to repair tracks just north of Ann Arbor.

The next stage planning study would identify and prioritize improvements needed along the corridor to maximize freight and passenger opportunities, which could include crossing signal and track upgrades, safety technology, potential bridge replacements, community-specific station needs, and equipment.

The Phase II study will also develop a business plan for passenger service—updating the project’s market and ridership forecasts and laying out the stations and schedule of service. The study’s result will be a vision and plan for how the service will work. The study team will also look at changes in supply chains, so that Michigan businesses along the route can have more efficient and affordable shipping connections to the rest of the world.

Public engagement will be an essential part of the planning process, and the study will offer a great opportunity for residents and travelers in communities on the route to shape future train service they want to see and use. Over the next year or so, we will conduct surveys and hold events all along the line to get your feedback. Towns on the railroad include Petoskey, Kalkaska, Traverse City, Kingsley, Cadillac, Clare, Mt. Pleasant, Alma, Owosso, Durand, Howell, Ann Arbor, and a potential route to Detroit.

Getting a 240-mile train line up and running is no small task. There are many environmental standards, safety regulations, and engineering guidelines that must be followed to make the project a reality. The next 18 months are crucial to the project, and we’re hopeful this will lead to the beginning stages of service within five years.

Stay tuned for more info and look for ways you can get involved.