Category Archives: Announcements

Round 1 Public Meetings for Coast-to-Coast Passenger Rail Study Continue

Public meetings will take place along the rail corridor of the proposed passenger rail service between Michigan’s freshwater coasts known as the Detroit – Holland Passenger Rail Ridership and Cost Estimate Study, or simply the Coast-to-Coast Passenger Rail Study. The study is the first step toward reestablishing passenger rail service linking Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Who: This study is being managed by the Michigan Environmental Council in partnership with the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Public meetings are hosted by the Michigan By Rail team.

Why:  Join us at one (or more!) of our 16 public engagement meetings to share your thoughts and ideas about potential passenger rail service that re-connects our freshwater coasts. Note: Round 2 and 3 of public meetings will take place in July and September 2015 and will be announced at a later date.

What: Public meetings to gather ideas and input on the proposed Coast-to-Coast line

When & Where:  

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

More Information: 

The meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to share ideas and input on the potential passenger rail service. The public engagement portion of the study is led by Michigan By Rail team in partnership with stakeholders and institutions along the potential line. The study is funded by a federal grant with a public match provided by 11 organizations and institutions located along the potential corridor.

In 2010, Michigan by Rail hosted public forums throughout the state to garner feedback on the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Rail Plan. A desire for passenger rail service connecting Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids was one of several key themes that emerged.

Along with public feedback, the study will also analyze travel patterns, demographic trends, cost estimates and existing conditions of rail infrastructure to determine what, if any, next steps should be taken to examine the possibility for new passenger rail service.

The study is being managed by Michigan Environmental Council through a partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and MDOT. The consulting firm, Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc., has been hired to complete the technical analysis. A final report is expected by December 2015.

Print and share the flyer: PDFIMAGE

For questions or to request special accommodations, please contact Liz Treutel at (517) 487-9539 or liz@environmentalcouncil.org.

MARP June 2015 Meeting Includes a Variety of Activities at Flint’s Crossroads Village

Huckleberryrailroad-subheaderThe next MARP membership meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Crossroads Village near Flint. Don Wescott, MARP’s meetings coordinator, has been busy planning a variety of interesting activities following the 10 a.m. business meeting. Members are urged to bring their families and friends and plan to spend the day.

We will gather promptly at 10 a.m. at the Flint Township Meeting Hall in the Crossroads Village (directions below) for a brief business meeting. Following adjournment, we will shift our attention to the many interesting things to do and see at the Crossroads Village.

Folks may wish to have lunch at either the Café on Main Street or the Lakeside Grill located near the Carousel beside Mott Lake. There will be time for a stroll around the Village before the 2 p.m. “All Aboard” signal for a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad. Led by a Baldwin steam locomotive, the train makes an 8-mile loop through the 4500 acre Genesee Recreation Area.

 Crossroads Village was developed as a Bicentennial project. Most of the buildings were rescued from demolition from areas mostly in Genesee County and were moved onto farm land adjacent to the old Pere Marquette line that ran up into the Thumb. The original tracks were converted from standard gauge to 3 ft. narrow gauge to accommodate the vintage equipment that came mainly from Colorado. The engines are coal-fired steam engines and cars are maintained and all restoration of the equipment is done on site.

An added bonus of our visit will be a tour – led by MARP member Dan Mitchell and his colleague Bill Simmons – of the Restoration and Engine House where the rail equipment is maintained.

For information about the Village and its attractions, visit the website geneseecountyparks.org/pages/crossroads. The website includes a link to local accommodations should you wish to make a weekend of it. Don has negotiated a $5.00 entrance fee (a significant discount) for MARP members and their guests. This includes the train ride.

The address for Crossroads Village is 6140 Bray Rd, Flint MI 48505. Park in the parking lot. Enter the Village grounds and turn left on Railroad Street. You will find The Flint Township Meeting Hall at the end of the street. The Flint Township Meeting Hall is #28 on the Village Map.

Don would appreciate knowing how many plan to attend in order to set up enough chairs in the meeting hall and to seat us together in the railcar. Please send an email to marprail@yahoo.com

Wolverine Train 350 Will Not Stop at Troy, MI – Monday through Saturday Only

Effective through June 20, 2015

Due to summer schedule changes required by track improvements in Indiana and Michigan, Train 350 will not stop at Troy on Monday through Saturday, through June 20, 2015.

While service is suspended at Troy, passengers can make reservations at alternate stations including Dearborn, Detroit, Royal Oaks and Pontiac.

Trains Serving Troy

During this period, Train 350 will stop at Troy on Sundays, and all other Wolverine trains will continue to offer daily service at Troy.

Reservations and the most up-to-date schedules are available on Amtrak.com, free mobile apps and at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Amtrak Train Days at Grand Rapids Amtrak Station July 25, 2015

Vernon J. Ehlers Station 440 Century Avenue SW, Grand Rapids Michigan, 49503
Vernon J. Ehlers Station
440 Century Avenue SW, Grand Rapids
Michigan, 49503

All Aboard Grand Rapids to Celebrate Amtrak Train Days!  On Saturday, July 25, 2015, the Amtrak Exhibit Train is pulling into the Grand Rapids Amtrak Station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Meet us at the station and come aboard for a free self-guided tour through Amtrak’s past, present and future.  For the youngest rail fans, stop off at Chuggington Kids Depot, featuring toy train and coloring tables.  There’s something that’s bound to strike a chord for everyone!

For additional details on the Exhibit Train Tour, please visit: http://www.amtrak.com/exhibit-train

In case you haven’t noticed, Amtrak’s Pere Marquette is on a new schedule

Amtrak press release:

A new schedule for the Amtrak Pere Marquette will make it more convenient for passengers to attend sports, music and theatre events in Chicago and result in eight to 10 jobs being based in Grand Rapids, Mich.,effective May 4, 2015. The new schedule (attached) also improves connections with other Amtrak trains.

The current schedule allows a six-hour day in Chicago and was crafted for Chicago-based crew cycles. Last year’s opening of the Vernon J. Ehlers Station allowed for the creation of a crew base in downtown Grand Rapids and a nine-hour day for passengers to work or play in Chicago.

Amtrak employed 237 Michigan residents last year, with total wages of $19.5 million. Goods and services purchased in Michigan by Amtrak totaled $17.3 million in 2014.

All Amtrak service in Michigan is operated under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

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