Category Archives: Announcements

MARP meets in St. John on March 18, 2017

MARP MEMBER MEETING
Saturday, March 18, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
Clinton Northern Railway Museum
(former Grand Trunk Railroad Depot)
107 East Railroad Street, St. Johns MI 48879
Map & Directions

MARP members and community friends have a treat in store when our regular monthly meeting convenes on March 18 in the restored Grand Trunk Railroad Depot in St. Johns. Our speakers will be Jenny and Gary McCampbell, who have been associated with this ambitious preservation project from the beginning in 1981.

The building in which our meeting takes place, the former Grand Trunk Railroad Depot, has an interesting history which we will hear more about from Jenny and Gary. As the dedicated volunteer managers of the Clinton Northern Railway Museum occupying the former depot, the McCampbells stepped up when the original prime movers left due to illness and job relocation. With the help of a cadre of fellow volunteers, Jenny and Gary are on a mission to instill an appreciation of the rich history of railroading in the area.

Current restoration efforts are focused on the “Sault Sainte Marie”, a 1902 Barney and Smith Sleeper car built for the Duluth South Shore and Atlantic that served passengers on the St. Ignace-Soo-Duluth route until 1936. Restoration work has uncovered beautiful wood inlays in the mahogany veneer of the interior. Also on display at the station: a 1903 RPO Car, which now receives children’s letters to Santa each Christmas, and a 1926 Ann Arbor Crew Car .

 

If you are interested in ride-sharing to the meeting, please reply to this email. We will do our best to put you in touch with others in your area.

See you in St. Johns!

Visit clintonnorthernrailway.org to learn more about the work at the Museum.

History of the Railroad in St. Johns

1853 – St.Johns is organized by a group of speculators who anticipate the building of the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad through the area

1920 – Grand Trunk Railroad Depot, which is now home to the Clinton Northern Railway, is built on Railroad Street

1964 – The last Passenger Train ran through St.Johns

1992 – The last Freight Train ran through St.Johns

1996 – The last of the railroad tracks through the city are removed

2006 – A short section of track is laid behind the depot and a 1926 Ann Arbor Crew Car is placed there.

MARP meets Feb. 18, 2017 in Kalamazoo

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, February 18, 2017,
10:30 a.m. – Noon
First Methodist Church
212 South Park Street,
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Map & Directions

Make plans now to join us when railroad historian Mark Tomlonson takes us on a virtual train trip from Kalamazoo to New Orleans in 1916 – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

PLEASE NOTE that the meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. in order to accommodate those who ride the Blue Water train to Kalamazoo.

Meetings in Kalamazoo always offer the opportunity to take either the Wolverine or the Blue Water. To sweeten the pot, Amtrak is offering 20% Savings on Travel in Michigan. Transportation will be provided from the depot to the meeting venue.

Westbound #351 arrives Kalamazoo   9:34a     Eastbound #352 departs 4:08p

Westbound #365 arrives Kalamazoo 10:25a     Eastbound #364 departs 7:12p

Following the meeting, we will adjourn to the former rail freight house, now doing business as HopCat Kalamazoo. HopCat opened last fall after extensive and creative renovation. With a commitment to environmental sustainability, HopCat salutes not only Kalamazoo’s rail history, but also its place in the history of rock ‘n roll as the original home of Gibson Guitars. Check out the interesting menu which includes an intriguing item call Vladimir Poutine.

Please let us know if you will be arriving by train so we can arrange transportation from the depot to the church.

If you would like to carpool to the meeting, please reply to this email. We’ll try to match you up with others in your area.

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There is much to do in downtown Kalamazoo and nearby. If you’ve got the winter blues, you might consider making a weekend of it. Below are some ideas.

Discover Kalamazoo  

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is featuring “Master Works of Ceramics” from the permanent collection and “Sculpture by Sayaka Ganz” who transforms common discarded objects into echoes of luminescent sea creatures.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum is featuring Story Telling Quilts, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” like never before, a solar eclipse simulation, and an exhibit of pop-up books.

Read about The Old Gibson Guitar Factory or the Kalamazoo Seven rail stations still extant as late as 1979 (at least 4 of them are still standing).

For those venturing outside downtown Kalamazoo, the County Expo Center is hosting Shipshewana On The RoadAlways of interest are the Gilmore Car Museum and the

Kalamazoo Air Zoo  

MARP meets Jan. 14, 2017 in Lansing

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, January 14, 2017
10 a.m.- Noon

REO Town Depot (the former GTW Depot)
1203 S. Washington Ave., Lansing MI 48910

Map & Directions

It is becoming somewhat of a tradition for MARP to have its first meeting of the New Year in Lansing’s former GTW station which has been reborn as the REO Town Depot. This classic Spier & Rohn-designed structure was built in 1902 for the Grand Trunk Western Railway, but has not seen service as a passenger station since 1971. The building has been painstakingly restored in conjunction with the development of the new Lansing Board of Water & Light co-generation plant with which it shares the 5.3 acre site in the area known as REO Town. The depot is listed on the State Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

 Tim Hoeffner, Director of MDOT’s Office of Rail, is our featured speaker. He update us on the progress made in 2016 on the Wolverine corridor upgrade as well as what to expect in 2017 for Michigan passenger trains.

Plan to arrive a bit early so you can look around the building. The BWL spent more than $2.8 million to restore it as a home for board meetings and employee training. From the terra cotta roof to the dark wood ceiling, period light fixtures, windows, and wainscoting, the restoration has been described as “stunning”.

Of particular interest is the eye-catching terra cotta roof. The tiles were 110 years old and needed to be replaced. The original manufacturer — Ludowici Roof Tile Co. of New Lexington, Ohio, a 120-year-old company with roots in Renaissance Rome and still in business — had the original plans for the depot and produced 14,600 new tiles to the original specifications.

Following the meeting, we will adjourn to a nearby eatery for our usual no host lunch. We always look forward to this opportunity to get better acquainted.

If you would like to carpool to the meeting, please reply to this email. We’ll try to match you up with others in your area.

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MARP meets Nov. 12 in Lapeer

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Lapeer Amtrak Station
78 Howard Street, Lapeer MI 48446

 Map & Directions

Make your plans now to attend the November 12 MARP meeting at the Amtrak station in Lapeer. PLEASE NOTE that the meeting will begin promptly at 12 o’clock Noon and end no later than 2:30 pm.

Our speaker will be T.J. Gaffney. He will speak on passenger train history in the eastern Thumb area, particularly in the Lapeer area. Gaffney is the owner of Streamline Historic Services, and is a consultant and contract historian to the museum and preservation fields. He is the former Director of the Steam Railroading Institute and the past Curator of Collections of the Port Huron Museum. He has written several articles on rail, maritime and local history and is the author of two books. The most recent is Rails Around the Thumb, part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of Rail series. He lives in Port Huron with his wife, Heather, son Thomas, and daughter Phoebe.

If you would like grab a PRE-MEETING bite to eat and a chance to socialize with fellow members, we suggest stopping at Leo’s Coney Island 282 S Main St, Lapeer MI 48446. To allow plenty of time, plan to be there by 10:30am-10:45am. Leo’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  From I-69, go north on M-24/Lapeer Rd. which becomes Main St. You will see Leo’s on your left just north of Turrill Ave. From here, it is a 3-minute drive to the Amtrak station via Turrill Ave and S Court St.

If you would like to carpool to the meeting, please reply to this email. We’ll try to match you up with others in your area.

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Built by Grand Trunk Western, the Lapeer depot opened in 1906. Currently serving passengers on the Blue Water route, the depot received a complete historic restoration in 2004 led by the local transit agency which owns the depot. CLICK HERE for a photo of the station taken by MARP member Ren Farley.

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Regional transit topic of League of Women Voters Meeting

The League of Women Voters Dearborn-Dearborn Heights will present a forum on Regional Transit at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13.  The meeting will be held at Christ Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall in Dearborn.  The church is located at 120 N. Military, at Cherry Hill.

Attendees will learn about the proposed Regional Transit Authority (RTA) millage proposal which will be on the November ballot, as well as how its passage could affect local residents and businesses.

Scheduled speakers are Megan Owens, Executive Director, Transportation Riders United; Barry Murray, Director of Economic and Community Development, Dearborn; and Lynette Ish-Green, Project Manager, Healthy Wayne.

The meeting is free and all are welcome.

For more information, please call (313) 278-6476 or email info@lwvddh.org.                                                                                                         

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What You Need to Know About Regional Transit:

A Community Forum Sponsored by the LWV Dearborn-Dearborn Heights

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Christ Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall, 120 N. Military (at Cherry Hill)

Megan Owens, Executive Director, Transportation Riders United

Transportation Riders United (TRU) is a nonprofit group dedicated to improving transit in greater Detroit through education, engagement and advocacy.

Barry Murray, Director of Economic and Community Development, Dearborn

Lynette Ish-Green, Project Manager, Healthy Wayne

Healthy Wayne is a collaboration between Beaumont Health, the City of Wayne and Wayne-Westland Community Schools District, joining with residents and community leaders to create a roadmap to improve community health.

Come and join with your neighbors in learning more about the RTA Millage Proposal. This event is free and all are welcome.

For more information, please call 313.278.6476

League of Women Voters Dearborn-Dearborn Heights

                   Making Democracy Work                                           

www.lwvddh.org                  www.VOTE411.org