Category Archives: Announcements

MARP meets April 16, 2016 in New Buffalo

MARP Membership Meeting
New Buffalo Township Library
33 N Thompson St, New Buffalo, MI 49117
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 10:30am – 1pm EDT

Map & Directions

The April 16 MARP meeting will take place at the New Buffalo Township Library. We have invited colleagues from Indiana to join us. Steve Coxhead, President of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, will have an update on the Hoosier State train now under private management. He will also have information about other projects the Indiana groups are working on. Fred Lanahan, who heads the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, is unable to attend, but will send a report on the current status of the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus corridor project which is a primary focus of the group. We will also have an update on the Indiana Gateway projects.

Many of you said you would like to take the train to New Buffalo. GOOD NEWS! John Langdon has succeeded in getting permission for Train #351 to make a stop in New Buffalo. You will have to buy a ticket on Train #351 to Chicago. You can book your return trip on Train #352 leaving New Buffalo at 3:09 pm. For best fares, buy your ticket NOW. If you are a Guest Rewards member, you can earn double points on this purchase. See the Double Points promotion showing on the Amtrak homepage.

Some of our guests may be arriving from the Chicago metro area on Train #350 at 9:37 am. So we have planned a “social hour” with coffee and pastries available at 10:30 am (eastern daylight time). If you are driving, please plan to take advantage of this opportunity for some extra “schoozing”. The business meeting will begin promptly at 11 am.

Lunch will be at the nearby Stray Dog Bar & Grill, just a short stroll from the train platform for those of you who will be catching the train to return home.

We look forward to seeing you in NBU!

ABOUT NEW BUFFALO

New Buffalo is a small beach community with a number of interesting shops and art galleries. The library is just a block and a half from the train and our lunch place is close by. If you want to make a weekend of it, you could visit the New Buffalo Railroad Museum which appears to be operating on a more professional level than in the recent past. The Four Winds Casino, which sends a shuttle to meet most trains, is one of the reasons for the huge jump in ridership at this station. On a nice spring day, the beach is an easy walk to and from the train. For lodging and attractions, visit www.newbuffalo.com.

MARP meets March 12, 2016 in Howell

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, March 12, 2016
10 am – Noon
Cleary’s Pub
117 East Grand River Avenue, Howell
MI 48843

Map & Directions

 MARP’s next general membership meeting will be held on Saturday, March 12, at Cleary’s Pub in Howell MI. Click on the link above for driving directions. You can park on the street or in the free lot located behind the pub.

 Our featured speaker will be Michael Benham who is the Special Assistant for Strategic Planning at the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. As such, he is responsible for guiding the planning for one of Michigan’s first commuter rail projects. The North-South Commuter Rail Project, otherwise known as the WALLY, is seen as a cost-effective alternative to ease traffic congestion along US-23 between Howell and Ann Arbor, as well as a spur to economic development and job creation opportunities in the region.

Mr. Benham will provide an update on the technical study currently underway. This detailed study is developing ridership and cost estimates, considering locations for stations and maintenance facilities, looking at governance and funding considerations, as well as reviewing possible alternatives, such as express bus service and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on US-23.

We hope to be joined by members of The Friends of WALLY, a grassroots organization working to build support for the commuter rail project. Several MARP members are among those who are working to see this project become a reality.

Following the business meeting, we will continue conversations over our usual non-host lunch.   Cleary’s Pub enjoys a reputation for excellent food!

If you are interested in ride-sharing to the meeting, please respond to this email. And – a gentle reminder – if you have not yet paid your 2016 membership dues, please click here NOW to pay online or click here to download a mail-in form.

MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS

Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fares for the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine trains

Don’t sit in your house and wait for warm weather. See the fun activities Michigan has to offer this winter by planning a Pure Michigan Snow Day and taking advantage of the hot savings Amtrak is offering on their Michigan trains! From now until March 31, Amtrak is offering 20 percent off fare for the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine trains. Below are just a few of the special prices available (adult fares, each way, as low as):

Chicago to Detroit $28.00
Chicago to Grand Rapids $24.80
Chicago to Port Huron $24.80

             To receive discounts, apply Amtrak fare code V441 for Michigan trains. The fare code must be used to take advantage of these low fares. Tickets are non-refundable and some blackout dates apply. See the Deals tab on Amtrak.com for other applicable restrictions, including advance reservation and purchase requirements for discounts through March 31. Terms and conditions vary.

Once you have your ticket, here is a sampling of special events occurring now until the end of March:

Amtrak Route

Event

City

Dates

Wolverine

North American International Auto Show

Detroit

Jan. 11-24

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Kalamazoo Beer Week

Kalamazoo

Jan. 16-23

Wolverine

Avondale Train Show

Auburn Hills

Jan. 17

Blue Water

Port Huron Chilly Fest

Port Huron

Jan. 22-23

Pere Marquette

Annual Chili Tour

St. Joseph

Jan. 29

Blue Water

Art & Craft Beer Fest

Lansing

Jan. 29-30

Pere Marquette

St. Joe Winter Beer Fest

St. Joseph

Jan. 30

Wolverine

Winter Fun Fest

Ann Arbor

Jan. 30 – Feb. 20

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Coopers Glen Music Festival

Kalamazoo

Feb. 5-6

Pere Marquette

Magical Ice Fest

St. Joseph

Feb. 5-7

Wolverine

Paczki Day

Hamtramck

Feb. 9

Wolverine

Meridian Winter Blast

Detroit

Feb. 12-14

Wolverine

Ann Arbor Train Show & Sale

Saline

Feb. 13-14

Pere Marquette

Beer Week

Grand Rapids

Feb. 17-28

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Pub & Grub Fest

Battle Creek

Feb. 20

Pere Marquette

Winterfest

Grand Rapids

Feb. 25

Wolverine

Autorama

Detroit

Feb. 26-28

Pere Marquette

LaughFest

Grand Rapids

Mar. 10-20

Wolverine

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Detroit

Mar. 13

Beyond the special events, the following list is an excerpt of family-friendly attractions that will keep visitors warm indoors. These attractions are open year-round:

Amtrak Route

Attraction

City

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Air Zoo

Kalamazoo

Wolverine

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Ann Arbor

Blue Water

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

Frankenmuth

Wolverine

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit

Blue Water

Durand Union Station/Michigan Railroad History Museum

Durand

Pere Marquette

Federick Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park

Grand Rapids

Blue Water

Flint Institute of Arts

Flint

Pere Marquette

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Grand Rapids

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Gilmore Car Museum

Kalamazoo

(Hickory Corners)

Pere Marquette

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Grand Rapids

Pere Marquette

Holland Museum

Holland

Wolverine

The Henry Ford

Dearborn

Blue Water/

Wolverine

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo

Blue Water

Michigan Historical Center

Lansing

Wolverine

Michigan Science Center

Detroit

Blue Water

Michigan State University Museum

East Lansing

Blue Water

Port Huron museums

Port Huron

Blue Water

Sloan*Longway

Flint

Wolverine

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Ann Arbor

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) does not endorse the events and attractions listed above as they just offer a snapshot of what visitors and residents can do along the Amtrak routes. For more information on other events, attractions, dining, lodging and connecting transportation to the trains, visit the following travel and visitor bureau websites:

Pure Michigan

Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Dearborn Visitor and Welcome Center

Discover the Blue

Discover Kalamazoo

Experience Grand Rapids

Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Frankenmuth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Four Flags Area Council on Tourism

Greater Lansing Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Holland

Lapeer Chamber of Commerce

New Buffalo Travel and Visitor’s Guide

Saugatuck/Douglas

St. Joseph Today

Shiawassee County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Visit Ann Arbor

Visit Detroit

Visit Grand Haven

West Michigan Tourism Association

Ypsilanti Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

 

Amtrak conductor talks to passenger on the Blue Water

A conductor talks to passengers aboard the Amtrak Blue Water.

More information at: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/bulletins/12f7aed

MARP Member Meeting Saturday, January 16, 2016 is in Lansing

MARP Member Meeting

Saturday, Jan, 16, 2016
10am – Noon
REO Town Depot (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 will give us an update on the progress made in 2015 on the Wolverine corridor upgrade as well as what to expect in 2016 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 its 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, please plan to socialize over lunch at Clara’s Lansing Station, another of Lansing’s historic railway stations, at 637 East Michigan.

If you would like to arrange car-sharing to the meeting, please reply to this email. We will put you in touch with others in your area.

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers

REO Town , located just south of Downtown Lansing, is at the core of Lansing’s automotive history and is one of Lansing’s revitalized gems. The commercial corridor and three neighborhoods of Moore’s Park, Fabulous Acres and River Point make up Reo Town. These distinct neighbors surround the former R. E. Olds Motor plant which was the backbone of Capital region labor in the early 1900’s. 

History of REO Town

Automotive History in Lansing

Things to do in Lansing

Amtrak adds 10 extra trains to handle Thanksgiving travel in Michigan

Amtrak will operate 10 extra trains in Michigan for the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday in addition to its regularly scheduled service.

On Nov. 25 and 29, an extra eastbound morning train will depart Chicago bound for Grand Rapids and an extra westbound evening train will depart Grand Rapids bound for Chicago.

On Nov. 25, 28 and 29, an extra eastbound morning train will depart Chicago bound for Ann Arbor and an extra westbound evening train will depart Ann Arbor for Chicago.

Click on the timetable below for more details.

Amtrak plans on utilizing every available piece of equipment to handle one of their busiest travel weeks of the year.

Amtrak recommends that passengers book their trip early in order to best match desired travel times and days.

CLICK ON THE SCHEDULE TO ENLARGE
CLICK ON THE SCHEDULE TO ENLARGE