Category Archives: Announcements

MARP meets Aug. 19 in Bangor

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, August, 19, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
Odd Fellows Hall
235 W Monroe St, Bangor MI 49013

(On the 2nd floor above the Bangor Historical Society Museum)
Map & Directions

West Michigan is beautiful this summer! The blueberries are ripe, the sweet corn is ready and the Freestone Pickles may be curing in the barrels across the tracks from the Bangor train station.

We hope you are planning to “come on out” to enjoy the sights and smells – and while you’re at it, join fellow MARP members and friends in the interesting meeting planned for us.

Ron Pesch, author of “Big Wheels Turning: Greyhound in Michigan”, will treat us to the surprisingly interesting story of the 1914 Hupmobile that became a fleet of inter-city buses and the forgotten role played by West Michigan.

The Odd Fellows Hall is located in the historic Funk, Steinman & Ely Building, above the Bangor Historical Society Museum. Look for the building with the big green awning on the south side of Monroe Street (aka M-43) a few buildings west of the railroad tracks.

The Museum houses, among other things, a collection of Kalamazoo Toy Trains, which were manufactured in the Bangor train station during the years prior to restoration of passenger service in 1984. The museum is open 10AM to 4PM on Saturdays.

For the gardeners among you, a visit to the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum might be in order before you leave Bangor. The museum is located in the childhood home of Liberty Hyde Bailey, considered the “father of horticulture”.  Saturday hours are 9AM to 4PM.

Or you might plan a whole weekend of activities including fun on the beaches at South Haven or Van Buren State Park and a visit to the Michigan Maritime Museum.

 

Midwest Rail Conference slated for Aug. 15-17, 2017 in Kalamazoo

Midwest Rail Conference
“Midwest Connections: Passenger and
Freight Rail Look to the Future”
Au
gust 15-17, 2017
W
MU Fetzer Center, Kalamazoo MI

 

In its fifth year, the Conference focus has been expanded to encompass the broader Midwest region. In addition, the 2017 conference will join forces with two other events by leading rail transportation organizations: the Summerail 2017 event organized annually by the Freight Rail Transportation Committee (AR040) of the Transportation Research Board; and the annual meeting of National University Rail Center (NURail), the first USDOT OST-R University Transportation Center dedicated to the advancement of North American rail transportation.

Events will kick off with the Student Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Outing at the Ridgeview Golf Course and Committee Meetings on Tuesday morning/afternoon, followed by the Opening Reception and live music with the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band at the Bell’s Brewery “Backroom” in Kalamazoo.

Technical Sessions will take place all day Wednesday, August 16, at the WMU Fetzer Center. The luncheon Keynote Speaker will be Joseph McHugh, senior vice president and chief for Amtrak Government Affairs and Corporate Communication.

The opening plenary session is a panel on “Autonomous Vehicles and Their Impact on the Rail Industry”. Following that, three panelists will talk about “State DOT Rail Programs” in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. “High(er) Speed Rail” will be discussed from the perspectives of IL-DOT, an academic researcher, and a rail and transit consultant from Parsons Brinckerhoff. Other break-out sessions will discuss “Future of Freight”, “Urban Rail”, “Short Lines”, and “Inter-City Passenger Services”.

The conference will wrap up on Thursday with field trips featuring a visit to a Cargill facility in Decatur, a train ride to Battle Creek on the upgraded Wolverine Higher Speed Rail Corridor, topped off with a visit to the Little River Railroad in Coldwater.

CLICK HERE to view the Conference Program

REGULAR REGISTRATION begins July 1 at a rate of $250 per person.

Blocks of rooms at four Kalamazoo hotels will be held until July 24 for conference participants.

To register, view the complete 3-day Agenda, and learn about lodging Visit  rail.mtu.edu/event/mrc2017

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.

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.