Category Archives: Meetings

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.

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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