Category Archives: Meetings

MARP Virtual Meeting Scheduled for July 9 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

A First . . .

       Thursday, July 9    6:30 – 8:00 pm


Please plan to join in the discussion of current developments in inter-city passenger transportation including how systems are dealing with COVID-19 challenges. We will hear from Al Johnson, Acting Director, MDOT Office of Rail, who will update us on continuing work on the Michigan Line and the status of the Midwest equipment order. Derrick James, Amtrak Government Affairs, will have news on the national front, including a proposal to create a National Passenger Rail Trust Fund.

The meeting will be conducted online using Zoom. Please join the meeting at least five minutes before the start time of 6:30 pm EDT on Thursday, July 9.

Click the link below to join the meeting:

If you have not used Zoom before, plan to to click the above link at 6:00 pm for help in getting started and learning to use the features.

You are encouraged to submit your questions in advance. Please send them to  before 5:00 PM this Friday, July 3.

COVID-19 outbreak disrupts MARP meeting schedule

Due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 outbreak, MARP is suspending face-to-face meetings for the next few months. We hope to be able to re-schedule the 47th Annual Meeting for mid-October in Jackson. In addition, we are studying the possibility of holding “virtual” meetings online in order to stay in touch during these challenging times.

In the meantime, we hope you are staying well and in a safe place. There will be huge challenges ahead and we will need all of you more than ever to insure that our train services continue and even expand.

— Your Executive Committee

MARP meets with TRU Saturday, March 14, 2020 *cancelled*


MARP Meeting in Partnership with TRU
Saturday, March 14, 2020, 10 a.m. – Noon

A Community Conversation About All Things Transit

The Ann Arbor Room
University of Michigan Detroit Center
3663 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI 48201

MAP & Directions

MARP is joining with Transportation Riders United (TRU) to engage with the community in a discussion of where we stand with transit and rail projects and where we would like to be. Megan Owens, Transportation Riders United (TRU) Executive Director will provide “An Update on Regional Transit in Metro Detroit.” There have been a number of exciting developments in the metro region following the disappointing loss in 2016 of the millage vote to support the Regional Transit Authority Master Plan. With new leadership in Oakland County, area leaders have come together in a new effort to advance the project. Megan will share these new initiatives with us.

Also invited to join the discussion are officials of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) and the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The AAATA will soon launch a pilot program dubbed D2A2 to provide frequent motor coach service between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Viewed in the best light, this could be seen as an interim measure until the long-awaited Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail becomes a reality. The RTA is tweaking the plan put forth in 2016 and may go to the voters this fall.

The U of M Detroit Center is located on the corner of Woodward and Mack / MLK Blvd. Access to the adjacent Orchestra Place Parking structure is from Parsons St. There may be street parking nearby, but DO NOT park in the surface lots next to and behind the U of M Detroit Center.

Due to logistics and restrictions placed by the venue, we will not serve refreshments. If you would like to arrive early and meet up with other members, there is a Starbuck’s right across the street. Or continue in that direction on Mack/MLK Blvd to Whole Foods at the other end of the block.

It may be convenient for some to take one of SMART’s FAST buses into midtown: 261 FAST Michigan (park at Dearborn Amtrak), 461/2 FAST Woodward or 561/563 FAST Gratiot.

For excellent information on using the FAST buses go to:


MARP meets Feb. 22, 2020 at the John D. Dingell Transit Center

MARP Member Meeting
February 22, 2020
10 a.m – 12 p.m. (Noon)
John D. Dingell Transit Center
21201 Michigan Ave, Dearborn MI

MAP & Directions

 Come hear about “The Windsor Connector”, a proposal to facilitate travel by train to Toronto by providing a bus service connecting passengers from Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Detroit to the VIA Rail station in Windsor.  Yuri O. Popov will present the work of a committee composed of Larry Krieg, Chuck Merckel, Doug Wilson, Hugh Gurney, Jean Merckel, and Clark Chartnetsky. The committee has come up with a detailed proposal and has received favorable responses from officials with whom they have spoken. Find out what you can do to help bring this project to fruition.

We will also review a “watch list” of projects in which MARP has an interest and discuss priorities for action in the near term. Topping the list in executive committee discussions in December were:

  • Windsor Connector
  • West Michigan Express (commuter service Grand Rapids to Holland)
  • Mini-high platforms at Dearborn, Kalamazoo, East Lansing, & Detroit stations
  • CSX/Amtrak connection at New Buffalo
  • Additional passing tracks on the Wolverine Line.

A number of desired projects have longer time horizons and the need for considerable capital investment: Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter rail, additional frequencies on the three Michigan routes, the WALLY commuter project, the Coast-to-Coast project (Detroit-Ann Arbor-Lansing-Grand Rapids/Holland, the A2TC project (Ann Arbor-Traverse City), restoration of Chicago-Detroit-Toronto service. Perhaps you have your own ideas. Let’s talk about them.

Questions? Send email to



MARP meets in Kalamazoo on Nov.16, 2019

MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, 16 November 2019, 11 AM – 1 PM
First United Methodist Church
212 S Park St W, Kalamazoo MI 49007

MAP & Directions

On Saturday, November 16, MARP members will gather at the First United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. The meeting will begin at 11 AM to accommodate those who may wish to come by train.. Please make note of this change of time.

This will be an interesting and enlightening meeting. You will hear how technology is beginning to change railroad operations around the world as the industry seeks to address the challenges of environmental sustainability.  An “Overview of Hydrogen-Powered Railway Vehicles” will be presented by Andreas Hoffrichter who is the Burkhardt Professor in Railway Management and the Executive Director of the Center for Railway Research and Education in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. 

Those of you planning to come by train have two choices for “the last half-mile”. If you come on the Wolverine, you have plenty of time to walk the 5 blocks to the church—maybe have a coffee along the way. Even Blue Water passengers would have sufficient time unless the train is late. In any case, we will have drivers at the station to provide transportation for those desiring rides. Please send email to if you are taking the train, so we have an idea how many drivers are needed.    

If you are driving from home, plan on extra time. The Kalamazoo Holiday Parade is taking place at the same time as our meeting. This will make getting around downtown and finding parking a challenge. 

The map on the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade website may be helpful.  The Kalamazoo Amtrak Station is across the street from PARKING RAMP 4 ARCADIA at the top of the map. Bronson Park is in the center of the map and the church is across the street to the west of the Park and on the south side of Academy. The church parking lot is likely to be full, but you may find on-street parking in the area to the west and south of the church. Or try the city lots 17, 18, or 30 at the top left portion of the map, just 3 blocks north of the church. 

The interactive website Downtown Kalamazoo Parking Information can provide driving directions from your point of origin. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

We will enjoy our usual post-meeting lunch at the Blue Dolphin Restaurant, just a short walk from the church if it appears that moving your car will be more trouble than it’s worth.

For you train riders, there will be lots of downtown activity to enjoy and coffee shops or breweries where you can imbibe and rest your feet until train time. Or you might wish to visit the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts or the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Both are close by.

We look forward to seeing you in The ‘Zoo!