Meeting Minutes – Muskegon – June 16, 2012

JUNE 16, 2012


Members Present:  Hugh Gurney, Don Monteith, Dave Randall, John Langdon, Kay Chase, Dave VanderBee, Clark Charnetski, Steve T. Sobel, Dan Platz, Kathleen Newell, Larry Sobczak, Dianne Patterson, Robert Patterson, J. P. DesCamp, Rich Vavra-Musser

Also Present: Rosemary Horvath, Tess Craven, Alan Bond, Andy Bussard

Call to Order:  Acting Chair Monteith called the meeting to order at 11:40 a.m.  All present were asked to introduce themselves and tell why they were interested in passenger rail.

Nominations:  Nominations Chair Sobel reported that all incumbent members of the Executive Committee have agreed to serve in their current positions for another two years.  Larry Krieg has agreed to stand for the vacant Vice Chair position.  We are still looking for members qualified and willing to stand for the positions of East/Central Regional Chair and West Michigan Regional Chair. 

Speaker: Andy Bussard, Archivist with the Muskegon Railroad Historical Society, then gave an excellent Power Point presentation on railroading in Muskegon County.  By 1869, Muskegon was connected to Ferrysburg by rail.  This short line was incorporated into other lines to connect to Grand Haven and Holland.  Over the years, other lines were built and by 1897, the Pere Marquette was operating a railroad car ferry to the western side of Lake Michigan.  Throughout the first six decades of the Twentieth Century, the port was served by three major railroads, the Pere Marquette, the Grand Trunk Western and the Pennsylvania, with loaded railroad cars ferried to various points in Wisconsin.  Passengers transferred from trains to the ferries at the Union Depot and the nearby Grand Trunk Depot.  The last passenger train departed Union Station on April 30, 1971, the day before Amtrak took responsibility for passenger service nationwide.  It is ironic that the first railroad to connect Muskegon to the rest of the world is the last to serve the community, running north from Holland and Grand Haven to Muskegon.

In addition to the Power Point presentation, replete with historic photographs and visuals of actual railroad timetables and other documents, Bussard provided members with an excellent set of maps depicting the routes of all the rail lines serving Muskegon and adjacent counties.

Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted:                                             Accepted:




Hugh D. Gurney                                                         Robert Tischbein

Secretary                                                                     Chair