Amtrak Pere Marquette service to celebrate 30th anniversary on Sept. 16

From an Michigan Department of Transportation press release:

The public is invited to celebrate 30 years of the Pere Marquette Amtrak service between Grand Rapids and Chicago, with stops in Holland, Bangor and St. Joseph/Benton Harbor. The Westrain coalition and Amtrak will promote the 30th anniversary event with a double-decker Superliner train, including a special “theater car” at the rear of the train for better viewing; an opportunity to win free round-trip tickets at stations; and commemorative gift bags and refreshments. The event is sponsored by the Westrain coalition, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which provides state support for the route.

Approximately one-half hour prior to regularly scheduled train departure, 30th anniversary ceremonies at each city are slated to include local mayors and other city leaders, as well as MDOT and Amtrak officials.

To commemorate the occasion, tickets will be discounted 30 percent for the month of September for all stops on the Pere Marquette route. Go to for ticket details.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
Grand Rapids: 7:00 a.m. event (7:40 a.m. departure)
Holland: 7:50 a.m. event (8:26 a.m. departure)
Bangor: 8:30 a.m. event (9:07 a.m. departure)
St. Joseph/Benton Harbor: 9:10 a.m. event (9:44 a.m. departure)

Grand Rapids Amtrak Station
431 Wealthy St., SW
Grand Rapids

Holland Amtrak Station
1717 Lincoln Ave.

Bangor Amtrak Station
541 Railroad St.

St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Amtrak Station
410 1/2 Vine St.
St. Joseph

The Pere Marquette serves Grand Rapids, Holland, Bangor, and St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, with daily passenger service to and from Chicago. This is one of three state-sponsored routes. Michigan is among 15 states, including Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin, that sponsors Amtrak for services. Improvements to the service include free Wi-Fi service added last year and a new station location scheduled to open in Grand Rapids next month.

Since 2006, annual ridership has been steady at more than 100,000 each year. Currently, ridership is expected to be about 3 percent below last year’s total of 104,491 due to the recent harsh winter and steady-to-lower gas prices.

Westrain coalition members include the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, the city of Bangor, Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce, and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, and are supported by the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers.