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.