Executive Committee Meeting Minutes — Conference Call – April 17, 2018

MARP Executive Committee
Conference Call
17 April 2018
7:30 p.m. – 8:20 p.m.

Members Present:  Steve Vagnozzi, John Langdon, Adam Tauno Williams, Kay Chase

Members Absent: Mark Miller, Stewart Bolinger, Robert Tischbein, Charles Shong,

Robert Patterson

Vagnozzi: Updates on 21 April member meeting at MSU Detroit Center. Larry Krieg will share information learned at recent NARP meeting on PTC implementation as it impacts deployment of the new Siemens Charger locomotives in Michigan. PTC presentation from Larry Krieg will be added to agenda. Langdon will have updates on Coast-to-Coast and A2TC projects.

Vagnozzi: Had recent conversation in Cleveland with All Aboard Ohio (AAO) executive director Ken Prendergast. There is an effort afoot in Pennsylvania to increase the frequency between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Ohio would like to extend that train to through Columbus and on to Chicago via Michigan. Greater focus on regional transit seems to be sparking increased involvement in AAO.

Vagnozzi: Discussion of ideas for future meeting topics:

  1. Michigan/Midwest equipment needs – perhaps a program on the new Midwest passenger coaches when design specs are determined and production timetable is known
  2. Possible keynote for Annual Meeting – Stadler presentation as done at recent Midwest High Speed Rail annual meeting – Stadler’s FLIRT technology has received a waiver to operate in US – Stadler is building a manufacturing facility near Salt Lake City


  1. Plan for a student-oriented meeting at WMU in the fall. Chase suggests working with Students for a Sustainable Earth (SSE), the Office for Sustainability, and faculty in Geography and Business (3 or 4 are MARP embers and there are others who support public transportation).  Chase will do some spadework on this, avoiding the Grand Rapids Art Prize dates of Sep 20 and 27 that Adam is working on for a MARP meeting.

Langdon, Williams: Relayed information about the West Michigan Express project initiated by Hudsonville city manager Patrick Waterman. A preliminary study has been done looking at transportation options linking Holland, Zeeland, Hudsonville, Grandville, Grand Rapids. Would likely begin with Bus Rapid Transit. Commuter rail is possible. A 5-year timeline is proposed. Williams says they have talked with employers who are supportive but raise doubt about the rail option.

Bolinger has sent a proposed budget to Steve who will email it to the EC. $2,551.00 membership dues have been received thus far in 2018.

If the special trains for Tulip Tim and Senior PGA Championship do well, there may be a special train for Grand Rapids Art Prize

Langdon reports that Senator Geoff Hansen is supporting a supplemental appropriation of $3 million for track upgrades on the Great Lakes Central line from Kingsley to Traverse City. This could allow for demonstration trains for events such as the Cherry Festival.

Langdon and Jim Bruckbauer, Grounwork Center point person for the A2TC Project, met recently with the House Transportation sub-committee where there appears to be support for the A2TC project.

Bridge Magazine April 17 article on A2TC Study quotes John Langdon.


Respectfully submitted,

_____Kay Chase_____________________         _____Steve Vagnozzi_____________________

Kay Chase, Acting Secretary                                           Steve Vagnozzi, Chair