Category Archives: Announcements

Grand Rapids-Chicago Amtrak Pere Marquette trains return June 29-30, 2020

Beginning June 29 and 30, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation are restoring the daily Pere Marquette round-trip trains between Grand Rapids and Chicago in response to anticipated demand. This Amtrak MidwestSM service was temporarily suspended on March 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The train will originate in Chicago on June 29 and both Trains 370 & 371 will operate starting June 30. Train 370 departs Chicago at 6:30 p.m., St. Joseph/Benton Harbor at 9:14 p.m., Bangor at 9:50 p.m., Holland at 10:33 p.m. and arrives in Grand Rapids at 11:34 p.m. Train 371 departs Grand Rapids daily at 6:00 a.m., Holland at 6:49 a.m., Bangor at 7:32 a.m., St. Joseph/Benton Harbor at 8:10 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 9:08 a.m. All times Eastern, except Chicago, which is in the Central Time Zone. Business Class and café service will also be available.

Amtrak continues to take extra steps to keep train travel safe, including limiting bookings to less than half of capacity to maintain physical distancing onboard trains. Reservations are required for Amtrak trains on this route, excluding holders of Multi-Ride Tickets. Ticketing is now available on, our mobile apps or by calling 800-USA-RAIL.

“We are dedicated to doing everything possible to return service safetly. We want everyone to feel comfortable as they navigate this new normal,” said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn.

In addition to aggressive steps to disinfect stations and trains, additional Amtrak measures deliver a New Standard of Travel by including the following:

  • Facial coverings: As part of Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to protect customers and front-line employees in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Amtrak is requiring that all customers in stations, on trains and Thruway Buses wear facial coverings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of simple cloth facial coverings or masks to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission.
  • Cashless service: As an added measure to ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees, we are temporarily accepting only cashless payments in stations and on trains.
  • Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at our busiest stations to indicate safe distances in high customer traffic areas such as waiting rooms, ticket offices, base/top of escalators, lounge entrances, etc. In addition, clear protective barriers have been installed at stations where there were no barriers.

Amtrak continues to evaluate practices and pilot new opportunities to support personal safety. Visit for more information about how Amtrak is maintaining a safe environment.



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 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!


Register now for MARP’s 2019 Annual Meeting!


Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers
Tony M’s
3420 S Creyts Road,
Lansing MI 48917
Saturday, September 14, 2019
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Make plans now to attend! Our featured speaker, Mr. Mark Walbrun, will speak on the topic “Building a fast, high frequency passenger railroad in Michigan”. He brings to his topic a long and varied career in railroad and transit system planning, design and construction. Other invited speakers will provide updates on developments in the state of Michigan and the Midwest.

The cost to attend is $25 per person and includes a catered luncheon. The registration deadline is Saturday, August 31, 2019.

COST: $25 per person includes a catered lunch

DEADLINE:  Saturday, August 31, 2019 is the deadline for registrations.

Click the button below to register online using PayPal, a major credit card or a debit card
Or download the mail-in form and send with a personal check
payable to MARP, Inc. to:
MARP, Inc. |
PO BOX 405 | OKEMOS MI 48805

ACT NOW! The deadline for registration is Saturday, Aug. 31.

Prefer registration by U.S. mail? Click on the form below, print it, fill it out and mail along with your check

Click here for a PDF version of the registration form: