In conjunction with the 4th Annual Michigan Rail Conference
|IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Make plans now to join fellow MARP members on August 17 at the 4th Annual Michigan Rail Conference on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
MARP members will receive the “early bird” discount through August 9 when registering online. The fee will be $100 (a savings of $75). To receive the discount, enter the code MRC_MARP-late2016 in the box at the upper right of the final registration screen when entering your payment information (detailed instructions below).
MARP members wishing to attend only the passenger rail session at 12:45 on August 17 will be allowed to enter free, for that session only. This session is a panel discussion titled “Passenger Operations in an Era of Lean Public Investment”. Panelists include:
View the complete Conference Program HERE
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN THE UP!
MARP Member Meeting
Saturday, June 11, 2016
10 a.m. to Noon
John D. Dingell Transit Center (Amtrak Station)
21201 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124
The new Dearborn Amtrak station which opened as the John D. Dingell Transit Center in December of 2014 will be the venue for the June 11 MARP general membership meeting.
The meeting will feature a presentation titled “Presidential Travel By Train”. The speaker will be Radford Jones who, as a U. S. Secret Service agent, was responsible for security of six U.S. Presidents as well as security coordination during the 1976 Presidential inauguration and advance teams for three political conventions. In 2009 he was recognized by Security Magazine as one of the 25 most influential persons in security. Audiences in SE Michigan have found Mr. Jones’s telling of the history of the Secret Service and his experiences with the Kennedy tenure entertaining as well as informative.
Mr. Jones is a native of Hillsdale MI. Retiring after 21 years with the U.S. Secret Service, he became the manager of security and fire protection for Ford Motor Company. Subsequently, he taught in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University and directed the school’s Criminal Justice online degree program.
His freelanced Move It On (MIO) Railroad System, Hillsdale Division, a New York Central connector, duplicates many locations he visited during his year career with the U. S. Secret Service.
Please plan to join your fellow members and friends for the usual no-host lunch following the meeting.
If you are interested in ride-sharing to the meeting, simply reply to this link. We will do our best to match you up with a ride or riders.
MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS
MDOT’s handling of the controversial commuter rail cars was correct, and will potentially save up to $1,680,000 a year.
BY LARRY KRIEG
Remember the dust-up about how Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) was “wasting public funds” by leasing and refurbishing rail cars? These were the cars purchased by Great Lakes Central Railroad (GLC) from Chicago’s Metra commuter service. In 2010 MDOT’s Office of Rail leased 23 of these cars and commissioned GLC to refurbish them for anticipated commuter service in Michigan. (See the detailed article in The Michigan Passenger, Spring 2015 p.1)
As a result of an official state audit and media criticism, a legislative hearing was conducted in March of 2015. MARP submitted written testimony to the legislative committees, supporting the lease and refurbishment as foresighted and cost-saving. The result and the audit and hearing was a requirement that MDOT renegotiate the terms of the lease, terminating payments by the end of 2015 while retaining the right to lease the cars later, when and if commuter service is started.
The Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority (RTA) recently released their study [http://www.rtamichigan.org/wp-content/uploads/Draft-Detailed-Definition-of-Alternatives-v16.pdf] of the Michigan Avenue Corridor (Detroit-Ann Arbor), recommending at least eight round-trip trains every day. The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by local officials and business leaders along the line. If citizens pass the RTA millage in November this year, we could see these commuter cars rolling in Southeast Michigan as early as 2019.
On April 29 this year, Michigan’s Auditor General released a report [http://audgen.michigan.gov/~audgenmi/finalpdfs/15_16/r591019514F.pdf] certifying that MDOT did in fact comply with the requirement. In addition, they estimate Office of Rail’s new contracts with GLC brought about potential savings of $60,000-140,000 per month, or $720,000-1,680,000 per year.
That’s in addition to the money saved by refurbishing used cars in the first place. MARP estimates each refurbished, restroom-equipped car to cost $2.5 million less than the cost of new double-deck commuter cars. It even saved half a million dollars per car under what California recently paid to purchase and refurbish single-level used commuter cars, according to an investigation by Clark Charnetski. And about 3/4 of the money spent by MDOT stayed in Michigan, providing jobs for skilled Michigan technicians during the depths of the Great Recession.
MARP Membership Meeting
244 W Michigan, Jackson MI 49201
Saturday, May 21, 2016
10 a.m. – Noon
Please plan to attend the May 21 MARP meeting at the Carnegie Library in downtown Jackson. MARP member Gerald Callison will be on hand to demonstrate the Google map that he has created of Michigan Amtrak routes. Also on the agenda will be an in-depth discussion of the work of the Route Enhancement Committee chaired by Hugh Gurney. The membership discussion will center around recent rail developments with an eye toward having input in the pending updates of Michigan’s 2040 State Long Range Transportation Plan and the Michigan State Rail Plan. See this month’s issue of ON TRACK for links to information on these state plans.