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tSlater

Mich. may cut subsidies that keep Amtrak running

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http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_story.aspx...96&catid=14

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan may cut subsidies that keep Amtrak running along two of its three passenger rail lines in the state.

The state is paying Amtrak more than $7 million a year to offer roundtrip daily service linking Grand Rapids to Chicago and Port Huron to Chicago.

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From the Chicago Tribune:

Michigan Amtrak cuts could affect Chicago

I rode the train to Chicago last week (as I will later this week) and Amtrak had informational flyers onboard about this. I dropped a note to my state Rep. & Senator noting that during my visit there was a large tourist bus on the Loop wrapped entirely in a "Pure Michigan" vinyl sign. I asked my elected officals if they could reconcile state funds being spend to lure Chicago visitors while at the same time cutting funding on a mode of transportation TO GET THEM HERE.

One chose to reply, one didn't.

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From the Chicago Tribune:

Michigan Amtrak cuts could affect Chicago

I rode the train to Chicago last week (as I will later this week) and Amtrak had informational flyers onboard about this. I dropped a note to my state Rep. & Senator noting that during my visit there was a large tourist bus on the Loop wrapped entirely in a "Pure Michigan" vinyl sign. I asked my elected officals if they could reconcile state funds being spend to lure Chicago visitors while at the same time cutting funding on a mode of transportation TO GET THEM HERE.

One chose to reply, one didn't.

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I saw a piece on one of the business channels that noted the P.M. campaign was rated in the top ten of tourist campaigns nationally and internationally. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the business channel themselves receive a good deal income on the time sold, but that's another matter. They also showed a "Joey Harrington-esque" P.M. billboard in Times Square (wonder what THAT cost?)

While I'm sure the folks with a stake in the effort could throw all sorts of data at us showing its effectiveness, I still question how many visitors are swayed by P.M. verses the upcoming Art deal for example? What kind of ROI are we getting?

More to the point of the thread, the trains run both ways. Perhaps serving the direct needs of Michigan citizens might be a good place to spend state funds. Perhaps if the stuff should hit the fans and air service is curtailed or road travel is disrupted, having a way to move people and goods MIGHT be something desireable.

But that's just me.

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I saw a piece on one of the business channels that noted the P.M. campaign was rated in the top ten of tourist campaigns nationally and internationally. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the business channel themselves receive a good deal income on the time sold, but that's another matter. They also showed a "Joey Harrington-esque" P.M. billboard in Times Square (wonder what THAT cost?)

While I'm sure the folks with a stake in the effort could throw all sorts of data at us showing its effectiveness, I still question how many visitors are swayed by P.M. verses the upcoming Art deal for example? What kind of ROI are we getting?

More to the point of the thread, the trains run both ways. Perhaps serving the direct needs of Michigan citizens might be a good place to spend state funds. Perhaps if the stuff should hit the fans and air service is curtailed or road travel is disrupted, having a way to move people and goods MIGHT be something desireable.

But that's just me.

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I should note that by P.M. I mean Pere Marquette. However, my original point is that the service to Chicago is much more valuable then the service to West Michigan. Which can be taken in many different contexts. A large chunk of boardings to the P.M. are people dodging Ford Intl. I see it all the time.

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Never able to take Amtrak when I dodge GRR. Just fly into ORD and drive around the lake. But I would love to take the train; I remember when the C&O ran that line (and one to Detroit) out of the station in the Wyoming Yards. My folks remembered taking the Pere Marquette to Detroit before I was born and having a dome car to enjoy the Michigan scenery. Alas, gone before my time.

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Sorry Dave, no dome car, dining car yes :thumbsup: I remember eating in it once when my dad and grandfather (on my mom's side - he lived to 68) went to a Tigers game by train. It was complete with white table cloth, real silver ware, and flowers on the table. Intersting waht sticks in you memory :) Still, there was only one train each direction (Detroit & Chicago) in the early 60's

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You have to go back a long way but I think LA Dave may be right. Apparently right after WWII there was a short lived big push to modernize service on the Pere Marquette and it included observation cars and multiple trains a day (to Detroit at least.) Here's an interesting link that tells the history of the passenger service from the end of WWII till its demise in 1971:

http://www.mrhs-online.org/newsletter/arti...quettes_web.pdf

I don't have a link but coincidently I just picked up a copy of Railfan magazine at Elliot's yesterday that has a good article about the new local Marquette Railroad that now runs on the old Pere Marquette line from GR to Ludington. The new Marquette Railroad uses the same color scheme as the old Pere Marquette.

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I will stand corrected based on the article (It was before my time but I did ride the train to Detroit every summer growing up pre Amtrak :) ). I never heard about dome cars on the PM before and interestingly the photo from '46 has 7 cars w/o anything that looks like a dome.

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You have to go back a long way but I think LA Dave may be right. Apparently right after WWII there was a short lived big push to modernize service on the Pere Marquette and it included observation cars and multiple trains a day (to Detroit at least.) Here's an interesting link that tells the history of the passenger service from the end of WWII till its demise in 1971:

http://www.mrhs-online.org/newsletter/arti...quettes_web.pdf

I don't have a link but coincidently I just picked up a copy of Railfan magazine at Elliot's yesterday that has a good article about the new local Marquette Railroad that now runs on the old Pere Marquette line from GR to Ludington. The new Marquette Railroad uses the same color scheme as the old Pere Marquette.

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