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Donuts, proclamations and celebration planned across Lower Michigan for Saturday’s National Train Day

May 10, 2012
Trains stations across Lower Michigan will host public celebrations of National Train Day this Saturday, with refreshments, displays, proclamations and experts on hand to discuss recent exciting developments in Michigan train travel.

“Passenger rail is an increasingly important component of Michigan’s transportation system, especially with today’s volatile gas prices,” said Tim Fischer, deputy policy director with the Michigan Environmental Council.

“Our rail system is getting a shot in the arm, with enhanced-speed rail improvements under way on the Chicago-to-Detroit/Pontiac line and many other improvements to stations and rail crossings,” said John Langdon of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers. “Saturday’s events will highlight this progress.”

National Train Day marks the 143rd anniversary of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Events are planned in Kalamazoo, Bangor, Holland, East Lansing, Ferndale, Niles, Flint and Jackson. Media and the public are encouraged to visit and learn about the future of passenger rail transportation. And, to eat free donuts.

Events include:
Kalamazoo (2 events)
Kalamazoo Amtrak Station
459 North Burdick Street
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sponsored by the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, National Train Day will be celebrated at Kalamazoo's historical railroad station with a reading of a Proclamation by City Commissioner Robert Cinabro. Visitors will greet the arrivals of three of Kalamazoo's six daily passenger trains and enjoy coffee, tea and treats. There will be toy conductor hats and activity books for all the young railroad fans. The Vicksburg T-Track Club will have a model train in operation. Other attractions include a display telling the history of the Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw (CK&S) Railroad as well as an exhibit from the Vicksburg Historic Village and Depot, which has family-centered activities throughout the summer. MARP members will be on hand with information about some of the 500 destinations available to Amtrak passengers and tips on planning your trip.

Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society
9336 N. Riverview, Parchment, MI
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be refreshments and operation of a 20x40 foot HO scale layout on display. Vintage Boyne City, Gaylord and Alpena caboose open for tours.

The Railroad Café
555 Railroad St.
8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Mayor of Bangor will read a proclamation to the crew of Amtrak's Grand Rapids - to - Chicago Pere Marquette train upon arrival of the train at 9:02 a.m., followed by family-friendly events including live music, an HO scale model railroad layout, refreshments, and the grand opening of the ice cream shop at The Railroad Café.

Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve
13988 Range Line Road
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Celebrate National Train Day with a visit to Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, and see the popular Railway Garden, designed by landscape architect and naturalist, Paul Busse. This is the fourth season for this family attraction, which features bridges, tunnels, waterfalls, and four train tracks at varying levels. Buildings are replicas of five local attractions, including Buchanan’s Pears Mill, the St. Joseph Lighthouse, Notre Dame’s Golden Dome, the Niles Train Depot, and new this year, the historic Niles City Hall, all made with natural materials.

National Association of Railway Business Women - Saginaw-Great Lakes Chapter #68
1407 S Dort Hwy (M-54)
6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Activities include Operation Lifesaver, NARBW Display, refreshments, model train exhibit, and more.

Rainy Day Hobbies
22939 Woodward Ave.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Open House at Rainy Day Hobbies featuring model Amtrak train displays, videos, photo contest, train coloring contest, model train demonstrations and more.

Amtrak Station
501 E. Michigan Ave.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers will provide refreshments, and volunteers will pass out Amtrak hats, schedules, Amtrak tour booklets, stickers, etc. A model railroad setup will be available.

East Lansing
Amtrak Station
1240 South Harrison Road
7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers staff will have refreshments and Amtrak timetables and other information. A resolution from the Michigan House of Representatives proclaiming Train Day in Michigan will be presented to the conductor.

Amtrak Station
171 Lincoln Ave.
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Join Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) and the Macatawa Area Express (MAX) at the Louis & Helen Padnos Transportation Center (Amtrak Station), starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending with the departure of Amtrak’s Grand Rapids-to-Chicago Pere Marquette train. Complementary cake, coffee and bottled water will be part of the celebration. The mayor pro tem of Holland and executive director of the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will read a proclamation declaring May 12 as National Train Day to the crew of Amtrak’s train number 371 upon its arrival at 8:21 a.m.

Tim Fischer, Michigan Environmental Council: 734-255-9206
John Langdon, Michigan Assn. of Railroad Passengers: 616-218-9009
RELATED TOPICS: transportation policy
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