Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Rail Freak, Oct 7, 2019.
Never really traveled in Michigan,can you make a journey by rail there? Suggestions please!
OH, That's too bad! Thought I had a new Amtrak Adventure!
The UP is out of the way of just about everything...and hardly anybody lives there. Not exactly fertile ground for rail transport.
If there were a train to the UP ... it would probably go by way of Wisconsin - not Michigan
Sadly, I think you are about 51 years too late to book a trip on the Copper Country Limited.
Was just up that way. Gorgeous country. Still quite a bit of freight and a lot of rail trails - primarily due to ore extraction and mining.
No rail transport, but this is a nice way to spend the day:
You can also cross the border to Soo, Ontario and ride this:
Like everyone has said, no train, but you can connect from Amtrak to an Indian Trails bus in Milwaukee or Grand Rapids. They go through the UP, but most of the routes are overnight, I believe. I've done it a few times from Milwaukee, but go all the way across the straits, into the morning.. It's a a pretty cool experience, actually, but I really wouldn't want to get off at an empty parking lot in the middle of the night.
You really need a car to explore that region anyways - it's very sparsely populated and you'd be stuck in a town unless you were going to a resort.
There have been occasional excursion trains in the U.P. out of Marquette and Gladstone, but I think all of those have dried up in recent years.
My last ride on a scheduled service in the U.P. was in the 1960's on the C&NW from Negaunee to Ishpeming and return (towns 3 miles apart) on the far northern end of the Peninsula 400's route. Included a cab ride from Ishpeming station out to the turntable and back to turn the engine, and the conductor decided not to bother collecting the fares due by me and my brother for the journey.
Due to population sizes, the closest rail service will EVER get to the UP of Michigan will be Green Bay, WI and Traverse City, MI. Those are the nearest metropolitan areas to that part of the state (and even those cities won't be seeing rail service anytime soon.) Michigan is in the early stages of studying rail service to Traverse City, and efforts to bring service to Green Bay have been stalled for many years.
Once Duluth gets service (yeah, far in the future too) there'll be rail a bit closer....
There are an interesting series of tracks running all the way to Marquette - but, with the small population the best one could hope for would be once-a-month service during the warmer part of the year ... and I don't see that happening
Although, I bet it would be a very scenic trip!
M-28 has track along it most of the way from I-75 west. You're correct on both counts, a scenic trip, but not happening.
If the Canadian National, Ontario’s government, and a new operator could get their crap together (won’t happen) the Hearst-Sault Ste Marie flagstop Service would come back. Giving you a very close railhead.
The Escanaba & Lake Superior railroad has allowed a few charter excursion or rare mileage trains over the years. That would be you best (and probably only) opportunity to ride a passenger train in the U.P.
E&LS had a charter passenger train in August 2019. Here are a few photos:
https://railpictures.net/showphotos.php?railroad=Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad
People have posted a few of these train charters on YouTube.
I visited the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Michigan's UP this summer. I found it intriguing that the area was, formerly, well served by passenger service. At one time this was for deforestation, along with the logging industry. Eventually, recreational fishermen found the area for weekend getaway trips. And, then, it became a summer vacation spot for Chicago and Milwaukee-ites.
As aforementioned, the last of passenger service was in the late 60s on C&NW. I heard an interesting story as to how this station in Eagle River, WI once had connecting steamboats which met the train and carried passengers along the chain of lakes to their final destinations.
I also met a man who first journeyed to the area around 1940 via the Milwaukee Road. He offerred interesting stories about that trip, abandonment of the line during WWII, and discoveries of site excavation when the depot area was redeveloped.
Contemporary bus fan trip option:
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