Pere Marquette (Amtrak train)

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Pere Marquette
Pointless arrow in "Pure Michigan".jpg
Amtrak 156, the 40th-anniversary Phase I heritage GE Genesis, pulls the Pere Marquette through southwestern Michigan.
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Operating
Locale Midwest United States
Predecessor Pere Marquette
First service 1984
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Ridership 106,662 (FY16)[1]
Start Grand Rapids, Michigan
Stops 3
End Chicago, Illinois
Distance travelled 176 mi (283 km)
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 370, 371
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Track owner(s) CSXT, NS BNSF
Route map
Chicago US Passenger rail transport
89 mi
143 km
St. Joseph–Benton Harbor
116 mi
187 km
151 mi
243 km
176 mi
283 km
Grand Rapids

The Pere Marquette is a passenger train operated by Amtrak as part of its Michigan Services on the 176-mile (283 km) route between Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. It is funded in part by the Michigan Department of Transportation and is train 370 eastbound and train 371 westbound.[2]

The train is named for a named train of the defunct Pere Marquette Railway,[3] and in turn for Pere Marquette, Michigan, an early name for Ludington.[4] The town was named for Father Jacques Marquette, a French explorer of the Great Lakes region.[4]



The Pere Marquette was a named train of the Pere Marquette Railway, which ran between Detroit and Grand Rapids six times a day. When the Pere Marquette Railway was absorbed into the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in 1947, the name was maintained and extended to Chicago.

The Amtrak years[edit]

Amtrak revived the name for its Grand Rapids–Chicago service on August 5, 1984, with financial support from the state of Michigan.[5] Initially it served Chicago, Hammond–Whiting, New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Bangor, Holland and Grand Rapids. Service at Hammond–Whiting ended April 29, 2001, (other trains still stop there). Service at New Buffalo ended October 26, 2009, when a new station opened on a different alignment.[6]:210[7]

2007 crash[edit]

On November 30, 2007, the southbound Pere Marquette collided with a Norfolk Southern freight train in Chicago, injuring 30 people. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the collision was the failure of the Amtrak engineer to interpret the signal at Englewood interlocking correctly and Amtrak's failure to ensure that the engineer had the competence to interpret signals correctly across the different territories over which he operated. The NTSB released its findings on the crash on March 31, 2009.[8]


Amtrak Pere Marquette route

The Pere Marquette operates over Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation trackage:

  • Norfolk Southern between Chicago and Porter, Indiana[9]
  • CSX between Porter, Indiana and Grand Rapids[9]


During fiscal year 2016, the Pere Marquette carried 89,508 passengers, a decrease of 6.6% from 2015, when it carried 95,807 passengers.[1] Ticket revenue in 2016 was $2,906,782, a decrease of 4.4% from 2015's $3,040,677.[1]

On-time performance[edit]

During 2008, the on-time performance of train 370 (Chicago-Grand Rapids) was 33.6%, of train 371 (Grand Rapids-Chicago) 13.5%. By September 2010, these figures had changed to 63.3% and 13.3% respectively. Amtrak owns 10 miles (16 km) of this line, freight railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern the remainder. Track and signal delays and freight train interference make up the majority of delays.[10]

Station stops[edit]

In October 26, 2009, the New Buffalo Amtrak station was relocated from the CSX trackage to the Amtrak-owned alignment closer to the shore of Lake Michigan. This new station is ADA-accessible and has a more extensive shelter. As a result, the Pere Marquette no longer stops in New Buffalo, which is served by Wolverine and Blue Water trains.[11]

State Town/City Station Connections
Illinois Chicago Chicago Union Station Amtrak: Blue Water, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carl Sandburg, California Zephyr, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Hiawatha Service, Hoosier State, Illini, Illinois Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Lincoln Service, Saluki, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine, Thruway Motorcoach
CTA Buses: 1, 7, 14, 19, 20, X20, X28, 56, 60, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 151, 156, 157, 192
Megabus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7
Metra: North Central Service, Milwaukee District/North Line, Milwaukee District/West Line, BNSF Railway Line, Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service
Michigan St. Joseph St. Joseph Amtrak Station Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority: Red Route
Bangor Bangor Station Van Buren Public Transit
Holland Padnos Transportation Center MAX: all routes
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids station Thruway Motorcoach: Indian Trails
The Rapid: Routes 1-18,Silver Line (Grand Rapids),


Sample consist
March 19, 2011
Location Bangor, Michigan
Train Westbound #371

A normal Pere Marquette consists of:[12]


Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c "Amtrak FY16 Ridership and Revenue Fact Sheet" (PDF). Amtrak. April 17, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Michigan Services Schedule" (PDF). Amtrak. January 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Pere Marquette". Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. Retrieved December 1, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Who or What Are All Those 'Pere Marquettes'?". Pere Marquette Historical Society. Retrieved December 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Pere Marquette Commemorative Button". Amtrak History & Archives. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3. 
  7. ^ Creager, Ellen (October 26, 2009). "Detroit–Chicago Amtrak train will stop in New Buffalo". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Accident Report Detail: RAR0901". National Transportation Safety Board. March 31, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "Pere Marquette Route Guide" (PDF). National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Kolker, Ken (December 23, 2008). "State Asks Amtrak To Explain Delays: Michigan Trains Late Nearly 75% of the Time". The Grand Rapids Press. 
  11. ^ "New Buffalo, MI". Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Pere Marquette". TrainWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dixon, Thomas W. Jr. (2004). Chesapeake & Ohio's Pere Marquettes: America's First Postwar Streamliners 1946–1971. Lynchburg, VA: TLC Publishing. ISBN 1-883089-88-3. OCLC 56444812. 

External links[edit]