Pere Marquette (Amtrak train)

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 westbound train leaves Grand Rapids during the morning rush, with the eastbound train leaving Chicago after the afternoon rush, enabling same-day business travel between the two cities.

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 typeInter-city rail
LocaleMidwest United States
PredecessorPere Marquette
First service1984
Current operator(s)Amtrak
Ridership106,662 (FY16)[1]
StartGrand Rapids, Michigan
EndChicago, Illinois
Distance travelled176 mi (283 km)
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)370, 371
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Track owner(s)CSXT, NS BNSF
Route map
Empire Builder and
Hiawatha Service
Chicago Metra
89 mi
143 km
St. Joseph
116 mi
187 km
151 mi
243 km
176 mi
283 km
Grand Rapids

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 yearsEdit

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 (although other Amtrak trains still stop there). Service at New Buffalo ended October 26, 2009, when a new station opened on a different alignment.[6]:210[7]

In March 2020, the Pere Marquette was suspended indefinitely as part of a round of service reduction in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[8] The train returned on June 29 with the eastbound run to Grand Rapids, with full service in both directions resuming on June 30.[9] In the interim, Grand Rapids' only connection to the national system was an Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach that connected with the Wolverine at Kalamazoo.

2007 crashEdit

On November 30, 2007, the southbound Pere Marquette collided with a Norfolk Southern freight train in Chicago, injuring 71 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.[10]


Amtrak Pere Marquette route

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


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 performanceEdit

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.[12]

Station stopsEdit

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.[13] The Pere Marquette made a special round trip train to/from Harbor Shores Golf Course for the 2018 Senior PGA Championship. This special train made an additional stop at the Hammond/Whiting station and terminated at Benton Harbor-Golf Course station, a few blocks away from Harbor Shores.

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 Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority: Red Route
Bangor Bangor Van Buren Public Transit
Holland Padnos Transportation Center MAX: all routes
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids Thruway Motorcoach: Indian Trails
The Rapid: Routes 1-18,Silver Line (Grand Rapids),


Sample consist
May 26th, 2018
LocationSt. Joseph, Michigan
TrainSouthbound #377

A normal Pere Marquette consists of:[14]


Route map:

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. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. 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. ^ "Service Adjustments Due to Coronavirus" (Press release). Amtrak. March 24, 2020. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "Grand Rapids-Chicago Amtrak Pere Marquette trains return next week" (Press release). Amtrak. June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  10. ^ "Accident Report Detail: RAR0901". National Transportation Safety Board. March 31, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Pere Marquette Route Guide" (PDF). National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  12. ^ Kolker, Ken (December 23, 2008). "State Asks Amtrak To Explain Delays: Michigan Trains Late Nearly 75% of the Time". The Grand Rapids Press.
  13. ^ "New Buffalo, MI". Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Pere Marquette". TrainWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2010.

Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit