Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Waking up to the Pere Marquette

On Saturday I decided to head over to the west side of the state in order to catch two ships.  One was going into St. Joseph and the other was going into Grand Haven a little later.  The one going into St. Joseph was one I wanted to catch anyway.

Normally when I mention Pere Marquette, I refer to either the gate guardian in Grand Haven or the 1225, but not in this case.
 To catch the ship going into St. Joseph required me getting up fairly early and I arrived there at about 8:00 in the morning.  I remembered that there was an Amtrak that passed through there.  I figured that I might be passing about the same time, so I decided to check the Amtrak tracker and found out that it was going to be passing about 15 minutes later.

The Pere Marquette is named after the railroad which in turn was named after Father Jacque Marquette who was an early explorer and missionary who founded Sault Ste Marie and St. Ignace (among other things).
 Prior to 1947, the Pere Marquette line of the Pere Marquette Railway ran from Grand Rapids to Detroit six times per day.  In 1947, after the Pere Marquette Railway was bought by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, the name of the line was kept and it was extended to Chicago.
 In 1984, Amtrak revived the part of the line that ran from Grand Rapids to Chicago with the assistance of the State of Michigan.  It served Chicago, Hammond-Whiting, New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Bangor, Holland and Grand Rapids.
 In 2001, service to Hammond-Whiting ended and New Buffalo was taken over by the Wolverine.
 This is an older Amtrak F40PH engine which was built by the Electromotive Division of GM.  The F40PH came out of a requirement of Amtrak to have some engines.  The first unit was delivered in 1975.  It was also used by Via Rail in Canada.  For the most part this is a retired engine but Amtrak retains them as control units.
 It kind of looks like it is smiling.
The train continues on its way to Chicago.

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