Amtrak’s Blue Water kickoff here Saturday

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, April 22, 2004

By Staff
CHICAGO -- Events are planned in nine Michigan communities, including Niles, on Saturday to celebrate the restoration of daily morning service to Chicago, with an eventin return trip to Michigan, on the Amtrak Blue Water route.
Named for its home region of Port Huron, the Blue Water will also serve Lapeer, Flint, Durand, East Lansing, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Dowagiac and Niles, and operate under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) effective Sunday, April 25.
On Saturday, each Michigan community will sponsor events in conjunction with a Blue Water Inaugural Special train operation.
The special train will operate "whistle-stop" style, with officials making speeches from the rear platform of the train, and a variety of local events.
The limited number of seats aboard the train have been set aside for community leaders, but public events at each station will range from music and a balloon launch in Port Huron to a cake cutting in Niles, with live music and drawings for two pair of Amtrak tickets at each station.
A cake cutting is planned in NIles at 2 p.m. The train should arrive here at 2:30 p.m.
Effective Sunday, the westbound Blue Water (Train 365) will depart Port Huron daily at 5:15 a.m. ET, make intermediate stops and arrive in Chicago at 11:10 a.m. CT.
The eastbound Blue Water (Train 364) will depart Chicago at 3 p.m. CT, make intermediate stops and arrive in Port Huron at 10:50 p.m. ET.
Food service on the Blue Water will feature a variety of sandwiches, drinks and other snacks in the Cafe car.
The convenient schedule allows passengers to make day trips from Michigan to Chicago and return that evening.
It also enables passengers to connect to Amtrak's network of trains with afternoon departures from the Chicago hub to hundreds of destinations throughout the country.
As part of the contract with MDOT, Amtrak is again staffing ticket offices in East Lansing, Flint and Port Huron stations.