Here at WMTA, we like to give you an inside look at some of West Michigan’s best-kept secrets, and today we have a very special one for you.
The Coopersville and Marne Railway is a train of antique passengers cars, which date from the early part of the last century. It has been a huge part of the Coopersville and Marne communities since the early nineties and is a very large attraction. It is always tops travelers list of “favorites” in West Michigan.
The train goes out into the countryside and through family owned farmlands. Passengers cross over an open deck girder bridge, four creeks and one road bridge before they arrive at the Village of Marne. The 1950's era diesel locomotive then uncouples from the train, runs along a passing siding next to the passengers car, couples onto the west end of the train and pulls the train back to the City of Coopersville.
This 14 mile excursion, takes travelers back to a simpler time of transportation, and only lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes. During the trip, the Conductor describes points of interest while train music from the 1800's plays throughout the cars.
On top of their regular excursions, the train also does something very special throughout the year. The railway puts on special programming for kids and families. On Saturdays in July the train does a “Great Train Robbery” excursion where the train gets “robbed” and for the whole ride, passengers will watch shoot-outs, horses running along side of the train, sheriffs fighting off robbers, and dancing girls! My family and I used to go every summer and it is one of my fondest memories growing up. Kids and adults get involved and help fight the crime!
Saturdays in October are always dedicated to the Pumpkin train. Riders will be able to enjoy entertainment from the giant pumpkin and his friends while they sing songs about the season. And of course, the infamous Santa Train runs throughout the weekends in December. The big guy in the red can be seen riding the train and kids and families are able to get their pictures taken with him as well as celebrate the holiday season.
However, RIGHT NOW the railway has a special Easter program called the Bunny Train!
Kids of all ages will enjoy this one hour and twenty minute excursion through the Spring Time country-side. The Easter Bunny and her cast of wacky, musical characters perform in each of the antique passenger coaches. The Springtime Princess will even read children's books and lead the passengers in springtime songs. The Bunny Train runs through April 23rd.
It is so easy to fall in love with the Coopersville and Marne Railway. The charm of the whole entire railway really shines through on every excursion. What makes this particular West Michigan secret so special is the fact that the whole entire production is volunteer based. These volunteers absolutely love what they do and passengers can see this on every ride. We know that once you take one ride, you will be back for more!
If you have kids who are fascinated by trains, you can actually rent out the Caboose for an extremely low rate. The red caboose was built in the 1940’s and has tables and benches that can seat up to 16 young railroaders. These rentals are also great for school groups and business meetings. In fact just a few years ago, the WMTA held our board meeting on the train! Businesses can actually hold meetings on the train while it is running its route. Talk about inspiring your employees!
If you haven’t checked it out- you must. You and your kids will fall in love with the railway. For more information on the railway, visit the website here.
We are giving away three family 4 packs of tickets to ride the train. These tickets are good for a free ride during the regular season or $5 of themed train rides. Just tell us about a memorable train ride you have taken, and you will be entered to win (3 winners will be drawn on Friday, April 29)!