the Coopersville & Marne Railway
the Coopersville Historical Museum - Housed in a former Interurban railway station
the Coopersville Farm Museum
the transplanted Spring Lake interurban depot
GPS Coordinates: 43.063510, -85.935206 (Town Square across from the C&M station/ticket sales)
Access by train/transit:
Railroad Signals in the area:
The Coopersville and Marne Railway Company
is a historic and excursion railroad about 15 miles northwest of
Grand Rapids, and is all volunteer. You can also ride in their SW-9
engine for 35 bucks, and rent a caboose for parties or private
affairs hooked to their excursion train.
The Coopersville and Marne Railway Company
was incorporated on July 13, 1989. The initial purpose of those
involved was to purchase the old Grand Trunk
right-of-way between the towns of Coopersville and Marne, just to the
northwest of Grand Rapids. The idea was to preserve the track for
future use and to provide vintage passenger service. The purchase was
made on December 14, 1989.
The line has a long history. It was chartered as the
Oakland and Ottawa Railroad Company on
April 3, 1848. The purpose was to build a railroad from "Oakland via
Fentonville to Lake Michigan in Ottawa County". The railroad was
merged with the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad
Company in 1855, and the name was changed to the
Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad.
The track through Marne and Coopersville was first laid down in the summer
of 1858. The first train into Grand Rapids arrived there in June of
1858, with the first train into Grand Haven arriving there in September of
that year. There is more history available on their history page,
which is where this was plagiarized from :-).
The main attraction in Coopersville is the Coopersville & Marne
Rwy. The railroad is primarily an excursion railroad, with trains
operating for almost the whole year except for January and February.
Some trains are regular excursion trains, others are themed trains.
They offer two special items of interest not offered by most other excursion
railroads: you can rent the services of their caboose either in the yard,
or to run behind one of their regularly scheduled trains. In
addition, they offer cab rides in the engine for $35, with a maximum of
two riders per trip. The people running the railroad are all
volunteers, most are Ham Radio operators, and they are all just as
friendly as can be. As you can see from the pictures below, they
have quite an assortment of equipment in their yard. For much
more and current information, check out their website. Below
are some of the key points about the railroad:
Another railroad related building is the Coopersville Historical Museum,
which is partially housed in a ~1902 interurban railway depot. Outside on
display is an interurban car, and a number of older railroad related items as
can be seen below.
There is also the Coopersville Farm Museum which looks interesting.
We didn't have a chance to go thru either of the museums, for they were both closed.
By far, the busiest area of town for fast food, services, and hotels is
on the west side of town, near the traffic circle at 68th Street
and W. Randall Street.
Denver Todd knows all of the guys at the railroad, and besides giving me a great personal
tour, arranged a ride on the loco while they were making some last minute moves. Thanks!
Getting to Coopersville couldn't get much easier, being
located right off of interstate 96, between Grand Rapids and Grand
Haven/Muskegon. Regardless from which direction you come from, it is
easier to get off at exit 16, go north to the traffic circle, then proceed
east on Randall Street.
GPS Coordinates: 43.064006, -85.938009
311 E. Danforth St., PO Box 55, Coopersville MI 49404
Coopersville & Marne Station / Ticket Office
GPS Coordinates: 43.063341, -85.935330
Looking down the tracks from the station towards the shops
The passenger cars and caboose parked at the station.
GRGH&M Interurban Depot
GPS Coordinates: 43.064055, -85.935754
This depot served the Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon Rwy
from 1902 till the railroad stopped running in 1928. It was an
electric interurban railway that ran on overhead wire in the cities,
and 3rd rail power in the country. The building now serves as
the Coopersville Historical Museum. That is Denver happily
pointing to the sign.
Next door to the Historical Museum is the Farm Museum
ex Spring Lake Interurban Depot
GPS Coordinates: 43.064046, -85.937522
This depot was moved from Sprig Lake to here, and it sits next to the shop building.
Left: Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click
their index page. In their collection, the set of maps is from too early
a time frame to have a quadrangle map for Cooperstown. I'm not sure when
the newer map is from, but it doesn't have the detail the older maps do.
Updated 8/13/2023.... I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert.
My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I
have fun with while trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National
Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to
take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated
as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.