As life restarts in West Michigan, we will be looking for fun, engaging activities to share with our kids and grandkids. Imagine the wide eyed look from those youngsters when they get their first look at this train. It's Thomas the Tank Engine come to life.

The Coopersville & Marne Railway is a vintage railroad, run by volunteers. As the name implies, it's located between Coopersville and Marne, or for those not familiar with the area, think between Grand Rapids and Muskegon. On select days, the railroad offers 90-minute train rides between Coopersville and Marne.

Tentatively, rides on the train are back in June. These rides will follow CDC guidelines for limiting capacity for social distancing. Also look for EnterTRAINment trips on June 5th and 26th, both are Saturdays, and Wednesday, June 16th. (As of this writing, no specific ticket information is posted.)

The Coopersville & Marne Railway Company began in 1989. A group of locals and investors got together with the goal of buying the old Grand Trunk right-of-way between the towns of Coopersville and Marne, to preserve the track "for future use and to provide vintage passenger service".

What started with one passenger car in 1990, has grown to four, over the years. With the help of local officials in Coopersville, the train station has grown and been remodeled.

The railroad's history goes back over 170 years, while the Coopersville to Marne stretch is over 160 years old.

"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. - Coopersville and Marne Railway.

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