Posts Tagged ‘Tulip Time Festival’

Tulip Festival Extra Trains Scrapped

May 2, 2019

Amtrak and Michigan Department of Transportation have canceled a planned extra service between Chicago and Holland, Michigan, to take passengers to the latter’s annual tulip festival.

The train had been planned to depart Chicago in the morning and Holland in the afternoon.

An MDOT spokesman said lack of adequate ticket sales led to the cancellation.

“Unfortunately, due to low reservations, we made a business decision with Amtrak to cancel the two special Tulip Time trains for May 4 and May 11,” said MDOT’s Michael Frezell.

He said those who booked travel on the extras will receive full refunds or they can ride Amtrak’s daily Pere Marquette between Chicago and Holland.

However, taking the Pere Marquette to Holland will require an overnight stay.

In fact, it would require a two-night stay because the Pere Marquette departs Chicago at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Holland at 10:31 p.m. The return trip leaves Holland at 6:49 a.m.

The tulip festival special had been scheduled to leave Chicago at 7:05 a.m. and depart Holland at 11:28 a.m.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused passengers,” Frezell said.

The Chicago Tribune reported a passenger who had tickets to ride the special received an email from Amtrak saying her trip had been canceled “due to a schedule change.”

Frezel said additional Chicago-Holland tulip festival service has been an on and off proposition over the years.

MDOT also sponsors extra service during the Thanksgiving travel period and until recent years had also underwritten extra trains during the Christmas travel period.

The tulip festival, known as Tulip Time, has been held for 90 years and draws about 500,000 visitors during its nine-day run.

Frezell said it is undecided if MDOT will sponsor future special train service to the tulip festival.

He said that would need to be worked out with Amtrak, the city of Holland and festival organizers.

“If the train does run again we recommend passengers book early,” he said.

Extra Trains Set for Holland Tulip Festival

March 15, 2019

Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation are offering additional service on May 4 and 11 to the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan.

The service will use the route of Amtrak’s Pere Marquette, departing Chicago Union Station at 7:05 a.m. and returning at 8:24 p.m.

Times at intermediate stations for Train No. 374 are Hammond-Whiting, Indiana, 7:29 a.m.; St. Joseph, Michigan; 10:01 a.m.; and Bangor, Michigan, 10:37 a.m.

Arrival at Holland is expected to be at 11:28 a.m.

Train No. 375 is scheduled to depart Holland at 5:50 p.m., Bangor at 6:33 p.m., St. Joseph at 7:11 p.m., and Hammond-Whiting at 7:51 p.m.

The festival is billed as as the nation’s “Best Flower Festival” and “America’s Best Small-Town Festival.”

Amtrak said in a news release that more than 1,000 customers rode extra Amtrak trains on this route during festival weekends in 2018.