On the outskirts on Alpine Township, next to the fish hatcheries. sits an old red brick building that had been empty for years, and is currently the home of the Grand Rapids Model Railroad Historical Society. Over the the past few years, members of the organization have been busy building a scaled replica of the Pere Marquette Railroad as it existed between Plymouth, Michigan and Chicago Illinois circa 1945. The replicas include branch lines terminating in the Northern Michigan cities of Petoskey, Manistee and Ludington, including its car ferry operation. Local modelled locations along the main line include Wyoming, Grandville/Hudsonville, Sparta and Comstock Park although much restoration remains to be done on some of the terminals. The system is controlled by a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) dispatcher operating signals along the mainline, and "written" Train Orders along the branch lines.
The organization represents a number of interests. Some of the members enjoy the electronic portion. others enjoy doing scenery, or just the history of railroads.
GRMRHS hosted an open house today which was attended by a number of interested visitors. The organization is always looking for new members and invite persons interested to write to GRMRHS at P.O. Box 606, Comstock Park, MI 49321. They meet at 7:00 PM every Tuesday behind Dwight Lydell Park. Visit their website at www.grmrhs.org.