New Buffalo, Michigan, is home to the tracks of the Pere Marquette running on CSX tracks, and the Amtrak-owned high speed Michigan main line used by the Blue Water and Wolverine trains. These tracks cross each other on a grade-separated bridge with the Pere Marquette crossing over the Blue Water and Wolverine trains. The two routes don't reach the same trackage to enter Chicago together until Porter, Indiana about 20 miles east. Some long-range plans call for a rail junction here so the Pere Marquette can use some of the Michigan high-speed trackage. These parallel rail lines give the resort community an interesting history for Amtrak service. Amtrak service to New Buffalo first began with the start of the state-supported Pere Marquette service on August 5, 1984. Trains stopped at a small platform, bus shelter, pay phone and sign on Whittaker Street at the grade-crossing of Washington Street. Today the shelter and signage has been removed, but the pad, support for the pay phone, and frame that once housed the sign are still intact (your webmaster drove by the old station at night, didn't stop for photos).
To provide service closer to the touristy waterfront, and much better train service from up to four trains per day instead of one train, the New Buffalo Station was relocated to the Amtrak-owned Michigan Main Line just two-thirds of a mile east of the former station down Whittaker Street. The current station opened on October 26, 2009, with the stop on the Pere Marquette closing that same day or the day before. A single Wolverine train and the Blue Water served the station when it first opened. Today (as of September 2016) the Blue Water, along with all 3 eastbound Wolvernine trains, and 2 of the 3 westbound Wolverines all stop in New Buffalo.
The new station is modern and simple. It consists of a small 200 foot long (could fit two cars) low-level platform that serves a single track that begins just after the grade-crossing of Whittaker Street and goes west. A small ramp up from the sidewalk next to a blue bike rack provides all access. Directly beyond the platform is Oselka Drive, and this has 25 Amtrak designated parking spaces (including 2 ADA spaces) for short and/or long-term parking. Each of these spaces is individually signed as Amtrak parking only. The platform itself has white fencing, and white lampposts. The waiting amenity on the platform is a single white canopy structure (with blue sides to the roof), just long enough to cover a single blue bench. Hanging from the canopy is a single modern New Buffalo, MI sign. There is also a larger set of modern Amtrak information panels (the back that faces the parking lot just says New Buffalo, MI and does not include Thank You for Riding Amtrak like many of them). A modern brown wheelchair lift enclosure is at the extreme western end of the platform. A few flowerpots are also on the platform. The station does not have a payphone.
All Photos Taken on 28 August, 2016 on a visit by automobile
Last Updated: 19 September, 2016