An interior view of the Pere Marquette's Parlor Car No. 30.

(Pere Marquette Railway, Public domain, W. Lenheim Collection)



The Resort Special was a seasonal night train from Chicago, renowned for serving resort towns such as Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey on the northwestern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Begun by the Pere Marquette Railway, it was a rare instance of a named Pere Marquette train continuing after the Chesapeake & Ohio absorbed the Pere Marquette Railway in 1947. In 1960s, the C&O shifted the Resort Special to a White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to New York City route.


Pere Marquette's (later, C&O's) Petoskey Depot, 1900; the Northern Michigan route's terminus in final years.

(Photochrom Print Collection.; Detroit Publishing Co. no. "53840", Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Early extent of route

The Pere Marquette (and later the C&O) operated coach and Pullman service on this western Michigan route for nearly six decades. It had two origin points by June 1921, from Chicago (Grand Central Station), and from Detroit (Fort Street Union Depot). The sections from both cities joined in Grand Rapids and proceeded north to Baldwin, Traverse City, Petoskey and Bay View. Normally, all trains on this division of track ended at Petoskey, however, the Resort Special was the last remaining passenger train to use the segment from Petoskey to Bay View.

Noteworthy resort locations en route were the Idlewild resort for African-Americans during the Jim Crow era, five miles to the east of Baldwin, the National Music Camp for young musicians and the Interlochen State Park in Interlochen and the Methodist revival camp in Bay View.

1948 was the last summer that the train, No. 10 northbound, No. 9 southbound, went all the way to Bay View. In 1949 it was shortened to Petoskey. Also that year, the Detroit section was eliminated from the train. However, the train resumed serving Baldwin.  In 1957 the C&O eliminated this named train from this route.

The PM's Petoskey Division also included regular year-round service trains that served local stations that the Resort Special bypassed. As late as the April, 1961 timetable, the C&O was running trains as far north as Petoskey. Despite the PM’s earlier dropping of the name from the train, the C&O continued to run No. 7 and No. 10 in summer, 1963 as unnamed through sleepers from and to Traverse City, the northern terminus of PM passenger service on the division by that point.


The C&O's expansive, world famous Greenbrier resort complex, nestled in the Allegheny Mountains in White Sulphur Springs, WV, 2006. The complex is continually visited by dignitaries and celebrities from all over the world. Located approximately sixteen miles from the Virginia border on interstate 64, it's the home of some great golf courses, one of them built from the ground up on an old unused airport runway. The Greenbrier housed the secret facilities to run the country in a nuclear threat which can now be visited by the public on a scheduled tour. (HARRY W. McCORMACK (TEABERRYEAGLE), CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons, cropped)



In the mid-1960s the C&O rejuvenated the name in an April - June and September - October two night a week eastbound only White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia-New York City all-Pullman train, running express from Covington, Virginia to Washington. White Sulphur Springs is the site of the C&O-owned five-star resort, The Greenbrier. (The Pennsylvania Railroad's No. 108 Edison carried the sleeping cars for the Washington-New York portion of the route.)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Mid-West
First service: 1904; c. 1963 (second incarnation)
Last service: 1957; c. 1968 (second incarnation)
Former operators: Pere Marquette Railway, Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Route Termini: Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan; Bay View, Michigan
Distance traveled: 411.3 miles (661.9 km), Chicago-Bay View; 379.5 miles (610.7 km), Detroit-Bay View (1941)
Service frequency: (summer-time)
Train numbers: 9 (southbound), 10 (northbound)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coach
Sleeping arrangements: Sections, Roomettes, double bedrooms, drawing rooms and compartments (1941)
Catering facilities: Dining lounge car
Observation facilities: Club car