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“slow train ride”

Coopersville & Marne Railway
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 August 2013

The train ride is low cost last for just over an hour. good for kids over 5. We went on a weekday nothing happing other than the ride. The train is staffed by mostly volunteers doing a good job. We bought tickets on line travel zoo for 1/2 price, kids under 1 1/2 ride free. great parking easy access for handing cap not wheel chair? 8/28/13

2  Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 July 2013

We have 4 kids, from age 6 all the way down to 4 months old. It can be challenging at times to find entertainment to keep them occupied and having fun. The Coopersville & Marne Railway definitely delivered! We were visiting Michigan on our family vacation, and I had pre-purchased a Groupon for 4 tickets to ride the train. We told our kids ahead of time that we were going to ride a train and this single event was what they were most looking forward to.

I sent an email to the address on their website and had a confirmed reservation within a few hours. We showed up Wednesday, July 17 to ride the train. The train station was very easy to find. We arrived about 20 minutes early and traded our voucher in for the actual tickets. Very easy process!

Upon boarding the train, our kids instantly entered a state of train nirvana. The smiles said it all! The train left promptly at its scheduled time. The conductor walked around punching everyone's tickets (our kids remembered this scene from the movie Polar Express), and even took the time to have pictures taken with numerous families.

While the scenery isn't much to see between Coopersville and Marne, the experience of riding on an old train more than makes up for it. A lot of reviewers complain that this is only a ride back and forth from point A to point B with nothing exciting in between. I'm here to say, sit back and enjoy the ride! Our kids could have cared less that there was nothing exciting to see outside. They used their imaginations and talked the whole time about how much fun the train was.
We brought snacks and drinks aboard and had ourselves a modest little picnic.

The conductor came through numerous times and told us about how he had the pleasure of being the honorary conductor of the Polar Express when it came to Grand Rapids for the movie premiere back in the day, he also told us how the railway is run entirely by volunteers.

For that reason alone, it is massively impressive how well run the operation is. The Coopersville and Marne Railway is a source of great family entertainment, and I applaud them on every aspect of their operations.

6  Thank jdcyclone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

On a beautiful Saturday in July, my Hubbie and I took our 5 year old son and his best buddy on the Great Train Robbery ride, which is a fund raiser for the Ottawa County Mounted Sheriff Department. What a clever idea! The ride is completely staffed by volunteers, who are clearly there to have fun! My boys loved the ride and the robbers, the sheriffs on board the train, and the ladies (many of them dressed to fit the part).

Yes, the trip is over an hour, yes it is warm in the train cars (air conditioning was not invented in the 1800's, but there were open windows and fans), and no, there's not a ton of scenery, but plenty to look at if you try. The railway follows the same path as the highway, so you do see some views of the highway, but there were also many quaint houses, lots of woody areas, and plenty of steep dropoffs that delighted the kids. Yes, the train cars are old. That's the point. They are, however, decently maintained.

Partway through our trip, outlaws on horseback came alongside the train and shot at us... When we hit Marne and waited for the Engine to reverse to the other end, there were bad guys and a good, old-fashioned shootout! The boys loved it and all the kids on the train seemed to be having a great time. It was a little spooky for the wee 2-year-old seated nearby, though. Real guns with real blanks are pretty loud!

On the way back we were overtaken by bandits, who came aboard and demanded our jewels and money (provided early in the trip by ladies dressed in period costume). These bandits were gentle in their demands and happy to smile for a pic or two.

To make your trip the most fun and comfortable, here are my helpful hints:

1 - We sat on the right side of the car (moving forward toward Marne). Most of the action takes place on the left side (away from the highway). For the best view, sit on the left side as the train pulls out of the Coopersville Station.

2 - We read that it was okay to bring snacks, so we did... It was a long, warm ride, so a snack helped pass some of the time for the little kids... And a drink. The volunteers came around with cold drinks for $1 to support the Sherrif's dept. If we hadn't brought our own, I would've happily paid $1 for a cold drink.

3 - Bring along a squirt gun or two. Some of the characters had them and provided some cold, wet relief along the ride. One of the kids nearby surprised them with a squirt of his own and it was all kinds of fun!

4 - Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun. It's a great way to spend an afternoon doing something other than a movie or sitting at home. And remember - the volunteers are there because they want to be. Thank them!

5  Thank Veronica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Bought a Groupon for four passes to ride this on our way home from camping over July 4th. We ate downtown and departed on a Saturday at 1:10. More like 1:30! It was a 90 degree day, hot and humid. Granted, this is a old school train with nothing but open windows for cooling off. The train ride was 1.5 hours. Took us down 40 mins one way, then hooked engine to other end and took us back 40 mins same exact same route back to station. They should offer a 30 minute trip for people with kids. That would've have been plenty! There was no exciting scenery, barely any interaction with the crew, although Bob did make his way around and talk to everyone. He was nice. Our kids were beyond bored (ages 3 and 7) and all of us were sweating with nothing to drink. Wish we wouldn't known to bring a snack and drink! Overall, a waste of 1.5 hours and I am thankful my 3 year old finally succumbed to the heat to fall asleep the last 15 mins. It was pretty miserable. Maybe on a cooler day and shorter ride. The downtown is cute and has charm and potential though.

1  Thank travelin6berries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

This was to be an excursion, but ended up being just a ride, and nothing to see. No historical info was passes through the speaker system. Could have given info about the train and it's past. We did not even get told We could get out at Marne to watch the Engine moving locations. Lacks in management to make this worth while. Info people is is what We want on a tour!!!! Disappointed in Just A Ride!!!!!!!

1  Thank Manny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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