Ypsi-Ann

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Ypsi-Ann

Unread postby Ypsi » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:50 pm

My new paper RR is an extension of the old Ypsi-Ann Streetcar line, but first some history (real info in quote after that my extension begins):

History

In October 1889 the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan invited the Haines Company of Kinderhook, New York to construct street railway within the city. The following summer Charles Delemere Haines arrived in Ypsilanti and quickly determined that the city's population could not support its own streetcar system, but that an interurban between it and neighboring Ann Arbor, Michigan, would be viable. Haines proposed a 7.5 mile line running from Ypsilanti's downtown to the edge of Ann Arbor. Haines predicted that the system would handle 500 passengers daily; at that time trains operated by the Michigan Central Railroad between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti carried forty.

The company was officially incorporated on August 30, 1890. From Ypsilanti the route ran west on Cross Street/Packard Road to the Ann Arbor city limits, near Wells Street. The company commenced construction on October 22; the line was completed on December 19. The company petitioned the Ann Arbor Common Council for permission to extend the line into the city, but was denied. The reason for denial was that the original motive power of the line came not from semi-quiet electricity, but from a rattling and hissing steam locomotive—which had been covered in boards to disguise it as a wood-sided wagon, so that it would be less alarming to horses. Ann Arbor residents opposed it banging through their streets. The AA&YRy therefore negotiated an arrangement with the Ann Arbor Street Railway for its electric cars to meet the dummy at the city limits and exchange passengers.

Service: 1891-1929

Regular service began on January 9, 1891, using steam traction. On the 26th the Ypsi-Ann's owners purchased the AASRy, but the two companies continued to operate separately. The line carried 600 passengers daily, well ahead of projections. The improved connection between the two cities had social effects: students attending the University of Michigan and Normal College mixed on an unprecedented scale.

Trains operated every ninety minutes, at an average speed of eight miles per hour. The starting fare was ten cents.

On August 26, 1896, the two companies formally merged to become the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Electric Railway (AA&YRy). By November the route between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti was fully electrified, opening a direct route between the two cities with no need to change trains. The depot in Ypsi was on Washington Street, just north of today's Michigan Avenue (then called Congress Street). The depot in Ann Arbor eventually was located on West Huron, where the Greyhound Bus Station is now. An intermediate depot in Pittsfield Township—a tiny building at the SW corner of Packard and Platt—later housed offices of the short-lived City of East Ann Arbor. On May 11, 1898, the Detroit, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Railway (DY&AA) purchased the AA&YRy; a month later interurbans were operating all the way from Detroit to Ann Arbor, a forty-mile route.


In 1929 the Ypsi-Ann almost quit but they decided to let the electric cars run for a few more years. Service rates continuted to decline and in 1935 the Ypsi-Ann was shut down and "closed for good". That did not last long, an investor saw a possible investment opertunity in 1936 and thankfully all of the electric wires and car barns were still in place. In 1936 the Ypsi-Ann Started back up under the same name, but only running from ypsilanti to Ann Arbor. The new Ypsi-Ann lasted until 1947 when once again the Ypsi-Ann was closed because of a lack of ridership. In 1949 the wires came down but the tracks stayed in place "awaiting removal". Before the scrappers could lay a finger on ther rails the Ypsi-Ann was saved again.

In 1955 the city of Ann Arbor expressed that they would like to help finance the rebuilding of the Ypsi-Ann from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti, but with some minor changes. The line would operate from Washington street in Ypsilanti Up cross street to Washtenaw Ave, and would take Washtenaw ave all the way to E. Staduim Blvd. where the line would end at Michigan Stadium. The line was 7 miles from Washington Street to Michigan Stadium, with a "car barn" in Ypsilanti at the cornner of Cross and Washington that has 3 tracks leading into it. the line ends with a 2 track stub end platform at Michigan Stadium. the line also had a connection to the AAs Ferry yard.

The re-building of the line was approved in 1957 and started in 1959. The new Ypsi-Ann ordered 8 RDCs for use on the line that would run trains 7 days a week, and also bought a GP9 in case any of the RDC's needed to be saved or the line needed maintaince. the new 7 mile Ypsi-Ann ran its first train in 1961 and did not take off at first. and in 1971 the city of Ann Arbor almost cut the service again in favor of busses. The City of Ypsilanti did not have the finances to keep up the new line on there own so if the city of Ann Arbor stopped funding the line it would close for good.

In 1973 the worst happend for the Ypsi-Ann, the city of Ann Arbor decided to stop providing funding for the "RDC line", and 2 weeks after the city of Ann ARbor announced that they would stop funding the line, the City of Ypsilanti announced that they would be forced to close the line if there was no one else to pick up the cost of running the line. In June of 1973 a struggling Ann Arbor Railroad saw a good opertunity for an extra source of income and possible good investment, so they decided to take a big risk and buy 45% of the Ypsi-Ann railway (YAry) since the AA bought only 45% they did not fully own the company but became the biggest privite investor involved in the Ypsi-Ann, the city of Ypsilanti owned 50% and the other 5% were more privite investors.

The Ypsi-Ann took off in the 70s thanks to the Gas Shortage, the lines rider ship surged. The commuter train was running 2 RDC coaches at a time and filling each up with 90 passengers. The Ypsi-Ann was alive and well with trains leaving ecah terminal every half hour from 5:30am to 9:00am, then every hour from 9:00am to 4:30pm, from 4:30pm to 9:00pm they leave the terminals every half hour, and finally from 9:00 to midnight a train leaves each terminal every hour.

This timetable kept up into the early 2000's without any issues, other then upgrading the RDCs and what not.

In 1991 the Ypsi-Ann cellebrated its (unoffical) 100th birthday.

The Ypsi-Ann continues to operate up and down Washtenaw to and from the big house, with up to 4 seperate trains on the system at a time there are 3 passing sidings long enough for 4 RDCs on the entire route. The Ypsi-Ann has been looking for ways to modernize its fleet, as its RDCs have been rebuilt and are well used. the GP9 is still around and it winds its way up and down the line once a week for routine inspections.

The Ypsi-Ann's Roster includes:

RDC-10 (upgrades on an RDC-9):5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

GP9:
1

Caboose
2
"Ann Arbor 2373 Calling... Milkshake. Over"

All Aboard Amtrak: Northbound, Southbound, and My Hometown
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