Ludington Northern Railway

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Ludington Northern Railway

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:40 pm

This thread is going to serve not only as a paper railroad as part of the group*, but also as the operations thread for my model railroad. This move will help to keep the Model Railroading thread clear of what many would consider clutter.

More to come soon, but here is a map of the Ludington Northern Railway (LNR)
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=21 ... fbf9&msa=0


*Note: Paper Railroads Group Membership shall come into effect at 16:00 EDT on 7-20-13, unless someone objects. But who would, it only connects with my MQT...

For now, I leave you with the first bit of history. This is where my story departs from the real thing.

History Part I : LUN's Downfall
With Sargent’s business in Ludington collapsing, and eventually closing, the railroad was faced with abandonment. Thankfully, the line’s owner refused to abandon, hoping that eventually, mine business would pick back up. The mine closed in 1986, and the line fell silent. LUN 16, the railroad’s sore locomotive power, was leased and later sold to the Ann Arbor Railway Company.

After several years, the line right-of-way was overgrown, the crossings paved over. The line looked doomed. Nearby landowners, concerned about the line’s condition, petitioned to have the line removed for good. This failed when it became clear the city could not force the railroad out. Sargent was also prudent in making sure adjacent landowners could not access eminent domain, mostly by going door-to-door and staking out the right-of-way.


More to come soon!
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Re: Ludington Northern Railway

Unread postby 59caddy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:03 pm

MQT3001 wrote:Paper Railroads Group Membership shall come into effect at 16:00 EDT on 7-20-13, unless someone objects. But who would, it only connects with my MQT...


I object! Great Lakes Transportation Holdings has already commenced negotiatians with the Ludington Northern about acquisition of the railroad. :P :mrgreen:
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Re: Ludington Northern Railway

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:09 pm

59caddy wrote:
MQT3001 wrote:Paper Railroads Group Membership shall come into effect at 16:00 EDT on 7-20-13, unless someone objects. But who would, it only connects with my MQT...


I object! Great Lakes Transportation Holdings has already commenced negotiatians with the Ludington Northern about acquisition of the railroad. :P :mrgreen:

No, you're not, because I made it clear awhile back, before you were even a member, that the LNR was going to be brought back. Don't forget that the LUN was abandoned 30 years ago, it is not an operating railroad.
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Re: Ludington Northern Railway

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:27 pm

The Rebirth of the LUN as the LNR
In 1998, twelve years after the mine closed, a breakthrough. A new drilling process, known as Hydraulic Fracturing, or “Fracking” came into widespread use by the oil & gas industry. Sargent’s sand, now obsolete for glass making and metal urging, was perfect for the new process. Sargent’s president approached the line’s owner (the heir of the original owner, having since passed away) about putting the line back in service to serve a restarted mine.

Citing a prohibitive cost, the owner declined. Desperate for cheap transportation, Sargent made an offer to buy & operate the line. LUN’s owners accepted, and on 9/1/99, the new Ludington Northern Railway (now with reporting mark LNR) commenced operations – although no trains ran, owing to the line’s condition.

The first step was to identify a plan to return the line to service. It quickly became apparent that in some cases, it would be easier to acquire new right-of-way than use the original. The company was able to buy the new land for just a little more than the money gained by selling the old. The local municipalities were able to provide much of the land itself, and offered incentives to landowners to compromise with the railroad. The biggest deal reached was with the city of Ludington, who gave permission to construct street running down Bryant Road between Rath Ave and Monona Rd. After nearly two years, the land and old tracks were ready to be turned into an operational railroad.

In conjunction with railway equipment manufacturer HARSCO, who owned a plant right next door to the line, the railroad began to open up the right-of-way.

During the fall of 2000, the overgrown vegetation was cut back on the existing areas of Right-of-way to an acceptable distance. The land was also cleared in new route areas, and a few structures were moved out of the way.
In the spring of 2001, new ties arrived, and roadbed rehabilitation began. The Bryant Road project was also started, with the city ripping up the entire street.
Over the summer, Bryant road was widened to allow a 12-ft gap in the middle for trains, with one lane of traffic in each direction. CSX Transportation was brought in to rehabilitate the bridge over Lincoln Lake as well.
During the fall and winter, crews installed crossing signals and signage. The Sargent Sand industrial tracks were also installed. Two other customers, HARSCO and Great Lakes Casting, also had tracks installed.
In the first months of 2001, final work was going on, such as the activation of all the new equipment, inspection of track (CSX allowed the LNR to borrow their GMS1 twice), and letting residents know that trains were coming soon.

On March 15th, 2002, the first train to run all the way from interchange at CSX’s Ludington railyard to the Sargent Mine. Ludington’s mayor even attended, cutting the ribbon as the train crossed M-116 near the entrance to Ludington State Park.

more later...
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