Ausable Valley RR

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Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby Pixl » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:52 pm

I just caught a glimpse of a promo for the Ausable Valley RR to be on Ch. 9-10 news at 6pm this evening. Something about an old timer retiring I think. Check it out.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby TC railman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:45 pm

They are selling the railroad. It's been up for sale for a long time.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:52 pm

It's a beautiful railroad. But Howard is at the age he's ready to retire. The catalog business is for sale as well.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby hoborich » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:18 pm

http://www.9and10news.com/2017/10/11/no ... -railroad/

This is the last weekend. Sat and Sunday 10 to 5, and done!
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby Robertrains » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:36 am

OK, they are now gone forever!!!! Why couldn't they sell the railroad to someone who could operate it? Something should be done! I am so glad I rode this train when I was 15!!!! It was 10-15-1998 (19 years before closing forever)! I also have had much "Stuff" ordered from their Shrader's Catalog!!!! Is that done too? Man, what will the "Future" hold? :|
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby PatAzo » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:23 am

Robertrains wrote:OK, they are now gone forever!!!! Why couldn't they sell the railroad to someone who could operate it? Something should be done! I am so glad I rode this train when I was 15!!!! It was 10-15-1998 (19 years before closing forever)! I also have had much "Stuff" ordered from their Shrader's Catalog!!!! Is that done too? Man, what will the "Future" hold? :|


The railroad and the catalog business have been for sale for a couple years. I can only assume no one has wanted to make the investment in time and money to buy it.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby hoborich » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:24 pm

I was there last weekend. I was informed that the entire business and their home is for sale. It's possible it could still be bought as a whole and run as a business again. As I looked around, I was thinking it would be a shame to just dismantle all that he has there. That said, I don't think they were getting rich off it. In an earlier interview, he said he built the railroad for his own enjoyment, and started the online business to pay for his hobby. The online business is year around, while the railroad is only weekends through our short summers. And even the weekends aren't too busy, until they announced the closing. I would hate to see the whole thing dismantled and sold. But it is going to take a rich train buff to buy it and keep it going as a business.

His two F7s are pretty neat. They are actual diesel electric locos. The lead unit has a Perkins 80hp diesel, driving a generator. And the trailing unit is an actual 5000 pound slug. All 16 wheels are powered.

I tried to attach a couple photos, but I get an error message that the files are invalid. They are regular jpg pics, and I have posted pic before. But now I can't. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

The image file you tried to attach is invalid.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby PatAzo » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:27 pm

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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby chapmaja » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:50 pm

I would love to buy it, but I think my bank account is about 985K short of being able to pay for it. If someone has a cool mill they won't to give me I would be glad to buy it.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby hoborich » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:36 pm

The railroad was basically the guys toy. It only operated weekends from Memorial day to Labor day, with a couple days in October. The catalog business was a money maker and paid for the railroad. I have no idea what will happen to the railroad, but I just don't see anyone investing a million dollars in that area, for a low volume seasonal business, mainly operating from June to October, only on weekends. Many northern Michigan tourist type businesses are going under, or just struggling along. The railroad was busy the last weekend, but only due to the TV coverage that it was going out of business.
If you missed it, take a ride here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5pffmucKyE
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby Fred » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:42 am

The catalog business is still in business, in fact, per a phone call yesterday, they will be sending me their newest catalog for an order I'm in the processing of making.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:44 am

Wonder what the insurance policy costs to be hauling people over those trestles! Or if insurance would be required by law for an operation like that.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:58 am

The railroad was a labor of love for Howard. He'd been good friends with the original owner of the steam locomotive. Later he ran 14" gauge trains at Hesston until life afforded him the opportunity to build his own railroad.
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Re: Ausable Valley RR

Unread postby hoborich » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:34 pm

The catalog business is still in business,


The catalog business is where the money is. That will continue. If the whole thing doesn't get sold, maybe he will run the trains again next summer. Just guessing there.
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