Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby kevinm » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:08 am

J T wrote:
kevinm wrote:i started work at Motor Wheel in 1974 (immediately to the north of this depot site) and dont remember any building but the little square block addition

Kevin, do you know what the purpose was of closing McKinley St. to through traffic? I always wondered about that when I was a kid. I know the Lake Lansing Rd. extension probably had something to do with it, but did Motor Wheel push for it as well to keep that street private for whatever reason?

Do you remember what year that would have been? I'm guessing mid-70s. I was born in '67 and remember my parents driving down McKinley often. I always looked both ways as we crossed the tracks near Motor Wheel hoping to see a train coming, but never had any luck.

guessing 1985 -MW was kaput- no idea why mckinley was closed- MW guys and gals used to make bacon in the train cars in the MW siding it was rumored
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:47 am

Larry G wrote:In this thread about the reactivation of the spur the topic concerning the industrial sidings along Pennsylvania Ave and the connection to the NYC through the Board of Water and Light property has come up here are two scans to 1917 track maps that show information discussed in this thread.

Image

GTW ROW MAP circa 1917 near MP 222

This map circa 1917 shows the Lansing connecting railroad industrial area just north of Potter Park at Pennsylvania Ave in Lansing. The connection was made in 1921 to GTW according to map. This was a connection between the PM and GTW for many years and was switched into the 1960's until land use removed the industries needing service.

Also to the west you will notice the MC-NYC-Conrail connection and diamond with GTW.


Sorry to bump this old thread, but anyone in the area know where the Lansing Connecting Railroad connected to the Pere Marquette Line? It's just out of view in this shot. If judging by current aerials, maybe just north (or south) of Kalamazoo, which is just two or three blocks from where the Pere Marquette merges with the old Michigan Central line, itself.

BTW, the south connection is at Holmes Street north of Potter Park, right? I can't make out the writing.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby Tim » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:55 am

The switch off the PM on the north side of the Lansing Connecting RR came off the main just south of the nb home signal for MA Tower and was there until at least the 1970s. I remember "old heads" telling about bald facing the GTW interchange down this track only to find a delivery waiting for them. They would then have to pull those cars out and then bald face the GTWs back down again. The GTW served the south end until around 1992-93 however the PM end was gone long before that. The GTW/PM interchange work moved to Trowbridge prior to the mid 60s. The PM served the Michigan Liquor Control warehouse and the crew liked to have new guys check the spotting of cars by going between the dock and the car which set off many alarms and generated much activity.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby XGB » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:34 am

Hello,
see if the attached map comes through (first time trying to post an image). This is an excerpt from the upcoming Michigan Railroad History Conference booklet that shows Lansing's railroads and this part should show the relationship between the GTW (in orange) and the PM (in blue) in the area you are talking about. Object 19 is the Michigan Liquor Control warehouse. Cheers, Mark

Image
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:08 pm

MA tower was recently given to the Lansing Model Railroad Club.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:20 pm

XGB wrote:Hello,
see if the attached map comes through (first time trying to post an image). This is an excerpt from the upcoming Michigan Railroad History Conference booklet that shows Lansing's railroads and this part should show the relationship between the GTW (in orange) and the PM (in blue) in the area you are talking about. Object 19 is the Michigan Liquor Control warehouse. Cheers, Mark

Image


Interesting. It looks like on the larger map it actually shows it connecting to a siding/spur that I wasn't aware of, and not at Kalamazoo Street but quite a few blocks south right of Larned. The spur, however, does look like it connects to the PM mainline just north of Kalamazoo Street, though, curving along with the mainline for a few dozen feet or so.

EDIT: I see what's had me confused all this time. I have library access to some Sanborn Maps, and on the main city-wide map they do show the connecting railroad connecting with the Michigan Central (Saginaw Branch). Because of how the pages were cut - along "East Street" in the MC ROW - it's hard make out the difference between the mainlines of the three railroads (MC, PM and Lansing connecting railroad) and the industrial sidings and spurs.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby J T » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:26 am

If you drive down Hosmer Street under 496, you can still see railroad ties in the grass on the west side of the street where the tracks ran parallel before connecting the PM.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MiddleMI » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:32 pm

J T wrote:If you drive down Hosmer Street under 496, you can still see railroad ties in the grass on the west side of the street where the tracks ran parallel before connecting the PM.


In that map, above, do you happen to know how far south the PM spur (blue) went as it parralleled Hosmer? The map seems to show a spur off of it continuing south even beyond the switch with the Lansing Connecting Railroad. It appears it's half-a-block or so west of Hosmer, but where did it end in the south?

Actually, looking Larry G's older map above, perhaps it does show it. It looks like the spur may have ended at where Spring Street used to come all the way through. So, to trace this route it words, it began at the PM mainline just north of Kalamazoo and stretched directly south until about Spring Street. The connection with the Lansing Connecting Railroad appears to have been about halfway along this PM spur at around Larned.

It's funny, this industrial and residentrial area along Hosmer is probably one of the few areas of the city I've never really put into my memory bank. The freeway really makes the area isolated, so it's mostly only local (auto) traffic that comes through here.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:28 am

MiddleMI wrote:It's funny, this industrial and residentrial area along Hosmer is probably one of the few areas of the city I've never really put into my memory bank. The freeway really makes the area isolated, so it's mostly only local (auto) traffic that comes through here.


It's not just you. I've had two different friends live on Hosmer St, and I have to stop and think about what's along that stretch.

Google Earth will go back to 1994, and at that point the buildings just North of St Joseph st were different. There is a wedge shaped structure in the middle of what is now that big parking lot. My guess would be that the straight spur and the curving line to the GTW went on either side of it.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MiddleMI » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:23 am

Dan Cluley wrote:
MiddleMI wrote:It's funny, this industrial and residentrial area along Hosmer is probably one of the few areas of the city I've never really put into my memory bank. The freeway really makes the area isolated, so it's mostly only local (auto) traffic that comes through here.


It's not just you. I've had two different friends live on Hosmer St, and I have to stop and think about what's along that stretch.

Google Earth will go back to 1994, and at that point the buildings just North of St Joseph st were different. There is a wedge shaped structure in the middle of what is now that big parking lot. My guess would be that the straight spur and the curving line to the GTW went on either side of it.


Yeah, after having studied the Bing and Google Maps more closely, I'm pretty clear on where the connecting railroad line met with the spur. And, yep, the huge warehouse north of that singe block recontinuation of St. Joseph is fairly/relatively recent. In fact, you can trace the old PM spur from just north of Kalamazoo where it comes off the mainline all the way down past a line drawn east/west along Bement just north of Larned. It appears the right-of-way is still there and was turned into an alley to service the buildings that crowd around the middle of the block. I guess from the end of this right-of-way alley, it would have continued due south to an area now about a block south of the freeway before dead-ending.

You can also still kind of trace the connecting railroad after its connection at the PM spur. Where it connects at a line drawn east-west from Larned it slowly jogs about a half-block east to run right along side Hosmer for the rest of its length before it "T"s into Hazel Street and continues snaking its way through the BWL service yard. That would actually explain why there isn't a proper sidewalk on that side of the street.

It'd be interesting to find when they tore up the railroad. Anyway, that the Lansing Connecting Railroad meets up with only spur off the PM mainline when it could have just as easily met up directly with the mainline points to it hyperlocal importance to serve the industries immediately in its vicinity than its importance as a connection. Seems to me that if they wanted a quicker connection between the GTW and PM in that area that they'd have just ran a rail straight off the PM straight along Hosmer for the entire length hitting the mainline at an area between Heald and Euclid instead of curving it in a half block. Or, maybe it's as simple as the PM spur predating the connecting railroad, who knows.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby J T » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:33 pm

MiddleMI wrote:
J T wrote:If you drive down Hosmer Street under 496, you can still see railroad ties in the grass on the west side of the street where the tracks ran parallel before connecting the PM.


In that map, above, do you happen to know how far south the PM spur (blue) went as it parralleled Hosmer? The map seems to show a spur off of it continuing south even beyond the switch with the Lansing Connecting Railroad. It appears it's half-a-block or so west of Hosmer, but where did it end in the south?

Actually, looking Larry G's older map above, perhaps it does show it. It looks like the spur may have ended at where Spring Street used to come all the way through. So, to trace this route it words, it began at the PM mainline just north of Kalamazoo and stretched directly south until about Spring Street. The connection with the Lansing Connecting Railroad appears to have been about halfway along this PM spur at around Larned.

It's funny, this industrial and residentrial area along Hosmer is probably one of the few areas of the city I've never really put into my memory bank. The freeway really makes the area isolated, so it's mostly only local (auto) traffic that comes through here.


I THINK the spur you're referring to west of Hosmer went to a lumber company on the south side of Kalamazoo St. IIRC, there were several sets of tracks that you crossed on Kalamazoo, one of them being the spur that ran to the lumber company. I may be imagining that memory though. But anyway, here's a photo of the area along Hosmer where the ties are still visible, just south of the 496 overpass.


Image


And after driving down that street again, I think it's coming back to me that just north of 496, this section of track was street running up until it curved away to connect to the CSX line. You can see a slight jog in the curb line in the background, and I believe that is where the tracks curved slightly and went down the middle of the street. Anyone else remember it being street running there?
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:12 pm

Larry G wrote:Old Town Grand River Avenue spur crossing views.
Image

Looking north on the old Lake Shore & Michigan Southern route through old Lansing. Building on left of track was the North Lansing Depot.
Notice the LS&MS marker by the corner of the building. Clean-up of ROW will be a must. :D

Image
Looking south on the same grade towards the MA tower relocated there several years ago.
LS&MS tracks run a couple of blocks south from here ending at Oakland Ave at Lansing Ice and Fuel.


Saw a picture today on "off the beaten path railroading" on Facebook (I think that's it) of an ADBF geep going by this building today around Lunch time. Dunno how to post the picture here from my new phone but I'm sure someone else might know.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby J T » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:13 pm

Wow, I can't believe this thread hasn't been bumped yet with this photo appearing in cyberworld today....

Image
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:27 pm

Ha JT got the photo in a minute after I reported seeing it. I can't believe that track can handle anything at the moment. I bet everyone who witnessed this move was a little awestruck today.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby Doktor No » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:04 pm

And pray tell why were they wandering about the place with the loco? Looking for lunch somewhere new?
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:39 pm

Anyway, I'd be curious if any of our spotters caught wind of this or if we have any reason as to what the move was for. Inspecting the tracks maybe? Looks so cool seeing the high nose geep going between the old brick buildings. Looks like a model railroad almost. Seeing those people staring at the locomotive as it crosses the street is cool too. They were probably in awe seeing a locomotive going down such bad track. I bet the horn echoed pretty good in there.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby AARR » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:29 pm

Perhaps the long-rumored new customer (Friedland?) will be coming on board soon :?
Doktor No wrote:And pray tell why were they wandering about the place with the loco? Looking for lunch somewhere new?
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby Typhoon » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:19 pm

Good for whoever was out there to take that picture.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MiddleMI » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:06 pm

So cool to see! I don't live too far from here.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread postby MP73point4 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:53 am

[quote="MQT1223"][quote="Larry G"]Old Town Grand River Avenue spur crossing views.
Image

"Looking north on the old Lake Shore & Michigan Southern route through old Lansing. Building on left of track was the North Lansing Depot.
Notice the LS&MS marker by the corner of the building. Clean-up of ROW will be a must." :D

The building on the left was not a depot, ever, for anyone. It was a restroom facility with offices overhead. In spite of its location, it is not a railroad affiliated structure. This mis-information has been repeated so many times and in so many places I think everyone believes it now.
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