Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

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Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby rustbeltrailroad » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:21 am

I was recently looking through the Durand pictures on rrarchive and wanted some confirmation on something. The Conrail/PC power pictured in Durand; It was either heading to or from Lansing, and Owosso was the end of the line (formerly I believe it was NYC to Saginaw via St.Charles). I have memory of Conrail power leaving Lansing on that line toward, not necessarily to, Owosso (I was born in 80 and there were industries on the Northeast side of town past Lake Lansing road), but what year did they officially abandon that line? And I assume that traffic on it was near 100% auto-industry related? Oh, and when did they take the diamond out in Owosso???
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PS: Any info or ideas or comments are appreciated-
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby penn central » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:19 am

From what i can remember north of Owosso was used by Conrail until sometime in September of 1977, South of Owosso was pretty much axed as a through route to Lansing right on or after April 1st 1976.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby dmitzel » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:38 am

From what I recall the old Ann Arbor was operated by CR for a short period after 4/1/1976, until the Michigan Interstate was granted operating rights from the State of Michigan. I believe it was for slightly longer than a year, which may explain why CR was in Durand, and also retained operating the St. Charles branch north of Owosso during that period.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby AARR » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:39 pm

rustbeltrailroad wrote:And I assume that traffic on it was near 100% auto-industry related?

Last customer in North Lansing was Grace Chemical. Received fertilizer materials like ammonia, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Last customer on the segment south of Owosso was an airgas company. But the facility was used until around 2006 by the Andersons which received fertilizer.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby penn central » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:49 pm

AARR wrote:
rustbeltrailroad wrote:And I assume that traffic on it was near 100% auto-industry related?

Last customer in North Lansing was Grace Chemical. Received fertilizer materials like ammonia, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Last customer on the segment south of Owosso was an airgas company. But the facility was used until around 2006 by the Andersons which received fertilizer.

Some where i have got pictures of the end of track south of Owosso i took back in 1992, There where a couple cars in the Andersons fertilizer plant, Im not sure where there at tho on the same day i took pictures of Michigan Rail car in Ashley to.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby AARR » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:27 am

penn central wrote:Some where i have got pictures of the end of track south of Owosso i took back in 1992, There where a couple cars in the Andersons fertilizer plant, Im not sure where there at tho on the same day i took pictures of Michigan Rail car in Ashley to.

Andersons would have up to 12 cars on their spurs during their busy season with a few other cars on the siding. It would take the CMGN crew a few hours to switch and spot cars some days. Overall I think the received around 200-250 cars a year but it seems like it was more.

I saw MRCR one time with both auto racks and 50' box cars on their spur also back in the early 1990's.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby rustbeltrailroad » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:38 pm

penn central wrote:
AARR wrote:
rustbeltrailroad wrote:And I assume that traffic on it was near 100% auto-industry related?

Last customer in North Lansing was Grace Chemical. Received fertilizer materials like ammonia, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Last customer on the segment south of Owosso was an airgas company. But the facility was used until around 2006 by the Andersons which received fertilizer.

Some where i have got pictures of the end of track south of Owosso i took back in 1992, There where a couple cars in the Andersons fertilizer plant, Im not sure where there at tho on the same day i took pictures of Michigan Rail car in Ashley to.


Wow, those pictures would be greatly appreciated if they were posted! I am trying to do 2 things: finish building the east side of my 1980s "Shiawassee Junction" HO layout AND make a very realistic operation system and fr8 roster. Thanks so much for your memory and sharing.
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Re: Lansing / Owosso Conrail 1980s ?

Unread postby J T » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:36 pm

rustbeltrailroad wrote:I have memory of Conrail power leaving Lansing on that line toward, not necessarily to, Owosso (I was born in 80 and there were industries on the Northeast side of town past Lake Lansing road), but what year did they officially abandon that line?



I remember when U.S. 127 north of Lansing was built and my brother took me on the back of his sting ray (complete with a banana seat!) down the ROW under the new overpass when the highway wasn't open yet. I've had a vision in my head all my life of that day, and as far as my memory serves me, there were no tracks. That would have been around 1973, according to this U.S. 127 wiki entry:

The last extension of US 127 for another 11 years was completed in 1973 when the freeway was completed north to DeWitt.


Sometime in the early 80s, I rode my bike to the Wood St. overpass to watch a train crew try to rerail a boxcar that had come off the end of the tracks a few hundred yards to the west of the overpass. From my house, nearly a mile to the south, I could hear the sound of the locomotive struggling to pull that boxcar back onto the tracks. I pedaled my ass off to get up to the bridge to watch the action! After they rerailed it and left, I walked down to the tracks and saw dips in the rails where the wheels of the locomotive had been spinning. It was quite a show. I wish I'd thought to take my little instamatic camera with me. :(

Anyway, Old Hogger used to run that line, so I'm sure if he sees this thread he can give some accurate dates.
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