Foss Yard, Bay City

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Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu May 02, 2019 1:41 am

I have heard multiple references to this yard. Where exactly is this yard located? Is this the former D&M yard that now has the tracks ending just north of the yard? IIRC the line north of the yard was removed in favor of using the line farther from the water which had been the NYC line to Mackinaw City. When this section north of the yard was removed a connector was put in place just south of Pinconning to allow trains going to Alpena to head north using the other line. Did D&M then have trackage rights over the GTW (former NYC line from the NYC's Bay City Yard over to their yard, which I assume is Foss Yard.
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby AARR » Thu May 02, 2019 5:39 am

Foss Yard is on the south side of the river and belonged to PM/Chessie/CSX. D&M's yard is on the north side. I don't think there's much left of Foss. Maybe a passing siding.
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby GTW6401 » Thu May 02, 2019 7:27 am

The D&M built a bridge across the Saginaw River in the 1890s, then crossed the Michigan Centrals Water Street Spur line, and the Pere Marquette Belt Line at Foss. It was named for a local lumber company.

The crossing was controlled by a target signal, and was normally left in position for the D&M to cross to access the swing bridge. Its located along the Bay City/Essexville line off Woodside Avenue. I grew up about a mile from Foss - its barely a yard. They had a couple small yard tracks, and a tiny office on Atlantic Street.

This is what Foss looked like in 2007 when I photographed a coal train there.

Image
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby Atkinson_Railroad » Thu May 02, 2019 7:52 am

GTW6401 contributes pretty much what I recall. Foss Yard could be seen via Woodside Avenue when traversing the curve between borders of Bay City and Essexville.
C&O engines from Saginaw would layover at that yard off Atlantic Street. It was also where for a long time the lowly pivoting arm signal was located (correct signal name escapes me).
GTW6401's 2007 photo captures the signal. I don't believe it remains there now.

A variety of car types were stored in the yard pertaining to industries along the Saginaw River.

I guess one could say it was kind of an end terminus for the C&O in Essexville.
I don't recall ever seeing any New York Central (PC) equipment work that yard.

It was a pretty sleepy place by the early 1970s.

John

Post Script:
It's odd (in my mind ; ) to see a photo of bright shiny BNSF locomotives at that location.
All my memory can visualize are images of dirty, black, Penn Central equipment rolling past that yard to the power plant.
The trackage on the route was in horrific condition in the 70s.
Further west, there was a massive coal train derailment along north Water Street in the late 70s.

1967 and 1919 map screen shots of Foss Yard attached
Attachments
1967 BC MAP.JPG
1919 BC MAP.JPG
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby michiganlover » Thu May 02, 2019 10:13 am

Foss Yard is to the immediate East of the Independence Bridge in Bay City. It's not much of a yard, being just a few long passing sidings, and three tracks in the area of Saginaw Bay Fertilizer.
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu May 02, 2019 10:41 am

Ok, now that I have that figured out. I know Penn Central used to come into town (old NYC/Mc line into town.) Where did this line go? Is the ROW now the Bay City Loop? Was there a diamond near Salem Dr on the SE side of town?
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby GTW6401 » Thu May 02, 2019 12:02 pm

The MC line crossed the C&O at Center Street crossing, which was between M-25 and Ridge Road.

This is the line that continued down toward Reese and Vassar which is the current HESR line.

Its abandoned north of Munger, and is now the Bay County rail trail from Youngs Ditch Road onward.

The MC had a passenger station located on First Street at Monroe Street. The old freight house is still there.
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu May 02, 2019 1:09 pm

GTW6401 wrote:The MC line crossed the C&O at Center Street crossing, which was between M-25 and Ridge Road.

This is the line that continued down toward Reese and Vassar which is the current HESR line.

Its abandoned north of Munger, and is now the Bay County rail trail from Youngs Ditch Road onward.

The MC had a passenger station located on First Street at Monroe Street. The old freight house is still there.



Ok, most of that makes sense. Now, what I am trying to find is where exactly the MC line reached the bridge, using current landmarks. (I know construction has likely change the landscape since the section was removed.)

I see the old MC line is now that Bay City Loop, running from Center Street Crossing towards town.

On Google Maps, I see where the old ROW appears to run to N. Lincoln St. Did the line basically run straight from Lincoln St through crossing several little streets until it reached Monroe Street (where the station was), before making a slight curve north and crossing Woodside just east of the OmniSource facility and connecting to the tracks across the bridge?


Adding further to the questions. Once the line crossed the bridge there is nearly an immediate wye. Heading SW from the wye is the current line that runs to Saginaw, Flushing and Durand correct. This was always a GTW line? Was there another wye at the NW Little League parking going through the baseball diamonds? Hearing north would have been the MC line that headed to Mackinaw City correct. The line to Midland that splits off and passes Handy Middle School is former MC line as well correct?
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu May 02, 2019 3:32 pm

I want to add a couple more questions.

The old MC lines through Bay City were not included in the Conrail start up in 1976. From what I can find, the D&M took control of the line north of Bay City in 1976, but the TSBY did not gain operations on the tracks in the thumb until 1977. What happened in the year or so between the formation of Conrail and the start of the TSBY operations?
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby GTW6401 » Thu May 02, 2019 8:45 pm

The currently used HESR line on the westside of Bay City was formally MC and NYC, as was Wenona Yard. They consolidated the best trackage in Bay City and Saginaw from both NYC and GTW when the Trunk bought those lines at the beginning of Conrail in 1976.

The railroad mostly ended up using the former NYC trackage. The MC and GTW lines pretty much ran parallel past Mershon Tower and up toward Zilwaukee. The old GTW in Zilwaukee is apart of the Zilwaukee runaround and part industrial spur.

The GTW had its own separate line on Bay City's westside and their own depot on Midland Street. The LSRC and HESR currently use the same line between Hart Street and Wenona Yard, and LSRC goes north toward Pinconning from there.

The line to Midland is also former MC, and once had a branch line off it to serve a coal mine west of town.
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Re: Foss Yard, Bay City

Unread postby GTW6401 » Thu May 02, 2019 8:57 pm

The old MC lines through Bay City were not included in the Conrail start up in 1976. From what I can find, the D&M took control of the line north of Bay City in 1976, but the TSBY did not gain operations on the tracks in the thumb until 1977. What happened in the year or so between the formation of Conrail and the start of the TSBY operations?



Conrail wasn't interested in operating those lines, and they were offered to the GTW. The GTW passed and ended up just buying the lines around Saginaw and Bay City. It appears Conrail operated it under a one year contract with the State of Michigan, which expired April 1, 1977.

The GTW interchanged with TSBY at Harger. This was on the former NYC line between Saginaw and Denmark Junction,

It became apart of the Central Michigan in 1987, and was later abandoned.
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