Midland Turn Questions

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AARR
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Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by AARR »

This was posted in the Historical Section at the other board (even though it's asking for current information :? )
Posted by Railnut on 2/8/2021, 3:08 am
Hello fellow rail fabns Railnut here. Does and one know if the midland turn line from bay city to midland is newer than the line from Reese into bay that then runs up to midland also? Why is there 2 lines from bay city to midland that join and connect at midland? Also on the midland turn line they have the track gated off at the crossing at Waldo rd. As it enters the small yard there. Abd there us a derail device installed on one of the rails right before the gate. Anyone know why this is there? How many times a week do trains run up to midland on the midland turn line?
Both HESR and LSRC service Midland (where Dow is located). HESR uses the line from Bay City and LSRC uses the line from Saginaw. AFAIK both run there five days a week late at night.

If someone would like to post this response Railnut may appreciate it.
https://members4.boardhost.com/RRHXHist ... 71734.html
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MiddleMI
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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by MiddleMI »

I'd never heard "Midland Turn." Anyway, looks like the line from Saginaw to Midland was constructed as the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad in December 1867 and from Midland to Ludington in stages by December 1874 eventually becoming just the PM, and the Bay City & Battle Creek was completed to Bay City in 1889, later to become the Bay City-Midland branch of Michigan Central.

I have no idea what he's talking about around Reese. If he's talking about the "line" that connects Bay City to Reese via Saginaw, that's not even a single line, today, let alone when it was built (you've got the PM coming from the southeast and the whatever coming from the east that join in Saginaw). If he's talking Reese to Bay City and then Bay City to Midland, that wouldn't make any sense since he seems to be talking about two lines.

Midland has two different lines, of course, because they were built by two different railroads for different purposes. And the simple answer about the age is that the current Lake State line is significantly older than the current Huron & Erie line.

Edit: I see he corrects himself in the next post:
I made a mistske one line runs from Saginaw yard across the river and up to midland from Saginaw and the others is the bay city turn as they call it that branches off a lil ways after the swing bridge in bay city and loops around heading straightt south off o the mainline and then curves straight west next too handy school and up into midland..

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AARR
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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by AARR »

MiddleMI wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:38 am
I have no idea what he's talking about around Reese. If he's talking about the "line" that connects Bay City to Reese via Saginaw, that's not even a single line, today, let alone when it was built (you've got the PM coming from the southeast and the whatever coming from the east that join in Saginaw). If he's talking Reese to Bay City and then Bay City to Midland, that wouldn't make any sense since he seems to be talking about two lines.
Thank you MM.

I think what he meant about the line that went through Reese is it used to go into Bay City. It was cut back to Munger around 1976 or so.
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railrod1949
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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by railrod1949 »

AARR wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:55 am
MiddleMI wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:38 am
I have no idea what he's talking about around Reese. If he's talking about the "line" that connects Bay City to Reese via Saginaw, that's not even a single line, today, let alone when it was built (you've got the PM coming from the southeast and the whatever coming from the east that join in Saginaw). If he's talking Reese to Bay City and then Bay City to Midland, that wouldn't make any sense since he seems to be talking about two lines.
Thank you MM.

I think what he meant about the line that went through Reese is it used to go into Bay City. It was cut back to Munger around 1976 or so.
Actually, the portion between Munger and Bay City was abandoned and ripped up in 1962. Only the mixed train ran between Vassar and Bay City via Richville, Reese and Munger until its final run run November 30. 1930. After that only local freight train ran on that portion until 1962.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by GTW6401 »

The Midland job has run at night since the Central Michigan days. Its timing as they arrive from Durand in Bay City during the evening.

Another reason it runs at night is due to Handy Middle School in Bay City. Train crews had strict orders to not pass the school during arrival and dismissal times.

Typically the only trains running in daylight were grain extras going to Auburn.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by MiddleMI »

AARR wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:55 am
I think what he meant about the line that went through Reese is it used to go into Bay City. It was cut back to Munger around 1976 or so.
Okay, understood. Yeah, the Reese to Bay City was apparently completed in 1873 as the Detroit & Bay City Railroad, but was bought up by Michigan Central by 1881. And the Bay City to Midland was completed in 1889 as a Michigan Central branch line, though I seeing various different names for this line before it was simply styled a MC branch line in 1916 (i.e. Grand Rapids & Bay City, Battle Creek & Bay City, and then Bay City & Battle Creek).

In any case, there are two lines to Midland because at least two different companies ran lines to Midland. Pere Marquette apparently came first directly from the southeast, and then essentially Michigan Central through both acquistions and construction from the southeast, but by a more circuitous route to take in a bit of traffic from the Thumb.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

You mention Bay City and Battle Creek --- right up through Penn Central days that junction to the Midland Branch was called BC & BC Jct. I used to dispatch the Saginaw-Ludington line that ran through Midland. During my time, we usually ran 6 trains a day through Midland, 2 Ludington trains (LU75, TL74), 2 Grand Rapids trains via Baldwin (MP17, ML18), and the Mt. Pleasant/Clare Turn local west and back east into Saginaw.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by Mike H »

C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:19 pm
You mention Bay City and Battle Creek --- right up through Penn Central days that junction to the Midland Branch was called BC & BC Jct. I used to dispatch the Saginaw-Ludington line that ran through Midland. During my time, we usually ran 6 trains a day through Midland, 2 Ludington trains (LU75, TL74), 2 Grand Rapids trains via Baldwin (MP17, ML18), and the Mt. Pleasant/Clare Turn local west and back east into Saginaw.
I sure wish I had been around to see this, I can only imagine how neat it would be to see all of this traffic! I have a couple questions that I've been meaning to ask while enjoying many of your posts.

1. Did you dispatch all the way to Ludington or was there two dispatchers covering the line?
2. I assume 1 crew would do the run from Saginaw to Grand Rapids, what was the track speed?
3. I assume there was a local that covered Clare west, where did that job originate & what portion of the line did it cover?
4. Did the Saginaw-Grand Rapids trains continue to run right up until the line was abandoned or did they stop much earlier?

Thanks,
Mike H

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

Mike H wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:39 pm
C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:19 pm
You mention Bay City and Battle Creek --- right up through Penn Central days that junction to the Midland Branch was called BC & BC Jct. I used to dispatch the Saginaw-Ludington line that ran through Midland. During my time, we usually ran 6 trains a day through Midland, 2 Ludington trains (LU75, TL74), 2 Grand Rapids trains via Baldwin (MP17, ML18), and the Mt. Pleasant/Clare Turn local west and back east into Saginaw.
I sure wish I had been around to see this, I can only imagine how neat it would be to see all of this traffic! I have a couple questions that I've been meaning to ask while enjoying many of your posts.

1. Did you dispatch all the way to Ludington or was there two dispatchers covering the line?
2. I assume 1 crew would do the run from Saginaw to Grand Rapids, what was the track speed?
3. I assume there was a local that covered Clare west, where did that job originate & what portion of the line did it cover?
4. Did the Saginaw-Grand Rapids trains continue to run right up until the line was abandoned or did they stop much earlier?

Thanks,
Mike H
1. We dispatched all the way to Ludington, 137 miles. It was CTC all the way.
2. Yes, one crew ran the whole distance (183 miles) Saginaw to GR. There were two assigned crews on those runs. One was a GR crew and the other a Saginaw crew, but they each ran the whole route, stayed overnight at away-from-home terminal and returned home with the next day's train.
The max track speed on both the Ludington and Baldwin Subs was 40 MPH.

3. The Ludington-Evart (turn) local covered the west end. There was no local between Clare and Evart, but also no customers in that
section.
4. The Sag-GR trains did cut off sometime before abandonment, but I don't recall what date. I'll guess sometime in 1987.

There was one more train on the line. A unit train "Chemical Special" out of Freeport, TX was handed over to us off MP (UP) at Chicago. It left GR on Sunday evenings and ran to Saginaw, usually setting off the entire train at Midland (Dean Yard) and power lite to Sag. On Thursdays, it ran reverse route with an empty train.

We also handled the GR-Manistee trains (145/146) between Baldwin and Walhalla. There was quite a bit of block swapping at those two locations among the other trains. Most of that action was on the night shift.

Thanks for your questions!

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by ns8401 »

C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:11 pm
Mike H wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:39 pm
C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:19 pm
You mention Bay City and Battle Creek --- right up through Penn Central days that junction to the Midland Branch was called BC & BC Jct. I used to dispatch the Saginaw-Ludington line that ran through Midland. During my time, we usually ran 6 trains a day through Midland, 2 Ludington trains (LU75, TL74), 2 Grand Rapids trains via Baldwin (MP17, ML18), and the Mt. Pleasant/Clare Turn local west and back east into Saginaw.
I sure wish I had been around to see this, I can only imagine how neat it would be to see all of this traffic! I have a couple questions that I've been meaning to ask while enjoying many of your posts.

1. Did you dispatch all the way to Ludington or was there two dispatchers covering the line?
2. I assume 1 crew would do the run from Saginaw to Grand Rapids, what was the track speed?
3. I assume there was a local that covered Clare west, where did that job originate & what portion of the line did it cover?
4. Did the Saginaw-Grand Rapids trains continue to run right up until the line was abandoned or did they stop much earlier?

Thanks,
Mike H
1. We dispatched all the way to Ludington, 137 miles. It was CTC all the way.
2. Yes, one crew ran the whole distance (183 miles) Saginaw to GR. There were two assigned crews on those runs. One was a GR crew and the other a Saginaw crew, but they each ran the whole route, stayed overnight at away-from-home terminal and returned home with the next day's train.
The max track speed on both the Ludington and Baldwin Subs was 40 MPH.

3. The Ludington-Evart (turn) local covered the west end. There was no local between Clare and Evart, but also no customers in that
section.
4. The Sag-GR trains did cut off sometime before abandonment, but I don't recall what date. I'll guess sometime in 1987.

There was one more train on the line. A unit train "Chemical Special" out of Freeport, TX was handed over to us off MP (UP) at Chicago. It left GR on Sunday evenings and ran to Saginaw, usually setting off the entire train at Midland (Dean Yard) and power lite to Sag. On Thursdays, it ran reverse route with an empty train.

We also handled the GR-Manistee trains (145/146) between Baldwin and Walhalla. There was quite a bit of block swapping at those two locations among the other trains. Most of that action was on the night shift.

Thanks for your questions!
I'll piggyback on that... Was the entire thing abandoned in one fell swoop between Midland and Ludington or in sections and in what year? I assume it was after 1987? If so was there just a local running it for a period of time or what did the demise of the line look like in terms of operations?
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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

The abandoned portion is Midland to Baldwin. Baldwin to Ludington is still operated by Marquette Rail. Abandonment began in 1988. In late 1987 we had a "rusty rail" notice on it from Midland to Baldwin. I remember they ran a local over to Clare one day and the train kept losing shunt and disappearing off the board! They started pulling rail in 1988 -- don't remember the exact date. Coleman to Baldwin went first, and then they cut back to Midland. There's still a small section of track remaining in Clare that GLC services. It was kind of depressing to see your dispatching district disappearing. Had already lost Edmore to Greenville on the Elmdale Sub, and the Bad Axe Sub was being taken over by HESR. I left in October, 1988 when they moved dispatching to Jacksonville.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by C&O Dispatcher »

If anyone is interested, here's a rather detailed write-up I did awhile back about operations on the Ludington Sub. I suppose this should be in the "history" section, but the thread is here so will post it here. It was written in response to questions someone had posed about operations on the line.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/46ujqn51q68qh ... p.pdf?dl=0

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

C&O Dispatcher wrote:
Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:51 am
If anyone is interested, here's a rather detailed write-up I did awhile back about operations on the Ludington Sub. I suppose this should be in the "history" section, but the thread is here so will post it here. It was written in response to questions someone had posed about operations on the line.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/46ujqn51q68qh ... p.pdf?dl=0
Thank you for posting the link. That was a very interesting summary.

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Re: Midland Turn Questions

Unread post by Jetlink »

Indeed. What a great write up. I've cycled the trail many times. So the history is very intriguing to me. Thinking of what once was.
interested in trains

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