Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

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chapmaja
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Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

I am looking through the Final System Plan for Conrail and noticed something. The line from Jackson to Detroit via Ann Arbor, during the formation of Conrail, was getting 20-30 Million Gross Ton Miles per year when Conrail was formed. Now it is down to a single daily local over this same section of track, plus 6 Amtraks per day when they are running full steam.

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Re: Hard to beleive

Unread post by joeyuboats »

That is what's known as progress.

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Re: Hard to beleive

Unread post by jggilmore7 »

We spent a lot of time in Ann Arbor in the 70s and 80s and I remember regular freights back then. More in the 70s and they petered out by the time they had rebuilt the Detroit Line and moved most of it thru Toledo. By the mid 80s there were maybe 3 each way plus Amtrak, and then just the locals through much of the 90s. Used to be considered a secondary CHI-NYC route that had tons of passenger trains, but we call that history now. Like lots of other Midwestern lines...

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DaveO
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Re: Hard to beleive

Unread post by DaveO »

When the Canada Southern was sold, that took care of the thru traffic to/from New York.

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Re: Hard to believe

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DaveO wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2024 7:52 am
When the Canada Southern was sold, that took care of the thru traffic to/from New York.

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Re: Hard to believe

Unread post by Steve B »

DaveO wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2024 7:59 am
DaveO wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2024 7:52 am
When the Canada Southern was sold, that took care of the thru traffic to/from New York.
Conrail's through freights on the CASO were finished by 1979. Only locals after that (except for the C&O trains from St. Thomas eastward) until CP & CN bought the line in 1985.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit business

Unread post by DaveO »

I know it was an oversimplification. It wasn't just detroit traffic that had gone away over the years.

chapmaja
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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

What's also interesting is that when Conrail took over the lines there was still a, for PC standards, well maintained line from Jackson to Three Rivers to Elkhart. That didn't even last 10 years under Conrail, as the CASO traffic to Chicago appeared to be a heavy user of that segment. When that traffic dried up, not only did the traffic volume from Jackson to Detroit suffer, but it killed this line as well.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by GP-35 »

It was known as the Jackson Three River's Air Line. Back in the steam days they had track pans (to scoop water on the fly in the tender) so they didnt have to stop and get water.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by GRHC »

This really has nothing to do with any Conrail line however I did find a Conrail street near Byron Center Michigan the other day.
IMG_2159.jpeg

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by Man o' War »

For anyone not around at the time, just have a look at the NYC/Penn Central films of Emery Gulash and you will have a good idea of just how busy it was. To put it mildly, it was booming. I personally remember days at Wayne Junction when it was non-stop for long spells between the C&O and the NYC. Could have never imagined it all being gone one day. Also recommended would be Walt Berko's cab ride along the entire line from MC Depot to Porter, Indiana, on the very eve of the single tracking project. By this time the freights were largely gone, but the infrastructure was intact - however, not for long. Gotta feel for the younger fans, as SE Michigan possessed some very impressive hot-spots into the 70's. As Jim Boyd and Don Ball would tell us, everything turns to s**t. Can't really disagree...


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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by joeyuboats »

Boyd and Ball were correct!!

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by NS3322 »

I believe Homer had some industry:
Michigan Dairy Farms Company - Condensery
Coal Yard
Grain Elevator
Iron Foundry

For a town that once hosted three railroads there is not much left.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

GRHC wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2024 2:39 pm
This really has nothing to do with any Conrail line however I did find a Conrail street near Byron Center Michigan the other day.

IMG_2159.jpeg
It actually is sort of connected the railroad. This street is part of a subdivision in Byron Center near where the railroad tracks used to run.

Among the names in the development (which has a sign R R near one of the entry ways) is Amtrak Dr, Tramway Dr, Railyard Dr, Railway Dr, Union Station Dr, Penn Station Dr, Lionel Dr, Byron Center Depot Dr, and Crowley Dr. (Not sure who Crowley was, but I wonder if Crowley was the former property owner and required a street name as part of the deal to sell the property).

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by LansingRailFan »

I had someone tell me that The Andersons' ethanol plant in Albion is quite large and could do much more rail traffic, even in-state moves, if it weren't for the difficulty in getting cars to that plant. So instead everything in state is all trucked down there.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

LansingRailFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:15 am
I had someone tell me that The Andersons' ethanol plant in Albion is quite large and could do much more rail traffic, even in-state moves, if it weren't for the difficulty in getting cars to that plant. So instead everything in state is all trucked down there.
Part of the issue is the lack of easy direct connections. Any grain movements coming from northern or central Michigan would have to head to Detroit or Toledo to be handled.

Traffic from the GLC would have to go GLC to AA to Toledo (NS), then back north via NS to Detroit to Albion, or GLC to Durand to CN, to Battle Creek to NS to Albion.

If Albion wanted grain from GLC lines, the easiest alternative routing would be to reinstall the connector in Ann Arbor, run GLC to AA (hopefully WATCO would allow trackage rights to the connector) and then to the connector to NS to Albion. This routing could also work for HESR traffic handed to the GLC in Durand.

Lake State Grain to Albion would have a simpler routing of LSRC to CSX to NS in Wayne.

Either way, I don't think the expense of running this traffic would beat the cost of using trucks, so I don't think this would ever happen.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by LansingRailFan »

chapmaja wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:00 pm
LansingRailFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:15 am
I had someone tell me that The Andersons' ethanol plant in Albion is quite large and could do much more rail traffic, even in-state moves, if it weren't for the difficulty in getting cars to that plant. So instead everything in state is all trucked down there.
Part of the issue is the lack of easy direct connections. Any grain movements coming from northern or central Michigan would have to head to Detroit or Toledo to be handled.

Traffic from the GLC would have to go GLC to AA to Toledo (NS), then back north via NS to Detroit to Albion, or GLC to Durand to CN, to Battle Creek to NS to Albion.

If Albion wanted grain from GLC lines, the easiest alternative routing would be to reinstall the connector in Ann Arbor, run GLC to AA (hopefully WATCO would allow trackage rights to the connector) and then to the connector to NS to Albion. This routing could also work for HESR traffic handed to the GLC in Durand.

Lake State Grain to Albion would have a simpler routing of LSRC to CSX to NS in Wayne.

Either way, I don't think the expense of running this traffic would beat the cost of using trucks, so I don't think this would ever happen.
Don’t forget the multiple NS trains just to get it to Albion. Plus working around Amtrak’s schedule.

chapmaja
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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

LansingRailFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 10:56 pm
chapmaja wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:00 pm
LansingRailFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:15 am
I had someone tell me that The Andersons' ethanol plant in Albion is quite large and could do much more rail traffic, even in-state moves, if it weren't for the difficulty in getting cars to that plant. So instead everything in state is all trucked down there.
Part of the issue is the lack of easy direct connections. Any grain movements coming from northern or central Michigan would have to head to Detroit or Toledo to be handled.

Traffic from the GLC would have to go GLC to AA to Toledo (NS), then back north via NS to Detroit to Albion, or GLC to Durand to CN, to Battle Creek to NS to Albion.

If Albion wanted grain from GLC lines, the easiest alternative routing would be to reinstall the connector in Ann Arbor, run GLC to AA (hopefully WATCO would allow trackage rights to the connector) and then to the connector to NS to Albion. This routing could also work for HESR traffic handed to the GLC in Durand.

Lake State Grain to Albion would have a simpler routing of LSRC to CSX to NS in Wayne.

Either way, I don't think the expense of running this traffic would beat the cost of using trucks, so I don't think this would ever happen.
Don’t forget the multiple NS trains just to get it to Albion. Plus working around Amtrak’s schedule.
The omly way I could see grain traffic moving to the ethanol plant from within the state via rail is if it was dedicated trains between the locations. As long as local service had to handle the traffic I can't see that happening.

chapmaja
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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by chapmaja »

chapmaja wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 2:02 am
LansingRailFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 10:56 pm
chapmaja wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:00 pm


Part of the issue is the lack of easy direct connections. Any grain movements coming from northern or central Michigan would have to head to Detroit or Toledo to be handled.

Traffic from the GLC would have to go GLC to AA to Toledo (NS), then back north via NS to Detroit to Albion, or GLC to Durand to CN, to Battle Creek to NS to Albion.

If Albion wanted grain from GLC lines, the easiest alternative routing would be to reinstall the connector in Ann Arbor, run GLC to AA (hopefully WATCO would allow trackage rights to the connector) and then to the connector to NS to Albion. This routing could also work for HESR traffic handed to the GLC in Durand.

Lake State Grain to Albion would have a simpler routing of LSRC to CSX to NS in Wayne.

Either way, I don't think the expense of running this traffic would beat the cost of using trucks, so I don't think this would ever happen.
Don’t forget the multiple NS trains just to get it to Albion. Plus working around Amtrak’s schedule.
The only way I could see grain traffic moving to the ethanol plant from within the state via rail is if it was dedicated trains between the locations. As long as local service had to handle the traffic I can't see that happening.

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Re: Hard to believe - Jackson to Detroit busyness

Unread post by redside20 »

Dont forget about the connection with the IORY at DIANN but that is a quagmire too.
Exit stage left

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