Lately on the Grand Rapids Eastern (and MS)

Give us a run down of what you saw, post pictures if you'd like...any info is welcome.

Lately on the Grand Rapids Eastern (and MS)

Unread postby SD80MAC » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:22 pm

Here's a few shots of the GRE from October 28th and November 4th. The weather was perfect on both of these days so I couldn't pass up a chance to go out shooting! Higher resolution available for the Flickr linked photos by clicking on them.

ImageMichigan Shortline Railroading by Jonathon Leese, on Flickr
Grand Rapids Eastern rolls east along the old GTW main as some cattle grazes near Lowell. The fall colors were not as good as I'd hoped, but I couldn't resist getting out for a some pictures on this beautiful day! 3885 had 29 cars in tow, making this one of the longest trains I've seen on the GRE.

ImageEnd of the Line by Jonathon Leese, on Flickr
CF&E #3885 swings around the "connection" between the Grand Trunk Western and the Pere Marquette at Malta in Lowell. This was once the site of the Malta diamond and interchange between the GTW's Muskegon-Detroit line and PM's Grand Rapids-Saginaw line. In the late 80's, the Greenville to Elmdale section of the old PM was sold to the Mid Michigan RR (a Railtex company), while around the same time the GTW was sold to the Central Michigan RR. The two interchanged here until 1994 when the Central Michigan sold everything from Grand Rapids to Ionia on the old Trunk to Railtex, becoming the Grand Rapids Eastern. The only traffic south of Malta on the MMRR was the CSX interchange in Elmdale, and with MMRR and the new GRE being operated essentially as one entity, it made little sense to continue to interchange at Elmdale since the GRE already connected with CSX in Grand Rapids, so that line was mothballed and eventually abandoned in 2004. Meanwhile, the diamond was removed and the connection altered at Malta, being moved from the southwest to the northwest quadrant.

Malta remained unchanged from the mid 2000s until earlier this year, when the rail was removed between the switch and the first crossing to the east, to be used to expand an industry siding in Muskegon on the Michigan Shore RR. The track ends about a mile behind me at the Kent/Ionia county line, with everything east of there to Ionia itself being abandoned in 2009.

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Leaving Lowell westbound, passing the newly replaced sign at MP 140.

ImageOver the River by Jonathon Leese, on Flickr
Westbound over the Thornapple River in Ada, which is quite high with the recent amount of rain we've had.

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Approaching the diamond at Fuller with 11 cars in tow.

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Shoving east back to the yard after picking up an empty lumber flat from the C&M interchange in Walker.

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Shoving east past the approach signal for Fuller diamond.

And now one from late October over on the Michigan Shore:
ImagePumpkins by Jonathon Leese, on Flickr
Happy Halloween! Mid Michigan Railroad "Pumpkins" 2057 and 2019 lead Michigan Shore's Z627 south towards Holland along US 31, passing the pumpkin patch at Green Acres. Heavy rain and slick rail had caused 2057 to work a bit too hard and pop its crank case over-pressue switch, leaving 2019 to pull the heavy train slowly south alone.
"Remember, 4 mph is a couple, 5's a collision!"
http://flickriver.com/photos/conrail6809/popular-interesting/
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SD80MAC
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