Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby AARR » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:09 am

Appreciate the pictures, J T. The picture of the lower level ROW is particularly interesting. IIRC the connection from the GTW to the PENN line was about a mile long and had to make the drop from the hi-line to the low.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:45 pm

Correct, started west of the bridge on the GTW (same switch as the siding IIRC) then traversed down to the GRI line.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:46 pm

amtrak1007 wrote:Correct, started west of the bridge on the GTW (same switch as the siding IIRC) then traversed down to the GRI line.


It's actually downhill towrds the west from the bridge to the mainline switch to the connector track( C&M removed) and then uphill to switch (long gone) to the GR &I main. Interestingly all the Triick property and some other in the area was owned by the GTW land holding company. They apparently thought there was potential for some industry to locate there. John Tricks grandfather? bought the land from the RR.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:35 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:
amtrak1007 wrote:Correct, started west of the bridge on the GTW (same switch as the siding IIRC) then traversed down to the GRI line.


It's actually downhill towrds the west from the bridge to the mainline switch to the connector track( C&M removed) and then uphill to switch (long gone) to the GR &I main. Interestingly all the Triick property and some other in the area was owned by the GTW land holding company. They apparently thought there was potential for some industry to locate there. John Tricks grandfather? bought the land from the RR.


Thanks RDD its been years since Rick B and I walked that line.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby ~Z~ » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:44 pm

Since we're chatting about this connector... is it because of the farmer's property that the trail (that awesome Raildude's Dad was apart of) goes across the original ROW, hugs along it just to the northeast of it for 1/2 mile or so, then resumes on it's original lie? See map link: https://goo.gl/maps/aSeBa
When biking it, there's a large pile of debris at the northwest portion of the farmer's property that has "no trespassing" signs on it and the debris blocks the ROW.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby J T » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Doesn't help that a good portion of the ROW is someone's private drive to the southeast of where it first crosses the ROW and down to 4 Mile Rd. I've often wondered myself what the deal was with that short section of the ROW being off limits. Perhaps the farmer uses it to get from one area of his land to another?
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby EWRice » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:28 pm

Sorry to bring up an older thread, but the subject matter is fitting. On a trip today, we were checking out certain places along the C&M. Just west of the old penn junction switch, on the north side of the tracks, is a grade for what appears to be a wye. It is obvious through the trees, and I confirmed it on Google earth. No sign of a switch ever being there, and there would have to have been a small trestle over the ditch. Was there ever a track in there, or was the grade built on speculation without any track ever being laid? If there was a track there, when did it get removed?

Also, the switch at Penn junction had an electrical box next to it. The derail at St. Mary's has the same electrical box. The derail on the east track at Meijer's warehouse has a very elaborate sensor and electrical box with what looks like a large signal relay in it (encased in glass). I assume the one at Penn junction was to indicate switch position for the signals/operator. What would the ones on the derails be for? My guess is that they were tied into the signals at westbound Fuller and eastbound Penn jct, giving a caution signal if a derail was down. Both derails are on a steep grade.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby aghudley » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:42 am

This is the location EW Rice is talking about. The 1945 topo map shows a siding on the GT here.

Image

2016 Aerial imagery from Google Earth shows what I think is the feature in question. It sure looks like it could be a grade for a former wye leg. The 4/14/2016 imagery shows it most clearly. It shows up well on 1957 imagery on Historical Aerials but. I wonder if it wasn't instead a small dam. Perhaps there was once a mill of some kind here and that wasn't the reason for the siding. Any more thoughts?

Image

For those of you that would like to explore Google earth on your own, the coordinates for this feature are 43° 2.015'N 85° 48.182'W
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby J T » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:19 pm

Well that's certainly an interesting find. Too bad it's not accessible from public property to view. I'd like to see that possible ROW in person.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby EWRice » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:58 pm

I think I found my answers. The grade was built on speculation and no tracks were ever laid. The siding shown on the map was the interchange track between GTW and GR&I/Pen. I was told it was pulled around '57, give or take a year.

The electrical box on the switch was for the signals on the GTW line, as well as a signal that was on the connecting track.

The the derail at St Marys had a lockout device controled by the operator at the plant.

The derail at Meijer also had a twin inside the fence at Delphi. They were interlocked with the overhead doors in the buildings.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby aghudley » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:28 am

EWRice wrote:I think I found my answers. The grade was built on speculation and no tracks were ever laid. The siding shown on the map was the interchange track between GTW and GR&I/Pen. I was told it was pulled around '57, give or take a year.



I'm curious where you got your speculative information about the wye. A wye would have made sense as the old D&M line was still used at least as far as Coopersville after the GTW acquired rights over the PRR to Muskegon. FYI, 1957 aerial imagery (http://historicaerials.com/) isn't the best but it looks like the siding might still be there. The siding shows up on topo maps as late as 1980.

EWRice, thanks for your recent post. I hadn't seen the photos posted by mikerm19 back in 2010.

Does anyone know when the last train was run between Coopersville and Grand Haven? As I understand it, the line was pretty much abandoned in place some time after the ferry service was moved to Muskegon and rights were acquired over the PRR.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby AARR » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:49 am

From the History Line at MichiganRailroads.com,
GTW is authorized to abandon the Grand Rapids subdivision from Marne to Grand Haven. The line has not been used for some time due to lack of traffic. [IT-4/1976].

aghudley wrote:Does anyone know when the last train was run between Coopersville and Grand Haven? As I understand it, the line was pretty much abandoned in place some time after the ferry service was moved to Muskegon and rights were acquired over the PRR.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby EWRice » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:07 pm

I know people that remember locomotives pulling up behind the Idle Hour restaurant in Spring Lake so the crew could get breakfast. I believe this would have been in the 1960's or 1970's.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Schteinkuh » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:40 pm

IIRC last train was the local job that was left in 1976.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby trnwatcher » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:06 pm

The last "scheduled" train was probably in the late 70's but I read somewhere that GTW ran the last train from Grand Haven in the early 80's when they cleaned all the storage cars out of the yard there.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:00 pm

The story goes the track was pulled up from Grand Haven towards Marne in 1976. When they got east of the GM plant, GM said "we have a switch maintenance agreement". The track was relaid back to the plant - without tie plates :). The plate-less rail is still there.

The radius for the short wye leg is shown on the val map. No other info on the map.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Schteinkuh » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:39 am

Raildudes dad wrote:The story goes the track was pulled up from Grand Haven towards Marne in 1976. When they got east of the GM plant, GM said "we have a switch maintenance agreement". The track was relaid back to the plant - without tie plates :). The plate-less rail is still there.

The radius for the short wye leg is shown on the val map. No other info on the map.

So they had them relay the track even though there was no chance of future business?
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:40 pm

AMTK55 wrote:
Raildudes dad wrote:The story goes the track was pulled up from Grand Haven towards Marne in 1976. When they got east of the GM plant, GM said "we have a switch maintenance agreement". The track was relaid back to the plant - without tie plates :). The plate-less rail is still there.

The radius for the short wye leg is shown on the val map. No other info on the map.

So they had them relay the track even though there was no chance of future business?


The track was installed for bargaining tools against the teamsters union, so to keep using it as bargaining, you need to have the switch connected no?
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:53 am

The Grand Haven car ferry slip was kept functional for a period of time as a back up for Muskegon. Considering there was only one slip in Muskegon, GTW may have thought it worthwhile to have that wye connection in place to streamline movements between the regular base of operation in Muskegon and the back up slip at Grand Haven (assuming they would not just run the road trains in/out of Grand Haven). I've not heard of evidence the wye was ever built but it may have been there for a time when the connection was first built from Penn Jct to the PRR.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby PereMarquette1223 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:09 pm

This might be a stupid question, but why was the bridge at Penn Jct. left in place but partially filled? Was the fact that the line from GR to GH wasn't used that much at the time and that the GT didn't see the point in removing the bridge all together?

Penn Jct. was removed in the 50's per someone's post, so I'm guessing I-96 came way later? North of the bridge was left in until the 80's, but south of the bridge to GR came out when?
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