Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

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Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:16 pm

Can anyone provide some form of a timeline as to when the former PM between Petoskey and Traverse City started to die off? The year 1982 seems to be the number I recall when abandonment took place (I could be very wrong about that), but I'm not sure about when passenger service ended and what really lead to the death of this line. Was this an attempt by C&O (later continued by CSX) to rid itself of unprofitable lines in Northern Lower Michigan or was there really nothing left freight wise? Following the ROW on Maps shows a very scenic line that passes by many bodies of water such as the legendary Torch Lake. I know the tracks are still intact to Williamsburg due to state ownership and GLC operation but I don't recall much of any business left on that end of the line currently.

I also noticed what appears to be a junction with another line at Rapid City? I can't seem to really find anything on that line except that it was abandoned very early which makes me want to say it was heavily involved with the Logging Industry? Looks like it heads towards Kalkaska and Grayling and continues northward? Its very hard to detect so I'm guessing the roads in the area currently use the ROW from this long gone line?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby ~Z~ » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:31 am

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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby AARR » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:35 am

1982 sounds about right

There was a proposal for AA to reach Traverse City by the PM connection at Thompsonville rather than Walton Jct. But the Walton Jct. line prevailed.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby Michael » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:45 am

MQT1223 wrote:I also noticed what appears to be a junction with another line at Rapid City? I can't seem to really find anything on that line except that it was abandoned very early which makes me want to say it was heavily involved with the Logging Industry? Looks like it heads towards Kalkaska and Grayling and continues northward? Its very hard to detect so I'm guessing the roads in the area currently use the ROW from this long gone line?



It looks like there was a line east of Rapid City. Have you seen this map?
Image
http://www.michiganrailroads.com/maps/county-maps/4865-kalkaska-county-maps-40
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:10 pm

Michael wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:I also noticed what appears to be a junction with another line at Rapid City? I can't seem to really find anything on that line except that it was abandoned very early which makes me want to say it was heavily involved with the Logging Industry? Looks like it heads towards Kalkaska and Grayling and continues northward? Its very hard to detect so I'm guessing the roads in the area currently use the ROW from this long gone line?



It looks like there was a line east of Rapid City. Have you seen this map?
Image
http://www.michiganrailroads.com/maps/county-maps/4865-kalkaska-county-maps-40


I tried to find that link last night but couldn’t. Now I have a link to it. Explains why the line doesn’t exist north of Rapid City. It’s cool to see some of the really old branches aren’t totally forgotten. It’s hard to believe how extensive the PM’s reach once was. Where did they cross the GR&I in Kalkaska?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby Michael » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:26 pm

There is a little information about the Rapid CIty to Stratford line here
http://www.abandonedrails.com/Rapid_City_to_Stratford

Based on that website and 1954 aerials I would say the 2 lines crossed on the south side of Kalkaska by 1st street.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:49 am

AARR wrote:1982 sounds about right

There was a proposal for AA to reach Traverse City by the PM connection at Thompsonville rather than Walton Jct. But the Walton Jct. line prevailed.


I'm assuming that the line from Walton Jct was in better shape at the time or just more direct?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby AARR » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:43 am

The end of ferry service from Elberta/Frankfort was immanent and the line west of Harlan was questionable so Walton Jct. was chosen
MQT1223 wrote:
AARR wrote:1982 sounds about right

There was a proposal for AA to reach Traverse City by the PM connection at Thompsonville rather than Walton Jct. But the Walton Jct. line prevailed.


I'm assuming that the line from Walton Jct was in better shape at the time or just more direct?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:03 pm

If I read the old timetables correctly, the distance from Cadillac to the old diamond in Traverse City (Kerry) via Walton is about 20 miles shorter.

At the time the Walton route was selected, most of the TC traffic was coming off the old PM west of town mostly from Cherry Growers. That of course has changed. There was also a plan put forth by Grand Traverse county to build a connection between the PRR and PM lines south of Keystone including a bridge across the Boardman river. The idea being one the lines along the the Boardman could be removed. Alas, no one could find the money to make that all happen.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby MQT1223 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:26 pm

When did passenger service end? Wasn’t this the line over the famed “high bridge”? I’m assuming something closing in Petoskey was the final nail in the coffin for this branch?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby AARR » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:26 am

This is a question for 1949 :D
MQT1223 wrote:When did passenger service end? Wasn’t this the line over the famed “high bridge”? I’m assuming something closing in Petoskey was the final nail in the coffin for this branch?
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby fmilhaupt » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:40 pm

The line between Baldwin and Kaleva, over the High Bridge, was removed starting in late 1955. All traffic north of Baldwin was then routed via Walhalla to Manistee, then back onto the original alignment from Kaleva northward to Traverse City and Petoskey.

Passenger service north of Traverse City through, Charlevoix to Petoskey, was discontinued in 1962.

Passenger service from Grand Rapids to Traverse City was discontinued on October 30, 1966.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby Steve B » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:37 pm

AARR, are you saying that the state of Michigan, planning for 4/1/76 and the end of The AA RR Co as an operating entity, considered subsidizing Conrail to run from Thompsonville to TC, in addition to CR's operation of the ex-AA, and not designating Michigan Northern to operate Walton Jct-TC?

Or, are you saying that at some point after MIGN started operating Walton Jct to TC on 4/1/76, the state considered changing the route to Thompsonville-TC instead? That seems highly unlikely.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby AARR » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:41 am

It was in an old AARRT&HA newsletter. IIRC it was proposed in the early 80's so AA/MIRY would have been the designated operator instead of MIGN. I recall the map more so than the story but it may have had to do with the state of MI's concern about the sustainability of MIGNs operation and their confidence that MIRY had a stronger financial record.
Steve B wrote:AARR, are you saying that the state of Michigan, planning for 4/1/76 and the end of The AA RR Co as an operating entity, considered subsidizing Conrail to run from Thompsonville to TC, in addition to CR's operation of the ex-AA, and not designating Michigan Northern to operate Walton Jct-TC?

Or, are you saying that at some point after MIGN started operating Walton Jct to TC on 4/1/76, the state considered changing the route to Thompsonville-TC instead? That seems highly unlikely.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby Steve B » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:51 pm

Ah, ok. I've got those issues on a CD-- the AARRT&HA sells it-- and will have to try to dig out that info. Seems like it would have been proposed by early 1981 at the latest, since by late 1981 Mich Interstate and the state were at each other's throats.
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Re: Decline of the PM between Petoskey and Traverse City

Unread postby i995impalass » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:58 am

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