Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

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Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:14 pm

Much like AARR on the subject of the D&M flagging out traffic at Mackinac City, I posted the Kinney Spur & Penn Junction info on MichiganRailroad,.com in response to the discussion on a thread there. Since that Board doesn't 't have a search feature or an archive, I'm posing the same info here for "eternity" :)

Kinney Spur & Penn Junction

Last week Joel posted a picture showing a tower at the GR&I bridge over the GTW east of what was called Penn Junction in recent years. That was the first time I’ve heard or seen evidence of a tower at that location. I have copies of the GT Val maps for that area and I never noticed a notation for a tower. I looked again and there is no notation for a past tower.

As I posted previously, I went "flying" this past week for the following years (1938, 1954, 1963, 1978 and 1984) over the Kinney Spur. The tower may have been there in 1938, the resolution of the photos isn’t very good so I can’t say one way or the other. The tower definitely is there in 1954. It’s gone in 1963 and the grade under the bridge is being used to access a sand/gravel pit adjacent to the recently constructed I-96 freeway. Interestingly the val map indicates signals for eat bound and westbound approaching the switch at Penn Junction. The map shows an alignment for an eastbound to northbound track but does not indicate it was ever built.

Yesterday I walked the C&M RWY from 4 Mile to Penn Junction, then I walked the connector grade to the old GR&I grade and then on to the Muskatawa Trailhead at 8th Avenue. I did so as the project manager for the Musketawa / White Pine Connector with permission of the property owners. (I’d ask you not duplicate my hike until it becomes a public trail. One of the property owners is not friendly). I found at the location of the switch point, what appears to be a piece of a mechanism for control rods, sticking up out of the snow. It does appear the tower could control the distant switch.

The thread also included some discussion of activity on the old Kinney Spur. The track was the GR&I track to Muskegon. The GTW obtained trackage rights in 1946 north of Penn Junction to access the ferry docks in Muskegon after they abandoned the old TS&M from Muskegon to Ashley. They bought it at the formation of Conrail in 1976. The track from Grand Rapids was severed during the construction of I-96 in 1961-62.

There not a spur at Kinney in 1954. By 1963 there was a long narrow building in the ROW. It’s hard to tell if there’s a siding but I doubt it since in 1978, the photos show unloading the lumber cars on the main. Eberhard’s building on 3 Mile Road is not there in 1978 but shows up in 1984. It’s hard to tell how thy switched Eberhard’s. From the “new stone” visible, there might have been a couple car siding east of Kinney but more likely there was a 3 car “stub” of the old main left as the new siding was placed east of the old grade, crossed 3 Mile and entered the building.

There is a team track west of Bristol Avenue in 1954 on the north side. (I can see 2 cars on it). It was gone in 1963. Farmer Peets never had a siding. It used locally produced livestock for locally delivered meat. Darling Rendering had a “facility” east of Bristol on the north side. No siding there either.

Further east was the Michigan Plating facility where Padnos is today. There was a switch west of Alpine on the north side of the creek for a track into the plant from the west. There was a track into the east side of the plant off the GR&I main. There was a siding from the east into the bulk plant, which today is Crystal Flash property. There was another siding into the property south of there but there did not appear to be any “recent” customer.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby mikerm19 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:44 am

Yeah. I have a few words for a certain property owner there at penn junction.

I also have a few road barriers that need to be strategically placed around that area too......

Thankfully I haven't been directly involved in the mess, but I have surprised a few of his employees (or him, I dunno) a few times.

Penn Junction when it hits C&M (ex GTW) by itself looks like it's just full of history. There even is a flange greaser still stickin out of the ground right where the switch was. A glass insulator was found there recently too. Even lot's of old cable strewn around everywhere.

As far as C&M property around Penn junction (the switch and the bridge goes), remember kids, no trespassing, and as stated earlier, the property owner around there is not nice.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:55 pm

The property owner is interesting to deal with. He wants the trail to just go away - that's probably not likely to happen. Those are his sons, no employees involved. I don't think that's a flange greaser. It looks for like fittings for control rods. I'm guessing it was electrically controlled from the tower.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby A No.1 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:02 pm

Myself not being from Michigan originally and at the risk of sounding completely ignorant, Where is Penn JCT?
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:09 pm

Penn Jct is west of Grand Rapids where the GTW (today the Coopersville & Marne) passed over the old PRR to Muskegon. In later years, the connection at Penn Jct was how GTW got to Muskegon.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby AARR » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:14 pm

Conrail Jon wrote:Penn Jct is west of Grand Rapids where the GTW (today the Coopersville & Marne) passed over the old PRR to Muskegon. In later years, the connection at Penn Jct was how GTW got to Muskegon.

About a mile east of Marne would you say guys? My milepost list is at home so I'm not sure but it's closer to Marne than Grand Rapids.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:16 pm

About a mile and a half east w/o looking it up. The bridge over is still there and is visible from I-96.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:17 pm

Penn Jct is like 164.9 (bridge) 165.3 TT station.... Marne is 166.6 (1.3), Coop is 172.6(7.3)
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby mikerm19 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:58 am

Just to clear things up (or make them more muddy)...

The switch for penn jct. is actually further down the line then the bridge is, and it met up with the line further north a bit.

Bridge:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r54fkq ... ne%2C%20MI

Where the switch was:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r54tjb ... ne%2C%20MI

You can tell by the land that it swooped up vary gradually and met with the other line. I heard the line up there used to be 60mph (but don't quote me, could be wrong).
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:20 pm

mikerm19 wrote:Just to clear things up (or make them more muddy)...

The switch for penn jct. is actually further down the line then the bridge is, and it met up with the line further north a bit.

Bridge:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r54fkq ... ne%2C%20MI

Where the switch was:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r54tjb ... ne%2C%20MI

You can tell by the land that it swooped up vary gradually and met with the other line. I heard the line up there used to be 60mph (but don't quote me, could be wrong).


Maybe at one time, but I have most of it listed as being good for 49.... Minus the Penn Jct to Coop portion... You can really feel the super elevation in the line even today. The active portion anyway.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby J T » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:31 pm

(bump)
mikerm19 wrote:Penn Junction when it hits C&M (ex GTW) by itself looks like it's just full of history. There even is a flange greaser still stickin out of the ground right where the switch was.

You mean this?

Image



And, what are these? They are near the lubricator, but on the opposite side of the tracks.

Image


And for Tom, do you have links to those old satellite maps? I'd really love to see those.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby CAT345C » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:30 am

Those posts with the wires are prehistoric signal components.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:41 pm

JT:

No links to the photos , just boxes of photos in our vault at work
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:37 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:JT:

No links to the photos , just boxes of photos in our vault at work


JT: Do you really think there are satellite photos from 1938, 1954, 1963, 1978 and 1984? There may be satellite photos fro 1978 and 1984 but I bet they are locked in vaults a lot more secure than the KCRC.

RDD: Do you think those photos may ever end up in the hands of a museum or historical society? It seem a shame that some much valuable historical information is hiding in a vault somewhere.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:39 pm

The RC actually still uses the photos. We can document drainage patterns / history when folks claim they never had water on their property or we dried up a drainage course. So I don't think we will ever trash them.

I would like to get them on line like the Wayne County pics but we only have matte finish prints that don't scan well. I inquired a while back to see if the original Abrams Aerial Photography Co films still existed. (Abrams pioneered aerial photography and flew a lot of Michigan over the years.). I was sick to my stomach when I was told that when the new owners took over and closed the Lansing office, all the film went into the dumpster :( .

The RC has a lot of records on the golden age of road building (late teens early 20's) that I would love to get on line. Maybe someday we'll get it accomplished.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby trnwatcher » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:42 am

I knew I had seen pictures of Penn Jct somewhere as we are modeling the PRR\GT line form Muskegon to GR eastward at the Muskegon Railroad Historical Society. I was up there Saturday and was working on the layout and looked up at he wall and whalla! Two B&W pics of Jenn Jct. I am not sure of the year but will found out. Our librarian wasn't there Saturday but I will find out when these pics where taken and by who.

Picture 1 is on the GTW line looking west towards Coopserville from atop the tracks.

Image

Picture 2 is from the PRR tracks looking NW towards Muskegon.

Image

Picture 3 is of Penn Jct. on the Muskegon Historical Society's new N-Scale Layout.

Image

As soon as I can find out more I will post it here.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby ~Z~ » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:48 am

Thanks for posting those pics, hadn't seen what that junction actually looked like while in use.
Small correction... pretty sure Pic 2 is looking southeast towards GR, not NW to Muskegon.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby trnwatcher » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:09 pm

Thats what I thought too but was told differently.
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby J T » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:23 am

~Z~ wrote:Thanks for posting those pics, hadn't seen what that junction actually looked like while in use.
Small correction... pretty sure Pic 2 is looking southeast towards GR, not NW to Muskegon.

Incorrect. It is definitely looking northwest. However, small correction, pic 1 is looking east, not west. The foundation for that semaphore is still there, and it's on the northeast side of the bridge, making that view looking to the east. Plus, look at the shadows from the rail heads and the right side of the bridge vertical.

Zack, the ROW south of the overpass goes through a cut, just as the picture shows. I walked down that cut with Gregg a couple of months ago where we also saw the remains of those tell tale poles.

Here is what remains of the pole on the right. You can see the small hill behind the pole, just as it appears in the photo:

Image


A view looking west with the foundation for the semaphore signal in the foreground:

Image


On the south side of the bridge looking north:

Image


And the tell tale poles that still exist on the north side of the bridge, looking southeast back toward GR:

Image
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Re: Kinney Spur and Penn Junction

Unread postby ~Z~ » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:26 am

Aye aye... at first I had posted that either pic 1 or 2 was wrong, but not both, just because of where the shanty was. Thought #2 was wrong due to how the poles were setup, therefore making #1 correct and changed my post to reflect that. Thanks for the correction and evidence.
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