LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:39 am

Raildudes dad wrote:
J T wrote:
C&O6084 wrote:
I saw a NYC Geep crossing 28th street (flagmen & working lights/bell) when I was being kidnapped and forcibly taken downtown to get my shots for kindergarten; that was late Summer of 1964. 28th wasn't as built up then.

Any memory of what Kent Door & Specialty was back then? The existing building obviously got rail service way back when, as it's angled to match the ROW and has loading dock doors consistent with rail service. I drive by that building every day and try to imagine what it would have been like to have tracks passing by and crossing 28th.

Edit: I'm reading the "About Us" section on Kent Door's website and it appears they moved in there in 1982. No mention of what it was prior to that.


There was no building there in 1956 when 28th St went from a 2 lane road to the present 5. The crossing did have signals prior to the widening. (based on the construction plans) I believe the current building is on part of the ROW. The ROW was 100 feet wide in 1956 - labeled NYC. I haven't had time to get into the old aerials.

I donated all the Road Commission crossing records for the line to the West Michigan RR Historical Society a few years ago. (Wyoming was a township until 1959 and the Road Commission maintained their streets for a number of years after that.)

Well I guess we need to get the Road Commission records from them then. Do those records detail the entire life of the crossing over a certain year span? Does it detail what signals were there, how many tracks and whatnot?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:08 pm

The Road Commission did not have the records for 28th, it was a State Trunkline even back then. Only one track on the plan. RC records for the other roads, 44th etc. only had correspondence , no plans
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:39 pm

MQT1223 wrote:From a source I have apparently the GTW almost purchased this line after they sold off their connection. The GTW would shove a boxcar ahead in order to test the track to make sure the track would hold and flag for crossings. They never made it to Wyoming Yard because 28th street was paved over, and thus never purchased the line. :lol: I don't know how long the track survived after the PC last used it for anything, but this happened after the PC left the rails to rot before removal. Just an interesting little piece of info.


There's no way the GTW was interested in this track, and no way they were shoving a boxcar on it. PC and later Conrail both retained the former outside connections. Conrail operated the north end out Grand Rapids to Eagle Mills, and operated the south end as far north as Otsego.

Penn Central stopped operating the line from Byron Center to somewhere around 28th St. I have a track chart that shows the road crossings along that stretch of track as being good for only 5 or 10mph. Perhaps the origin of the story you heard was the PC checking the track by shoving a boxcar before shoving in a cut of storage cars.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:11 pm

Ben Higdon wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:From a source I have apparently the GTW almost purchased this line after they sold off their connection. The GTW would shove a boxcar ahead in order to test the track to make sure the track would hold and flag for crossings. They never made it to Wyoming Yard because 28th street was paved over, and thus never purchased the line. :lol: I don't know how long the track survived after the PC last used it for anything, but this happened after the PC left the rails to rot before removal. Just an interesting little piece of info.


There's no way the GTW was interested in this track, and no way they were shoving a boxcar on it. PC and later Conrail both retained the former outside connections. Conrail operated the north end out Grand Rapids to Eagle Mills, and operated the south end as far north as Otsego.

Penn Central stopped operating the line from Byron Center to somewhere around 28th St. I have a track chart that shows the road crossings along that stretch of track as being good for only 5 or 10mph. Perhaps the origin of the story you heard was the PC checking the track by shoving a boxcar before shoving in a cut of storage cars.

I doublechecked my source and he insists Grand Truck. They only got as far as 28th street because 28th had been paved over.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:29 pm

How did a GTW loco get to be south of Grand Rapids on the old NYC?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Ben Higdon wrote:How did a GTW loco get to be south of Grand Rapids on the old NYC?

Went from Kzoo north.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:45 pm

Ben Higdon wrote:How did a GTW loco get to be south of Grand Rapids on the old NYC?

I don't know the exact connection but the GTW does go to Battle Creek so they must have had access to what is now the Grand Elk Railroad somehow.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:47 pm

Image

My Lamar photo from the 50's
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:26 pm

That tower sure had a lot of levers for controlling that junction. Must've controlled signals and switches for the west leads of Wyoming Yard where they entered the C&O main immediately east of the junction?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:53 am

amtrak1007 wrote:Image

My Lamar photo from the 50's

Nice. Any evidence still around of this existing or did the Chessie wipe it clean off the face of the earth? Any pictures from any recognizable locations such as Prairie or 28th street or others?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:39 am

http://gllx3001facts.com/maps/GrandRapidsTerminal.pdf

Page 6 here I drew in pencil where I think the LS&MS crossed the PM main, as you can see there were several crossovers and signals controlled by the tower.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:51 pm

amtrak1007 wrote:http://gllx3001facts.com/maps/GrandRapidsTerminal.pdf

Page 6 here I drew in pencil where I think the LS&MS crossed the PM main, as you can see there were several crossovers and signals controlled by the tower.

You can see the alignment of the old LS&MS crossing Chicago drive because the truck dealer's front wall at Byron Center and Chicago follows the same alignment. The building is not built on the rail bed, but if you look south of the building on the left side of Byron Center you will see a row of trees on the edge of Lamar Park. The railroad would've been on the park side of that row of trees. The row of trees was the east side of the rail bed.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Proto48Patrick » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:28 pm

MQT1223 wrote:
Ben Higdon wrote:How did a GTW loco get to be south of Grand Rapids on the old NYC?

I don't know the exact connection but the GTW does go to Battle Creek so they must have had access to what is now the Grand Elk Railroad somehow.



Pere MQT1223,

I'm guessing that they shoved the executive train north through Plainwell and the GTW CEO was the "Brakeman of Honor" that day. That makes all the sense in the world. Since they were the executive train, they were full of badassery that they could go as far north as they wanted. The Union gave him full honors for the day and he was so kickass that he didn't need to flag the paved-over crossings.

True Story, I read it online.

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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby J T » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:35 pm

amtrak1007 wrote:Image

My Lamar photo from the 50's

It looks like there's a diamond in that picture, but then again it looks like there's not a diamond. What's going on in that pic?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby run8ed » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:57 am

MQT1223 wrote:
From a source I have apparently the GTW almost purchased this line after they sold off their connection. The GTW would shove a boxcar ahead in order to test the track to make sure the track would hold and flag for crossings. They never made it to Wyoming Yard because 28th street was paved over, and thus never purchased the line. :lol: I don't know how long the track survived after the PC last used it for anything, but this happened after the PC left the rails to rot before removal. Just an interesting little piece of info.


So a little asphalt held up a major rail line purchase? That's almost as plausible as GTW buying the line to begin with. I would be interested to hear what other insights your source has for us...
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby amtrak1007 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:15 am

J T wrote:It looks like there's a diamond in that picture, but then again it looks like there's not a diamond. What's going on in that pic?



There is a diamond in the shot, also a set off track for a speeder, which makes it look like the diamond isn't there. The set off track is the lower left of the frame, the diamond trackage is promptly above it in the shot.

run8ed wrote:So a little asphalt held up a major rail line purchase? That's almost as plausible as GTW buying the line to begin with. I would be interested to hear what other insights your source has for us...


Agreed.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:09 pm

amtrak1007 wrote:
J T wrote:It looks like there's a diamond in that picture, but then again it looks like there's not a diamond. What's going on in that pic?



There is a diamond in the shot, also a set off track for a speeder, which makes it look like the diamond isn't there. The set off track is the lower left of the frame, the diamond trackage is promptly above it in the shot.

run8ed wrote:So a little asphalt held up a major rail line purchase? That's almost as plausible as GTW buying the line to begin with. I would be interested to hear what other insights your source has for us...


Agreed.

Well by that time over 30 years of deferred maintenance had the line in a bad state of disrepair, apparently too bad to make it worth it. Keep in mind the NYC and later Penn Central had the line up to Grand Rapids that paralleled the Pennsy, old GR&I line from the south. This line was not necessary, as it was abandoned first before the GR&I south of Grand Rapids when the Penn Central came around (They kept the NYC tracks that paralleled the GR&I). Plus the NYC tried for years to spur up business along the old LS&MS with no customers springing up. The line was barely usable for storage when it was ripped out (from what I hear). This line's heyday was when the LS&MS had it as their mainline into GR, and after the LS&MS merging with the NYC&HRR to form the NYC. When the NYC bought the ex. interurban tracks (line over Market St./Grand River, etc.) this line's purpose was greatly diminished. That purchase was in the mid 30's if I remember correctly from the interurban presentation a few weeks ago. Correct me if I am wrong on any of this, but I am pretty sure that was the death blow for the old LS&MS line.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:52 pm

MQT1223 wrote:(They kept the NYC tracks that paralleled the GR&I).


Heh?

MQT1223 wrote: When the NYC bought the ex. interurban tracks (line over Market St./Grand River, etc.) this line's purpose was greatly diminished. That purchase was in the mid 30's if I remember correctly from the interurban presentation a few weeks ago. Correct me if I am wrong on any of this, but I am pretty sure that was the death blow for the old LS&MS line.


What did the interurban trackage in Grand Rapids have to do with the usefulness of the LSMS?
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:13 pm

Ben Higdon wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:(They kept the NYC tracks that paralleled the GR&I).


Heh?
Didn't the PC rip out the GR&I main and instead keep the NYC tracks that ran next to it down to Kzoo and points beyond? I thought that's what the current GDLK yard's original heritage is because the Pennsy yard and tracks are gone.

MQT1223 wrote: When the NYC bought the ex. interurban tracks (line over Market St./Grand River, etc.) this line's purpose was greatly diminished. That purchase was in the mid 30's if I remember correctly from the interurban presentation a few weeks ago. Correct me if I am wrong on any of this, but I am pretty sure that was the death blow for the old LS&MS line.


What did the interurban trackage in Grand Rapids have to do with the usefulness of the LSMS?


The NYC bought the old Interurban trackage to have a more direct route into GR if I remember correctly... before that the LS&MS line was the NYC's only way in or trackage rights over the Pennsy, which of course the NYC didn't like. Plus like I said, the NYC and PC had issues trying to spur up business on the line and it was not economical to keep the line.

Maybe someone with more knowledge of this whole issue could chime in. I may be 18 but my memory is terrible and it seems like everyone has a different story on the line. Plus all I know is what I have learned in the past 5 years. I can't find any real accurate records or info on the lines' history.
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Re: LS&MS Grand Rapids Division Pics

Unread postby kenN » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:19 pm

Part of the problem the LSMS route posed for the NYC is that its terminal was on the West Side of GR, disconnected from the NYC's (Michigan Central) roundhouse and facilities near Hall St, so locomotive servicing and other connections required a move over the PRR, not real convenient. Towards the end, the NYC ran north out of Kalamazoo on the LSMS only as far as Byron Center for produce loading and an occasional car of lumber for Rynbrandt's Hardware. When that business dried up in the early '70s it was a no-brainer for PC to pull out in favor of the much shorter GR&I between GR and Kalamazoo.
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