GTW west of Coopersville

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GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:23 pm

When was this last used and why was it cut back to Coopersville's western edge? Could anyone shed some light on this piece of former rail line? Also why did the Coopersville and Marne buy about a mile of ROW (or attempt to buy a mile of ROW) west of where the tracks currently end? Any photo's? Etc.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:45 pm

search "west coopersville" on this site, there's several threads you can peruse.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:10 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:search "west coopersville" on this site, there's several threads you can peruse.


That search function is so underrated on here... :D
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby AARR » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:04 am

In the last year (1983?) before abandonment GTW handled 180ish carloads west of Coopersville IIRC
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:40 am

AARR wrote:In the last year (1983?) before abandonment GTW handled 180ish carloads west of Coopersville IIRC


That doesn't seem like a lot to me. I handle more then 180 carloads on my layout in a year. :lol: If service ever returned good luck getting any connection in Grand Haven the way the freeway is set up. The main bulk of the intersections are right on top of the ROW. I bet Spring Lake wouldn't be a fan of seeing freight trains come back either. However if the mindset of the CPMY changed they probably could relay track to as far as the outskirts of Spring Lake since most of the ROW appears to be intact. They own that mile of ROW west of Coopersville.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:04 pm

That line to GH will never go back in. The MS would handle any GH traffic now.

Actually, the ROW is still there under US31...the former Johnston Boiler trackage continued to use to old ROW. Tracks are even still there, though removed from the roads.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:33 pm

MQT3001 wrote:That line to GH will never go back in. The MS would handle any GH traffic now.

Actually, the ROW is still there under US31...the former Johnston Boiler trackage continued to use to old ROW. Tracks are even still there, though removed from the roads.


Yeah I saw that a few years back. I wonder why they haven't scrapped it yet.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:48 pm

Johnston Boiler still uses the rail to move boilers around their property. They have a pair of homemade trucks they put the boilers on and push them with a forklift.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:29 am

SD80MAC wrote:Johnston Boiler still uses the rail to move boilers around their property. They have a pair of homemade trucks they put the boilers on and push them with a forklift.


Oh neat. What kind of boilers they make? Boilers for heating businesses and homes I assume?
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Schteinkuh » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:39 am

MQT1223 wrote:However if the mindset of the CPMY changed they probably could relay track to as far as the outskirts of Spring Lake since most of the ROW appears to be intact. They own that mile of ROW west of Coopersville.

Mindset?? :roll: Well, it'd be counter-productive, it would be a waste of a LOT of money, and what makes you think that'd be a good plan? Who's gonna do it? Not nearly enough regular volunteers or funds to complete such a task.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby cnw8835 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:30 am

Another item, the I-96 overpasses at Nunica no longer exist. They were removed and the ROW filled in for construction of the interchange to the new M-231.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby EWRice » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:41 pm

Spring Lake probably wouldn't mind it too much. The B&FE as it was locally known used to pull up behind the Idle Hour restaurant for meals. I heard some crews walked across the street to Stan's Bar. If any connection were to be re-laid from the lakeshore, it would be along the old GR&I (now the musketawa trail) or the Fremont to Whitecloud MS line. By the way, B&FE stood for back and forth empty. :D
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:59 pm

AMTK55 wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:However if the mindset of the CPMY changed they probably could relay track to as far as the outskirts of Spring Lake since most of the ROW appears to be intact. They own that mile of ROW west of Coopersville.

Mindset?? :roll: Well, it'd be counter-productive, it would be a waste of a LOT of money, and what makes you think that'd be a good plan? Who's gonna do it? Not nearly enough regular volunteers or funds to complete such a task.


Yes. When I say mindset if the CPMY decided to run two trains if a surge in volunteers came up or a new mission was created. If the CMPY decided to have trains branch east and west from Coopersville. One train to GR, the other to Spring Lake or Grand Haven (if your that ambitious, but I would start with Spring Lake). If the mission of the CPMY was to say connect Grand Rapids and Grand Haven by rail with Passenger Service or something like that I would consider that their mindset. The current mindset is "model railroading 1:1 scale." Tourist railroads have rebuilt stretches of long abandoned tracks and made it work. Sure contractors would have to be brought in, but I wouldn't call it counter productive. It's not a waste if someone with a smart financial mind can make it work. Look at the Virginia and Truckee out in Nevada. The Catskill Mountain Railway in New York is basically doing the same thing because lets face it, tracks and bridges and other infustructure that have been left to rot since 1976 are not going to hold a locomotive and train. That's practically rebuilding a right of way from the ground up, and that also factors in clearing it. The Niles Canyon Railway is also rebuilding a stretch of ROW as well, and their tracks are a part of the original Transcontinental Railroad. The ROW west of Coopersville is barely walkable, and besides that and regrading it I'm not even sure what would have to be done. Drainage would have to be accessed, any culverts unplugged/rebuilt. Bridges if any are present, etc.

cnw8835 wrote:Another item, the I-96 overpasses at Nunica no longer exist. They were removed and the ROW filled in for construction of the interchange to the new M-231.
That is a problem, but Keep in mind I am no expert here so this is my take on a possible solution. Instead of putting in a new bridge I would do like what they did with the Kent Trail at M-6 (yes I understand this is a bike path and not a railroad) or what they did when the I-96 bridge over the former GT at the Kent/Ionia County line was filled in, tunnel your way through. The road is still under the freeway but their is no bridge to maintain. This Leaves the road intact above without digging a huge trench. That's just me, but just because I think it can be done, does mean someone with expertise in that field can say otherwise. Again, I am by no means an expert.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Schteinkuh » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:19 pm

MQT1223 wrote:Tourist railroads have rebuilt stretches of long abandoned tracks and made it work. Sure contractors would have to be brought in, but I wouldn't call it counter productive. It's not a waste if someone with a smart financial mind can make it work. Look at the Virginia and Truckee out in Nevada. The Catskill Mountain Railway in New York is basically doing the same thing because lets face it, tracks and bridges and other infustructure that have been left to rot since 1976 are not going to hold a locomotive and train. That's practically rebuilding a right of way from the ground up, and that also factors in clearing it. The Niles Canyon Railway is also rebuilding a stretch of ROW as well, and their tracks are a part of the original Transcontinental Railroad. The ROW west of Coopersville is barely walkable, and besides that and regrading it I'm not even sure what would have to be done. Drainage would have to be accessed, any culverts unplugged/rebuilt. Bridges if any are present, etc.

It is counter-productive and a waste when money could be spent on much more important things like existing trackage, existing equipment, etc. Re-laying track west of Coopersville would be far more expensive than what the railroad can afford. All these railroads you're comparing the C&M to have a LOT more money, equipment and workers than them and are extremely popular among tourists and railfans.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:39 pm

It will be a miracle to see both the Witcomb running and the 3049 re powered...let alone re-laying trackage!

No, just no. Not with the CPMY of today. Maybe in a couple decades when urban sprawl heads west (and Coopersville is the new Cutlerville), then maybe...for industrial development. But I'm not holding my breath.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:54 pm

AMTK55 wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:Tourist railroads have rebuilt stretches of long abandoned tracks and made it work. Sure contractors would have to be brought in, but I wouldn't call it counter productive. It's not a waste if someone with a smart financial mind can make it work. Look at the Virginia and Truckee out in Nevada. The Catskill Mountain Railway in New York is basically doing the same thing because lets face it, tracks and bridges and other infustructure that have been left to rot since 1976 are not going to hold a locomotive and train. That's practically rebuilding a right of way from the ground up, and that also factors in clearing it. The Niles Canyon Railway is also rebuilding a stretch of ROW as well, and their tracks are a part of the original Transcontinental Railroad. The ROW west of Coopersville is barely walkable, and besides that and regrading it I'm not even sure what would have to be done. Drainage would have to be accessed, any culverts unplugged/rebuilt. Bridges if any are present, etc.

It is counter-productive and a waste when money could be spent on much more important things like existing trackage, existing equipment, etc. Re-laying track west of Coopersville would be far more expensive than what the railroad can afford. All these railroads you're comparing the C&M to have a LOT more money, equipment and workers than them and are extremely popular among tourists and railfans.


I agree with you on that because I am referring to if the C&M changed and was on the level of say the Strasburg, New Hope and Ivyland, TVRM, Texas State, Northwest Railway Museum, Western Maryland Scenic.

MQT3001 wrote:It will be a miracle to see both the Witcomb running and the 3049 re powered...let alone re-laying trackage!

No, just no. Not with the CPMY of today. Maybe in a couple decades when urban sprawl heads west (and Coopersville is the new Cutlerville), then maybe...for industrial development. But I'm not holding my breath.


I didn't say it was gonna happen overnight. Look at how long it took the V&T to relay trackage, a little over half a century. The Catskill Mountain Railway has only been doing bits and pieces of line, has had to reverse the effects of Ida and Sandy and is battling a county trying to shut it down. Its not easy for any line, and it wouldn't be easy for these guys. It could be 100 years from now if the C&M is still existing and minus some track and equipment improvements it could run and look nearly the same.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby GP9R » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:28 am

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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby J T » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:06 am

MQT1223 wrote:I didn't say it was gonna happen overnight.

What are you talking about? It will NEVER happen. Didn't you see cnw8835's post above? The ROW under I-96 doesn't exist anymore nor will it ever exist.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:07 pm

J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:I didn't say it was gonna happen overnight.

What are you talking about? It will NEVER happen. Didn't you see cnw8835's post above? The ROW under I-96 doesn't exist anymore nor will it ever exist.

I didn't say it was ever going to happen either. And like I said, I think you could tunnel your way under without disturbing the freeway but I'm no engineering expert.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:24 am

Max, you never explicitly said it, but based on your "reasonings", it sounded like you're ready for them to get started

The C&M has difficulty just keeping what they have with their low budget. They make it happen, but expansion isn't in the cards, nor will it be.
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