Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

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Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:56 pm

What were things like when the class 1's still ruled Grand Rapids? I was not here during those times and as a little kid was enjoying watching CSX and CN trains from my doorstep. Were things any better or worse before the Marquette or Grand Elk existed or even the Grand Rapids Eastern? As I understand it the Central Michigan had access to Grand Rapids for a short time before they ripped up the tracks east of Ionia and West of Owosso, and then the Grand Rapids Eastern came into being. I'm not exactly sure on the timeline of some of these, just that the Marquette was formed in 2004.
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Re: Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby SD80MAC » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:19 am

Grand Elk was Norfolk Southern until 2009, before 1999 it was Conrail. When NS sold it to Watco the line was not in very good shape and there were several 10 mph slow orders between GR and Kzoo. I would not be surprised if Grand Elk has doubled the amount of business that NS had.

Grand Trunk sold their Muskegon-Grand Rapids-Durand line to Central Michigan in 1987. The portion from Ionia to GR was sold to Railtex in I believe 1994 and became the Grand Rapids Eastern. There used to be a lot more business on the GRE but American Bumper quitting using rail and Electrolux closing in Greenville was over half of their business. Recently King Milling in Lowell has expanded and traffic has increased but no where near the 30-40 car trains they used to run every day.

Marquette came into being in 2005 after CSX leased out the lines north of Grand Rapids. I wouldn't be surprised to hear if they had more than doubled the amount of traffic on those lines.

I would say local rail business in West Michigan is the best it has been in years.
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Re: Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:29 am

Don't forget NS had the GM stamping plant traffic which the closing was announced after Watco leased the line. Not sure the frac sand count is as high as GM in the day.
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Re: Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby Doktor No » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:11 pm

Or even look at Kelvinator. They shipped out of 44th Street probably at least 40 cars a day and had a switcher there for two shifts a day thru the 60's and early 70's. GM had a three shift job probably 7 days a week. PRR then and even PC was a LOT busier up through the 70's then they even begin to approach today. And with a way higher tarrif commodites then frac sand. Or scrap aluminum (the only thing that comes out of the Kelvinator warehouse today). Heck, Gordon Foods at 50th used to get 4 to 6 cars a day five days a week. Down at 54th Conway, VanKeulen and Winchester, Grand Rapids Alloys got switched 5 days a week by the second trick Kelvinator job.
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Re: Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby MrRail » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:55 am

Also, looking at some of the old Ada Historical Society there was some PRR on the GRE.
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Re: Before MQT, GDLK and GRE

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:41 pm

MrRail wrote:Also, looking at some of the old Ada Historical Society there was some PRR on the GRE.


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