Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Any historical questions can be posted here. Answers would certainly help as well :)

Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby JStryker722 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:41 am

What were operations on the Old Road like before and during the Conrail days? Curiousity got the best of me on this topic so I'm hoping for some answers.Please and Thank You :)
My Wife says my first love is trains..anint that the truth! Lol :D
JStryker722
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am
Location: Inkster,MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Toppysager » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:43 am

JStryker722 wrote:What were operations on the Old Road like before and during the Conrail days? Curiousity got the best of me on this topic so I'm hoping for some answers.Please and Thank You :)



Are you referring to the Toledo- Ottawa Lake (Clinton Industrial) Section? I don't think traffic has changed much on that line since 1985-1990 since they removed the 5-mile stretch to Riga. I would say about the same as today 3/week up to Dana in Ottawa Lake. Before Conrail it's hard to say. The line really has been lightly used since the construction of the Water Level Route, but I may not be the best opinion on exact counts and customers since it was before my days
I'll take a hotstot intermodal over a manifest any day
User avatar
Toppysager
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:29 pm
Location: Toledo, OH

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby railohio » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:58 am

For New York Central and Penn Central, the easiest solution is to pick up a few employee timetables, which will list stations, scheduled trains, and operating rules.
"I shot the freight train / But I did not shoot the fantrip"
User avatar
railohio
Photographer of Wires in America by Rail of Ohio & Wisconsin
 
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:44 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby C&O6084 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:41 am

Are you referring to the Toledo- Ottawa Lake (Clinton Industrial) Section?


Old Road: In LS&MS, NYC, and PC timetables and Union contracts, "Old Road" referred to the entire line through the bottom row of Michigan counties. This dates back from Michigan having a land office in Toledo, Mi.

I found a accident report some time ago about a passenger wreck on the Old Road somewhere near what is now I-69. Train detoured due to a wreck on the TOL-CHI line, and the engineer forgot//wasn't told about a shoofly and took the sudden temporary curve abut 60MPH. Train derailed of course, and most of the train ended all over the highway. I was really surprised to read about the speeds involved. I'll see if I can find it again.

Old Road's single biggest purpose was to keep competition out of the area.
C&O6084
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:42 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Buster Manning » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:00 am

That wreck I believe you read about happened near where US-131 is, at the jct. of the Old Road and the Kalamazoo Br. Seems the railroad had re-aligned the thru route to be towards Kal and the engine crew neglected to read their op bulletins prior to departure from Elkhart regarding the new diverging move towards the Old Road.

In PC days in HIllsdale, there was a road job that worked west to Elkhart and another job that worked everything else in the area--which would have been switching in town and working the branches that started in the area. Sturgis had a job based there to switch in town and the branches there and I believe there was a job in Bristol (I know there was in Conrail days, had a distant cousin who worked that job).

Don't know too much about Conrail ops, other than there being a job that worked Sturgis to Quincy and back along with the local job and the aformentioned Bristol job
Buster Manning
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:16 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby MRC_Andrew » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Buster Manning wrote:That wreck I believe you read about happened near where US-131 is, at the jct. of the Old Road and the Kalamazoo Br. Seems the railroad had re-aligned the thru route to be towards Kal and the engine crew neglected to read their op bulletins prior to departure from Elkhart regarding the new diverging move towards the Old Road.



Here's a link to a news story about that wreck: http://www3.gendisasters.com/michigan/2 ... C-nov-1957
MRC_Andrew
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:28 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby C&O6084 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:55 am

Nopt it. Thanks for the story though. Interesting.
C&O6084
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:42 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:28 pm

IIRC the train between Elkhart and Hillsdale was 692/693. I've never heard why this train had a numeric designation when everything else was alphanumeric. I swear I found this designation on early Conrail freight schedules (despite the fact Conrail didn't operate past Quincy) but I'm not able to pull up the schedules on multimodalways right now to check.

Around the time I started paying attention, Michigan Southern took over the line from White Pigeon to Sturgis. After that point, Conrail's crew that worked the Kalamazoo Branch and Secondary between Indiana and Kalamazoo was symbol WDST01, and was based out of Three Rivers. Obviously the crew must have been based in Sturgis prior to that but kept the symbol. I'd like to know what crews divvied up the work south of Kalamazoo, including to Sturgis, before Sturgis was sold off.
User avatar
Ben Higdon
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:02 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:06 pm

Dug up a Conrail classifications list, this shows a portion of the Elkhart classifications. Note cars for Sturgis classified for 692. It appears to be the only numeric train designation listed on the whole system. Dated 2-1-80

Image
User avatar
Ben Higdon
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:02 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby JStryker722 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:50 am

Thanks for info.Im particularly interested on the White Piegon-Sturgis-Hillsdale section and getting to know how often and how many trains ran on that stretch before it was all spun off.
My Wife says my first love is trains..anint that the truth! Lol :D
JStryker722
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am
Location: Inkster,MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:17 pm

Operations from Elkhart to White Pigeon to Hillsdale were still unified under Penn Central but divided when Conrail began. Hillsdale County Railroad took over the portion of line operating in Hillsdal County, and other former NYC lines operating down into Indiana. As Quincy was the nearest passing siding to the border with Hillsdale County, that is where Conrail terminated over their portion from WP eastward, although I think track ownership was retained by Conrail up to the Hillsdale/Branch county line (and I think HCRC track was actually owned by the state of Michigan to keep the rails intact). Both Sturgis and Coldwater were decent sources of industry at the time.

As we know, Conrail later divested in the Quincy-White Pigeon section (late 1980s?), selling to Michigan Southern, which later lost the right to operate in Branch County (Coldwater and Quincy), which in turn was handed over to the far more viable successor to the HCRC, Indiana Northeastern. With no business between Coldwater and Sturgis, the line was unused, and removed only a few years ago. Sturgis and Coldwater both remain good points of business for their respective railroads.

Conrail's local job for the Old Road was based out of Sturgis at a yard near the diamond. I'm not sure how the setoff and pickup were handled for the Old Road at White Pigeon. The old PRR/GR&I was abandoned as a route of any distance either way from Sturgis very shortly after Conrail was created and the whole operation took on a terminal approach. At this point, Sturgis Tower and many of the other railroad facilities were demolished. The Sturgis/Old Road local job was typically handled by a single Geep and a caboose for backup moves.

Side Note: Ben Higdon, that's so interesting that the Sturgis work seemed to be worked by the ONLY numeric train code on the whole system. I wonder why??
GP30M4216
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 3442
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:35 pm
Location: Holland, MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby JStryker722 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:47 pm

Where there ever through trains in Sturgis from the GR&I ?
My Wife says my first love is trains..anint that the truth! Lol :D
JStryker722
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am
Location: Inkster,MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Buster Manning » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:24 pm

GP30M4216 wrote: although I think track ownership was retained by Conrail up to the Hillsdale/Branch county line


Close....actual ownership was just east of the switch for the current customer Sun-gro(so Conrail could access it if they ever got any business there).....the disparity of maintenance of the track between Conrail and MDOT/HCRC was very noticable. Speed limit was 25 on the HCRC mainline while it was a treacherous 10 on the Conrail side.
Buster Manning
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:16 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby RJB » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:04 pm

PRR/PC ran trains through Sturgis on the GR&I until late 1973, GR6 amd GR7 between Cincinnati OH and Grand Rapids via Fort Wayne. These trains ran all the way to and from Mackinaw City until around 1964.
RJB
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:18 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby JStryker722 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:58 am

Was there any locals around Sturgis on the GR&I? And what about after late 1973?
My Wife says my first love is trains..anint that the truth! Lol :D
JStryker722
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am
Location: Inkster,MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:35 pm

Subsidized local service north to Nottawa and south to I think La Grange lasted several years into Conrail. According to Conrail freight schedules subsidized locals were symboled with a V instead of a W. Don't recall if I've seen record of one out of Sturgis, but the symbol would likely have been VMST0#
User avatar
Ben Higdon
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:02 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby JStryker722 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:02 am

Ben Higdon wrote:Subsidized local service north to Nottawa and south to I think La Grange lasted several years into Conrail. According to Conrail freight schedules subsidized locals were symboled with a V instead of a W. Don't recall if I've seen record of one out of Sturgis, but the symbol would likely have been VMST0#

What put an end to those locals?
My Wife says my first love is trains..anint that the truth! Lol :D
JStryker722
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am
Location: Inkster,MI

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby railohio » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:02 am

The business environment in the state.
"I shot the freight train / But I did not shoot the fantrip"
User avatar
railohio
Photographer of Wires in America by Rail of Ohio & Wisconsin
 
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:44 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby Ben Higdon » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:41 pm

I've never heard any details on when Conrail subsidized service ended, but presumably it ended when the state stopped the subsidies.

Here is the Michigan Division locals as of 1/1/87.

WMST01 lists serving Kalamazoo, but I suspect this is just in reference to serving customers up to the lumber yard on Portage Rd. It would occasionally make it all the way up to Botsford in the early/mid 90s. Likewise, service to Elkhart may have just been serving the customers between Elkhart and White Pigeon.

Image
User avatar
Ben Higdon
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:02 pm

Re: Conrail Operations on the Old Road

Unread postby ns8401 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:36 am

GP30M4216 wrote:With no business between Coldwater and Sturgis, the line was unused, and removed only a few years ago. Sturgis and Coldwater both remain good points of business for their respective railroads.

It was ripped out from Sturgis (a little ways east of the GR&I) to about half a mile west of US-12 in 2013. I was passing by there in February and took a look at the first road east of where US-12 crossed it and found flashers still standing and a siding with switch still intact. Crossing was paved over though.. I wonder why they haven't ripped it out the rest of the way into Coldwater?
Celebrating Over 3400 Posts in HD
This updated Signature Brought To YOU By The One The Only MQT3001!
NS8401, Online, At Trackside And On Your Side
User avatar
ns8401
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 3551
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Chicago, IL/Ann Arbor MI

Next

Return to Historical Q & A

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

x