CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

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CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:24 pm

I have some questions about CSX ops from Lansing to GR in the early 90s era. Trying to gather info to help plan my layout. I'm trying to recreate the time period I fell in love with trains in the area I grew up, but some things I don't quite remember or never paid attention to back then.

1. When was the west leg of the wye removed in Grand Ledge? Was the elevator along M100 in town ever rail served? Was the team track/transfer warehouse in front of the old freight station in use during this time? When did they pull the siding out for the old freight station? What was the original purpose of the small yard in Grand Ledge?
2. Even thought I grew up in Lake Odessa, I never recall anything ever spotted on the siding on the south side of the tracks across from Twin City Foods except random MOW equipment. I remember walking back there when I was much younger and seeing a concrete loading dock for the scrapyard. Did they ever receive cars, and if they did, when did it stop?
3. Did Conrad Yelvington in Lansing receive cars in the early 90s? What in the way of interchange traffic went between CSX and Conrail in Lansing during this time?
4. When did the elevator in Mulliken close down? When did they stop shipping by rail?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GTWwatcher » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:04 pm

I'm 99% sure the elevator is served by rail to this day.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:52 pm

The ADM elevator north of town is still served by rail. I was asking about the elevator in town across the street from the old freight station.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GTWwatcher » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:59 pm

GrandTrunkFan wrote:The ADM elevator north of town is still served by rail. I was asking about the elevator in town across the street from the old freight station.


Sorry, my mistake. I am not sure if that elevator was ever served by rail, but if its was, it no longer is.
Last edited by GTWwatcher on Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Jetlink » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:38 pm

GrandTrunkFan wrote:I have some questions about CSX ops from Lansing to GR in the early 90s era. Trying to gather info to help plan my layout. I'm trying to recreate the time period I fell in love with trains in the area I grew up, but some things I don't quite remember or never paid attention to back then.

1. When was the west leg of the wye removed in Grand Ledge? Was the elevator along M100 in town ever rail served? Was the team track/transfer warehouse in front of the old freight station in use during this time? When did they pull the siding out for the old freight station? What was the original purpose of the small yard in Grand Ledge?
2. Even thought I grew up in Lake Odessa, I never recall anything ever spotted on the siding on the south side of the tracks across from Twin City Foods except random MOW equipment. I can remember back to about 1979-1980 ish. I never remember anything other than MOW there.

I remember walking back there when I was much younger and seeing a concrete loading dock for the scrapyard. Did they ever receive cars, and if they did, when did it stop? The scrap yard never did. Keeler brass was there until the late 80's they had cars in and out years ago I'm told. They may have shipped out too.


3. Did Conrad Yelvington in Lansing receive cars in the early 90s? What in the way of interchange traffic went between CSX and Conrail in Lansing during this time?
4. When did the elevator in Mulliken close down? When did they stop shipping by rail? The elevator in Mulliken closed down between 1998 and 2000. I don't think they were open to receive any grain after 1998. I know ADM sold it in 2000 or very early 2001

Thanks in advance!
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:51 am

Third Coast Distributors LCC was incorporated n October of 1998. They opened stone yards in GR, Lansing, and Flint. The source of their stone was the big quarry in Thorton IL. Their corporate filings end in 2002. Conrad Yelvington out of FL took over after that. Now Stoneco a division of Oldcastle runs the yards.
Short answer, no stone traffic in the early 90's :)
Last edited by Raildudes dad on Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:22 pm

Thanks Jetlink and RDD! I never knew the elevator in Mulliken held on that long, it seems like its been closed as long as I can remember. I never knew the stone yards are that new as well!
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Jetlink » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:05 pm

GrandTrunkFan wrote:Thanks Jetlink and RDD! I never knew the elevator in Mulliken held on that long, it seems like its been closed as long as I can remember. I never knew the stone yards are that new as well!


Just to make sure I was clear. I don't remember Mulliken ever getting railcars, at least not that I ever saw. The elevator just happened to still be receiving storing and shipping by truck and tractor. A guy named Dale Horn was the last manager there and I knew him a little bit. After things slowed down in Mulliken he worked at the elevator in Grand Ledge. Occasionally out to Woodbury.

I do remember Sunfield getting rail cars and even the short 30 car units up into the early 1990s. The elevator in Woodbury never shipped grain by rail; only oil and fertilizer inbound, at least in my lifetime.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby rob » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:31 pm

When I started working on the railroad in the summer of 1998, there was a item in our train order about the Wye in grand ledge was removed from service . Don't know how long before.that it was taken.out but that might give you some idea.


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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Doktor No » Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:23 pm

The wye in Grand Ledge has been out for many many years. Grand Ledge yard was there for the cars going up the Ionia Branch and the local. Lots of business up there for many years. GT350 and GT500 Shelby Mustangs were put together up there, stripped ones went in and finished came out on auto racks. They also did bodies for early 60's Buicks and Olds and probably Chevy station wagons by rail.
After that General Tire made the fibreglass Ford Explorer cab hoods/covers up there. Always got IC orange 90 foot box cars. Imagine auto racks going through Portland to Ionia...
I never remember Mulliken ever getting cars.
Sunfield elevator had an ancient Alco high hood switcher for their mini grain trains back in the 90's.
Far west side of Grand Ledge had a Monkey Wards distribution center that would get serviced every day by D708...yes 708 was the local out of GRP back then going eastward. We just called it East Local.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:09 pm

Jetlink wrote:
GrandTrunkFan wrote:Thanks Jetlink and RDD! I never knew the elevator in Mulliken held on that long, it seems like its been closed as long as I can remember. I never knew the stone yards are that new as well!


Just to make sure I was clear. I don't remember Mulliken ever getting railcars, at least not that I ever saw. The elevator just happened to still be receiving storing and shipping by truck and tractor. A guy named Dale Horn was the last manager there and I knew him a little bit. After things slowed down in Mulliken he worked at the elevator in Grand Ledge. Occasionally out to Woodbury.

I do remember Sunfield getting rail cars and even the short 30 car units up into the early 1990s. The elevator in Woodbury never shipped grain by rail; only oil and fertilizer inbound, at least in my lifetime.


I sorta remember the mini unit trains to Sunfield. I remember seeing cars filling the two tracks behind downtown. Never remember seeing the little yellow Alco though. It always seemed odd to me that large elevator in Woodbury never shipped

Doktor No wrote:The wye in Grand Ledge has been out for many many years. Grand Ledge yard was there for the cars going up the Ionia Branch and the local. Lots of business up there for many years. GT350 and GT500 Shelby Mustangs were put together up there, stripped ones went in and finished came out on auto racks. They also did bodies for early 60's Buicks and Olds and probably Chevy station wagons by rail.
After that General Tire made the fibreglass Ford Explorer cab hoods/covers up there. Always got IC orange 90 foot box cars. Imagine auto racks going through Portland to Ionia...
I never remember Mulliken ever getting cars.
Sunfield elevator had an ancient Alco high hood switcher for their mini grain trains back in the 90's.
Far west side of Grand Ledge had a Monkey Wards distribution center that would get serviced every day by D708...yes 708 was the local out of GRP back then going eastward. We just called it East Local.


Its definitely an image that's hard to imagine, at least the autoracks. I have seen pictures of 89' boxcars coming through Portland in the 70s. Montgomery Ward used to be in that warehouse west of Grand Ledge? Its now a L&W stamping plant for the auto industry. But they were using rail in the early 90s?
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Doktor No » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:12 am

Wards was using rail in the late 70's. First job I had for pay was the East Local in June 78. We did em all. When I came back in 92 the switch was long gone but the rail was still in place next to the building.
Woodbury got acids and ammonia for fertilizer production, still do as far as I know. FInd the CK&S in Woodbury. That'll give you something to do for awhile.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Jetlink » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:27 am

GrandTrunkFan wrote:I sorta remember the mini unit trains to Sunfield. I remember seeing cars filling the two tracks behind downtown. Never remember seeing the little yellow Alco though. It always seemed odd to me that large elevator in Woodbury never shipped



As I have the same last name as the owners of the elevator in Woodbury I can speak to that a little:

The original owner of the elevator in Woodbury bought enough property to install a small balloon track or a large ladder parallel to the old CKS alignment and had intentions of loading unit trains at the time. However the elevator was sold to the same folks who owned Sunfield at the time. They owned the fertilizer plant in Woodbury too. So the facility became redundant as they handled fuel, fertilizer, and grain at other nearby facilities. So it never came to fruition. The switch and rails that were there were taken up. In fact they still sit on the elevator property stacked neatly as it is really hard to get a scrap yard to accept 39' rail sections. I see it everytime I go up there.

All the farmers were encouraged to deliver grain to Sunfield first as they loaded out trains. I still remember dad shuttling up corn from our storage facility at our farm on the days Sunfield loaded out the trains.

Now all the corn from Woodbury is hauled by truck to the Ethanol plant across the tracks. Usually about 20 loads a day all winter long. The truckers love it. 20 minutes to load and unload and less than a 1/4 mile haul. lol.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby MSchwiebert » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:58 pm

I remember seeing the IC/ICG Hi-Cubes go through Deshler (around the northwest wye) the one summer that all the "Michigan" freights got moved down to a routing via Deshler or Fostoria and the 4 CP/Soo trains got moved up to the PM. Want to say it was 1988 if I remember right.

Doktor No wrote:The wye in Grand Ledge has been out for many many years. Grand Ledge yard was there for the cars going up the Ionia Branch and the local. Lots of business up there for many years. GT350 and GT500 Shelby Mustangs were put together up there, stripped ones went in and finished came out on auto racks. They also did bodies for early 60's Buicks and Olds and probably Chevy station wagons by rail.
After that General Tire made the fibreglass Ford Explorer cab hoods/covers up there. Always got IC orange 90 foot box cars. Imagine auto racks going through Portland to Ionia...
I never remember Mulliken ever getting cars.
Sunfield elevator had an ancient Alco high hood switcher for their mini grain trains back in the 90's.
Far west side of Grand Ledge had a Monkey Wards distribution center that would get serviced every day by D708...yes 708 was the local out of GRP back then going eastward. We just called it East Local.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:47 pm

Jetlink wrote: The switch and rails that were there were taken up. In fact they still sit on the elevator property stacked neatly as it is really hard to get a scrap yard to accept 39' rail sections. I see it everytime I go up there.


Padnos will take sticks of rail. You don't get the premium price for less than 3' pieces but they take it.
I hauled in 9 tons for the C&M with my truck and trailer a couple years ago. Got $180 / ton, processed was paying about $210 at the time.

The grapple operator picked single sticks like he was using his hand, pretty neat operation to see. They took me way back into the Turner Yard to unload it
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Jetlink » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:18 am

Raildudes dad wrote:
Jetlink wrote: The switch and rails that were there were taken up. In fact they still sit on the elevator property stacked neatly as it is really hard to get a scrap yard to accept 39' rail sections. I see it everytime I go up there.


Padnos will take sticks of rail. You don't get the premium price for less than 3' pieces but they take it.
I hauled in 9 tons for the C&M with my truck and trailer a couple years ago. Got $180 / ton, processed was paying about $210 at the time.

The grapple operator picked single sticks like he was using his hand, pretty neat operation to see. They took me way back into the Turner Yard to unload it


The issue we run into is that they believe it to be stolen, as we are not a railroad company.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:56 pm

[quote="JetlinkThe issue we run into is that they believe it to be stolen, as we are not a railroad company.[/quote]

How many sticks? Size of the rail? (it is cast in the web of the rail) There may be a resale market for it. Better than scrap price:)
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:21 am

The wye in Grand Ledge has been out for many many years. Grand Ledge yard was there for the cars going up the Ionia Branch and the local. Lots of business up there for many years. GT350 and GT500 Shelby Mustangs were put together up there, stripped ones went in and finished came out on auto racks. They also did bodies for early 60's Buicks and Olds and probably Chevy station wagons by rail.
After that General Tire made the fibreglass Ford Explorer cab hoods/covers up there. Always got IC orange 90 foot box cars. Imagine auto racks going through Portland to Ionia...


Stumbled across this article this morning. Page three has a pic of Corvette bodies on auto racks in Ionia!!
http://www.lbfun.com/warehouse/tech_info/misc/A.O.Smith.pdf

1 Finished Corvette bodies on a tri-level rail car at the
A.O. Smith plant in Ionia, Michigan, awaiting their trip
to St. Louis. (Photo Noland Adams)
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby Doktor No » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:36 pm

GREAT ARTICLE there GTW fan! I'll have to bring that up at the next C&O retirees meeting.
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Re: CSX-Lansing to GR-1990s (Doktor No?)

Unread postby jrgerber » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:59 am

Ionia must have been a fascinating railroad town in its day, I mean having both the GT and C&O parallel each other through town. I do remember what I refer to as the General Tire factory. I've always had an interest in Lyons and Portland as well. Not many pictures of those days. Its all gone now.
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