Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

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Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby MiddleMI » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:03 pm

I drive by the ROW of this old railroad quite often in Lansing, and its easily visible directly north of Lake Lansing Road. It always seems to be very well maintained. I believe Conrail still owns this. My question is if anyone remembers when this section (Lansing to Owosso) was abanoned and when the rails were torn up? Does Conrail still own this? This is the line that use to branch off - well, it was actually the first line in town, I believe - at North Lansing at Grand River Avenue just east of Old Town heading northeast to Owosso.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby J T » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:14 pm

There has been some discussion about this old ROW in the past here, I think with some decent information in the thread. Member OldHogger used to run that line between Lansing and Owosso and I think he posted some dates. I grew up a mile south of that old line and spent many hours riding my bikes, ATV, and motorcycle on it back in the 70s and 80s. I think around the time 127 was built north of town (mid 70s), the line may have been abandoned already and the rails removed. However, by the mid 80s, the tracks were still in place to about a quarter mile west of the Wood St. overpass.

There was an old boxcar that was derailed off the end of the tracks that sat there for a long time. My friends and I climbed on a it a few times. I remember the day they hauled it out of there. The old GP they used to pull it back on the tracks spun its wheels so much that it left deep grooves in the rails. I wish I'd had at least a disposable camera with me at the time. I was outside my house that day and could hear the locomotive struggling, so I jumped on my bike and rode up Wood St. to the overpass to watch the "show." They were eventually successful, and sometime after that is when I walked down to the tracks and saw the grooves in the rail heads. That had to be somewhere between '83-85 IIRC.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby J T » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:27 pm

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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby MiddleMI » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:14 am

Thanks. It sounds like part of the track remained from North Lansing to (and used for) Grace Chemical, but where was Grace Chemical, and do we know when in the 80's it closed down, and maybe when the tracks were removed? Also, would there be any way to find out if Conrail still owns the ROW? At least north of Lake Lansing Road it's still very much maintained. It's always kind of weird for us to see how well its mowed and that it hasn't become a trail, and we're wondering if that has something to do with the ownership? South of Lake Lansing Road it goes through Demmers' fenced-off property, but I'm not sure if a railroad still owns it from Demmer down to the old North Lansing switch just north of Grand River Avenue in Northtown.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:26 pm

Grace was in the empty lot NE of the corner of Gier st & High st.

They were still getting rail service in 1987, but I think they closed a couple of years later. Motor Wheel was still sending out scrap in gons until the early/mid '90s and that was it for the track north of North Lansing.

The NYC engine house, turntable, and coal tower were in the triangle south of Gier st between 7th and High st.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby MiddleMI » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:34 am

Thanks. So it sounds like there was still trackage up that way at least until the 90's. Now, I'm trying to remember if the crossing was still there in the early 90's when I moved to Lansing as a child.

Anyway, finally went and looked up the owner of the ROW north of Lake Lansing Road where it's still visible. Apparently, Pennsylvania Railroad, LLC owns this portion, with an address that traces back to Norfolk Southern's office in Roanoke. The ROW south of Lake Lansing Road within the confines of Demmer's North Lansing factory is also owned by Pennsylvania Railroad, LLC with an address that traces back to NS's office in Dearborn. So I guess that answers ownership question. It looks like Conrail transferred the ROW to NS back in 1999.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby Doktor No » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:16 pm

Watch the county tax sales for unpaid back taxes. See if the right of way ever comes up. If it does PUT IN A BID! Someone did on the ex NYC right of way here at the west end of Wyoming Yard and they won the bid. They promptly put up a fence and held it hostage and finally sold it to CSX for a handsome profit!
MQT did the same thing with adjacent property in Sparta. A strip of land north of Freeport towards Elmdale also ended up that way too.
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby MiddleMI » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:31 am

Given how well they meticulously the ROW is, NS isn't missing any tax payments on it. lol
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Re: Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad

Unread postby redcrumbox » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:12 pm

Doktor No wrote:Someone did on the ex NYC right of way here at the west end of Wyoming Yard and they won the bid. They promptly put up a fence and held it hostage and finally sold it to CSX for a handsome profit!


Wonder what that half acre went for? :lol:
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