Adrian & Clinton Branches

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Adrian & Clinton Branches

Unread postby railroads2000 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:42 pm


If someone is familiar with these two branch lines of the former NYC, I am trying to find out some info, pertaining to PC, CR & LCRC eras. Adrian Branch, what type of Boxcars were spotted at Stubnitz Springs (Hoover Ball Bearing)? Any 86 footers? Topo Map shows two spurs into Merillat, just Boxcars? Topo Map shows the spur to the N&W (Wabash) interchange, continued north crossing Michigan Street up along side a large building, what industry was located there? Also, at Brazeway, what was made there, and type of car(s) spotted there? Did DT&I interchange any cars to either PC or CR? Clinton Branch, at Tecumseh, what type of cars were spotted at Tecumseh Products? Topo Map shows two spurs, one along side building , the other appears to go between or into the building? The spur to the Refinery just south of Tecumseh, north of the Raisin River Bridge, was this an actual refinery or a small chemical plant? Across from the yard at Tecumseh, Topo Map shows a spur to the left off the main crossing Evans St., what industry was located here? Topo Map show another long spur off main as the line bends to the left after crossing Evans and Shawnee Streets North Of M-50, was a Lumber Yard located here? At Clinton the run-around track has an interesting crossing of spurs, one that entered Michigan Hardwood Flooring, did the other go to a mill or grain mill? Also the DT&I connection at Tecumseh, were any cars interchanged with the PC or CR, before the DT&I stopped going north of Napoleon? Thanks.

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Re: Adrian & Clinton Branches

Unread postby Eric Berger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:31 am

For the Clinton Branch, you might try contacting the Southern Michigan Railway Society; they likely have a lot of the information that you desire about that branch.

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Re: Adrian & Clinton Branches

Unread postby jimnorthwood » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:48 am

Lots of interesting questions. I am a bit familiar with Adrian but Tecumseh not so much.

Merilatt at one time shipped finished cabinets and received particle board via rail (boxcars). They changed to truck for outgoing shipments first, account damage to product en-route. Later they switched to trucks for inbound delivery of particle board, after a few too many delivery delays resulted in production stops in the factory.

Brazeway made copper cooling products (tubing for refrigeration, air conditioning and perhaps car radiators, too although I don't know that for sure) and probably used boxcars for outbound shipments.

Stubnitz, I don't recall 86 foot boxcars. But that doesn't mean they didn't use them. I know they were a major shipper on LCRC and their closure was a blow to that line's bottom line.

For the line that crossed Michigan Street, are you talking about Cutler-Dickerson? The track was removed not all that many years ago, although I'm not sure if they used the line in more recent years.
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Re: Adrian & Clinton Branches

Unread postby chapmaja » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:19 pm

Tecumseh at one time had three railroads that served the town.

The Jackson branch of the LS&MS which is the route that still remains ran north and south through town. The DT&M, which later become the LS&MS ran east west and crossed the Jackson branch at Cummins and Evans. The diamond is still in place as of 2014 in the roadway at that intersection. The spur line that crossed over Evans that is mention in the OP was not an industry spur at all. It was the interchange track between the two LS&MS branches. The third railroad into town was the Detroit and Lima Northern. This line, a precursor to the DT&I enter from Adrian and points south. This line met the DT&M at Union and Cummins Streets and went east through town, crossing the Jackson branch as mentioned above. The line continued east to Dundee. At Dundee the precursor to the DT&I built / purchased a line running NE toward Detroit through Flat Rock. In 1898 the DT&M was completed to Dundee and a connection across the state from Detroit to Allegan (thus the line was known as the route to nowhere). The only real saving grace for this line was the D&LN, which used trackage rights over the line (which they actually controlled dispatching on) to connect the line to the mainline south from Tecumseh.

The line remained an important aspect of the D&LN into the DT&I days, but was downgraded to a branchline when the DT&I built the Malinta cutoff. This line, running from basically Dundee to Malinta, Oh became the DT&I's mainline. The Malinta cutoff, which first appears in 1929 on the railroad evolution maps, substantially cut the mainline distance for the DT&I trains, and kept them on their own rails, rather than the LS&MS rails. The DT&M line west from Dundee would be removed by 1934 from Dundee to Battle Creek, except for small sections still in use such as in Tecumseh. The DT&I, while no longer using Tecumseh as a mainline stop, remained a presence in Tecumseh until 1978. During the 1960's DT&I had removed small sections of trackage. They combined the line from Leaf to Adrian that had been next to the Wabash line into a single line, with trackage rights over the Wabash. They also removed the line from Petersburg to Toledo in favor of trackage rights over the AA, which they had assumed control of.

The biggest changes came in 1978 when the Tecumseh branch was abandoned or sold off. The line from Adrian to Tecumseh was sold to N&W who continued to serve a Fisher Body plant SW of Tecumseh. The line from Bimo to Napoleon was abandoned as well. The line from Bimo to Leaf (the point where the Tecumseh branch diverged from the N&W/Wabash) was sold to the LCRC (state?) which used it to access the Morenci line after washouts destroyed access to the line in the early 1980's).

The line from Malinta to Napoleon remained in service until GT took over and for any number of reasons, service to Napoleon ceased (Campbell's Soup was the main customer). The line was removed shortly thereafter.

When the LCRC ceased, the Morenci line, and the trackage rights over N&W ceased as well, ending that portion of the line. Currently the only portion of the DT&I Tecumseh branch that I can still find in place appears to be in Adrian. South of Adrian, the NS line splits and one branch heads northwest, passing Adrian Steel and several other industries before reaching the current ADBF line through Adrian near Division St. About 2 blocks further west, the Kiwanis Trail heads west, then curves north of Adrian and onward to Tecumseh. This was the remains of the Tecumseh branch. The DT&I Tecumseh branch appears to have made a S curve through Adrian. That connection between the ADBF and the NS line appears to be the only remaining portion of the DT&I branch, except maybe something in Malinta, Oh.

This was, IIRC the Tecumseh Branch Connecting Railroad in Tecumseh about 20 years ago. This was a paper railroad due to the ownership issues with the ADBF, but has ceased existance and the line is part of the ADBF currently IIRC.
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Re: Adrian & Clinton Branches

Unread postby Macowiec » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:35 am

To answer some of these questions:

1. I don't believe "Stubbies" received any 86-footers; photos show 50-footers.

2. The spur that crossed Michigan Street served the Page Woven Wire Fence Company according to the 1916 Sanborn map.

3. The DT&I line into Tecumseh was sold in the late 1970s to N&W, but the DT&I didn't actually come into town after about 1968-9 (still trying to track down exactly when). Operations ran only as far as the Fisher Body plant on Occidental Hwy. I don't know that DT&I did interchange of through cars to the NYC at Tecumseh, but there may have been a reciprocal switching arrangement (cars off the DT&I spotted to NYC industries in town by the NYC). Without seeing an old tariff, it's impossible to know if something like that existed.

I did hear of a story from the R.S. Moore & Son Lumber company (located on the NYC). Apparently they received their wood deliveries by NYC, but once a mistake and the car was sent over the DT&I. It was spotted on the DT&I team track in Tecumseh, and they had to send a truck and forklift down to pick up their lumber!

4. The spur in Tecumseh that came out of the yard and entered a factory on the west side of S. Evans street served the Uncle Sam Macaroni Company. The factory building was later sold and became the Tecumseh Corrugated Box Company.

5. There were two turnouts at N. Evans Street. One led south to the R.S. Moore & Son Lumber Yard. The one to the north (crossing Shawnee Street) was a passing track and also once served the NYC freight house and stock yards.

6. In Clinton there was a diamond in the yard. One of these tracks crossed Clark Street, ran alongside it, and then curved to serve the Atlas grain elevator and the Clinton Woolen Mill. The other track ran behind the freight house. Hardwoods didn't exist at the time, but the Sanborn maps shows that coal and lime were sold there, so it was probably an unloading track for those. Later, there was a stand for unloading ammonia there.

The SMRS has a lot of material in its archives, but they don't seem to have anyone in charge of them anymore. I've been trying for a while to make contact without success.

Correction: The Tecumseh Branch Connecting Railroad was in Adrian, not Tecumseh. It was something connected with A&B.
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