Michigan Northern

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

Michigan Northern

Unread postby 1TrackMind » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Anyone know what customers the Michigan Northern use to serve? Mainly between Grand Rapids and Cadillac.
1TrackMind
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 4:47 pm

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby AARR » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:57 pm

Quite a few small customers. The big one was the lime place by Sand Lake-Pierson. Received 400-500 cars annually. There was a paper mill just north of Comstock that received/shipped quite a few cars. A scrap paper company started up around 1980ish and loaded at a team track in Howard City around 8 cars a week. Wolverine had a couple plants north of Grand Rapids. I think they received chemicals and shipped out leather bales. A smattering of small lumber yards, grain elevators, oil dealers, etc.

North of Cadillac the big customer (besides the ferry traffic) was the gas plant south of Kalkaska that open around 1978ish. They were switched 3-5x per week. A Cadillac Local would switch them.

After they acquired the Chessie lines Traverse City had the cherry plant, scrap yard and lumber dealer. MIGN would head to TC 3-5 times per week.

Then the line to Petoskey had Petoskey Plastics and Petoskey Gas. Service about once a week with PP getting 1-2 and PG 1.

I'll take a look at my notes (which includes information from Ben Higdon :) ) and see if anything else is worth posting.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
 
Posts: 30970
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby i995impalass » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:45 am

AARR wrote:Quite a few small customers. The big one was the lime place by Sand Lake-Pierson. Received 400-500 cars annually. There was a paper mill just north of Comstock that received/shipped quite a few cars. A scrap paper company started up around 1980ish and loaded at a team track in Howard City around 8 cars a week. Wolverine had a couple plants north of Grand Rapids. I think they received chemicals and shipped out leather bales. A smattering of small lumber yards, grain elevators, oil dealers, etc.

North of Cadillac the big customer (besides the ferry traffic) was the gas plant south of Kalkaska that open around 1978ish. They were switched 3-5x per week. A Cadillac Local would switch them.

After they acquired the Chessie lines Traverse City had the cherry plant, scrap yard and lumber dealer. MIGN would head to TC 3-5 times per week.

Then the line to Petoskey had Petoskey Plastics and Petoskey Gas. Service about once a week with PP getting 1-2 and PG 1.

I'll take a look at my notes (which includes information from Ben Higdon :) ) and see if anything else is worth posting.


Good info. Correct me if wrong, but didn't the MIGN operate Alma to Frankfort at one point also?

Michigan Northern Has some of that information.

Here's some further history:

History
User avatar
i995impalass
Yooper Foamer
 
Posts: 1504
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Marquette, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby AARR » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:51 am

Correct Impalass. Late 1982 IIRC. Sand from Yuma went south to Grand Rapids. Natural Gas Liquified from Kalkaska went to Alma (interchanged with Chessie and later MMRR for the refinery in Alma). However, ferry traffic ended in April of 1982 so nothing there for MIGN. There were other customers on the Alma-Frankfort segment.
i995impalass wrote:Good info. Correct me if wrong, but didn't the MIGN operate Alma to Frankfort at one point also?
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
 
Posts: 30970
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby Pixl » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:57 am

AARR wrote: ferry traffic ended in April of 1982 so nothing there for MIGN. There were other customers on the Alma-Frankfort segment.

I used to see a car or two spoted at Pet Foods in Frankfort. I think this was even after the ferry service was closed.
User avatar
Pixl
Grand Traverse Dinner Train 1996
 
Posts: 1605
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby AARR » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:25 pm

Correct Pixl, either Mitchell or Pet was the last customer in Frankfort. Pet would receive an occasional tank car IIRC, or maybe fridge box car :? . Frankfort's final rail service was in 1987 IIRC.
Pixl wrote:I used to see a car or two spoted at Pet Foods in Frankfort. I think this was even after the ferry service was closed.
Last edited by AARR on Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
 
Posts: 30970
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:42 pm

Rockford Paper then Converters Cardboard received tanks of kaolin and a some boxcars of inbound scrap stuff
Wolverine wasn't doing any rail traffic by 1977.
Martin Marietta stockpiled ag line at Egner and Northland Dr (old US 131)
I don't remember the elevators or lumber yards in Cedar Springs or Sand Lake doing anything by rail either during the 70's.
I was at a meeting when they tried to keep GR to Big Rapids alive. By then Martin Marietta was no longer shipping in and the land owner (a big potato farmer) was trying to keep some of that business there. The MIGN had purchased the signals for a siding to go across old 131 for the scrap paper processor south of Howard City when the plug was pulled. They processed some type of scrap paper and shipped to Oregon. Even with a transload, the business died.
Raildudes dad
Roadmaster
 
Posts: 4527
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:12 am
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby AARR » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:56 pm

From TC John at another site whom I have an arrangement with. I can't post there so he posts for me and he forgot his password here so I post for him :lol:
Posted by TC John on 11/13/2019, 3:28 pm

Traverse City also had a customer by the name of Burwood- they received hoppers of plastic pellets. They remained a customer of TSBY into the 90's or early 2000's (Parson's Road on the Williamsburg branch). They made clocks and such. Also another customer along Woodmere Avenue (name escapes me- they are still in business today) received an occasional box car of animal feed. Square Deal may be the name. GLC removed the switch several years ago. Also, Wicke's Lumber in Grawn received box cars and center beam loads.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
 
Posts: 30970
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:13 pm

I recall that McGoughs feed store off 8th Street in TC had rail service into the 70s. Might have been C&O served. The feed store mentioned Below was on Woodmere and I cannot recall the name but I remember cars there from time to time into the 80s.
User avatar
Standard Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: Marquette, MI

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby Buster Manning » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:55 pm

In Big Rapids, there was a lumberyard by the station who got cars in, the co-op would get in fertilizer and ship out some grain, and someone would get bricks in using a ramp built on the north leg of the wye on the north end of town that connected to the old PM trackage.

In Reed City, the only thing I remember seeing was an occasional tank car of fuel oil going to the Home Oil Company.
Buster Manning
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: Michigan Northern

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:01 pm

I had forgotten about the Big Rapids traffic. I recall in the late 70s Michigan Cigar would receive carloads of paper products possibly on a team track. Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. / ANR would receive occasional loads of pipe and or other equipment. The cars were spotted on the old PM line east of the GR&I main near where the brick was unloaded.
User avatar
Standard Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
 
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: Marquette, MI


Return to Historical Q & A

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

x