Michigan Northern

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1TrackMind
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Michigan Northern

Unread post by 1TrackMind »

Anyone know what customers the Michigan Northern use to serve? Mainly between Grand Rapids and Cadillac.

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AARR
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by AARR »

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.
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i995impalass
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by i995impalass »

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

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AARR
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by AARR »

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?
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Pixl
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by Pixl »

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.

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AARR
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by AARR »

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 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Raildudes dad
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by Raildudes dad »

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.

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AARR
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by AARR »

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.
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Standard Railfan
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

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.

Buster Manning
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by Buster Manning »

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.

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Standard Railfan
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Re: Michigan Northern

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

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.

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