GTW west of Coopersville

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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:20 pm

CSX_CO wrote:If you're going by boat to Toledo like you describe, why wouldn't you just go by boat all the way to Chicago? Or am I missing something?

Only the long trip around the Lower Peninsula by boat.

Otherwise, no, nothing at all. :lol:
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby CSX_CO » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:30 pm

Chicago was a lake port long before it was a railroad center. Still don't get why you'd be transloading that many times when you could take the boat all the way. Which is what they did in the short gap between Chicago being the developing market it is, and the arrival of the first railroad from the east.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:43 pm

I know that there was at least one company who advertised a water route on Lake Erie and then rails from Toledo to Chicago, before lines were built across northern Ohio. It didn't last that long, but it was offered while that gap existed.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby CSX_CO » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:55 am

MQT3001 wrote:I know that there was at least one company who advertised a water route on Lake Erie and then rails from Toledo to Chicago, before lines were built across northern Ohio. It didn't last that long, but it was offered while that gap existed.


How horribly inefficient and expensive to transload your cargo unnecessarily.

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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:05 am

Well, when you lived in the 1830s and 40s I guess it wasn't so bad.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby CSX_CO » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:35 pm

MQT3001 wrote:Well, when you lived in the 1830s and 40s I guess it wasn't so bad.


No need to do all that 'work' by then. Erie Canal across New York to Lake Erie from the Hudson River, then all water to Chicago. Part of the reason Chicago took off was because it was on the Illinois and Michigan Canal (before that on the portage between the two) and the hogs, grain, and lumber from the 'northern plains' could funnel there for transport to the east coast markets, or down the canal to the Mississippi, and the southern ports. There is a full 20 years of all water access from Chicago to the east coast before the first railroad even made it into Chicago. First railroad to Chicago didn't reach it from the east until 1852, and by January of 1853 you could go all rail between Chicago and New York City. Galena and Chicago Union served as a funnel for the agricultural and mineral wealth of NW Illinois to be funneled to the port of Chicago, not to any other railroad connections. The Erie Canal is what opened up the interior 'bread basket' to the eastern markets. Became economically feasible to ship 'raw' grain east, rather than having to convert it into something easier to transport.

So, still trying to figure out your scenario of why you'd railroad from New York to Buffalo, to then put it on a boat to Toledo, to then put it on a rail car to then either go direct to Chicago, or then transload to another boat. I guess that was based on "factual evidence and simple economics"? All that labor involved doesn't seem to pass that whole simple economics test to me. Especially since before 1852 you couldn't get between Chicago and Toledo by rail, and then by January 1853 (just a few months later) you could go all rail all the way to New York City. Also, the fact the tracks across New York weren't even completed into a contiguous network until about the same time frame. There wasn't a need to, the Canal provided the perfect economical east-west link.

But again, I must be missing something since you said it, then it must be true.

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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby DLM » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:54 pm

The Coopersville and Marne volunteers had dreams of rebuilding to the west in the early years. Other than maybe a more scenic ride, there is no reason or money to build west even if you could reclaim the right of way.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby EWRice » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:35 pm

CSX_CO wrote:
MQT3001 wrote:I know that there was at least one company who advertised a water route on Lake Erie and then rails from Toledo to Chicago, before lines were built across northern Ohio. It didn't last that long, but it was offered while that gap existed.


How horribly inefficient and expensive to transload your cargo unnecessarily.

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Very inefficient. But look at railroads in the mid nineteenth century. There was no standardization between roads. Track gauge, coupling systems, brake systems were mostly different. Probably was no difference in their mind; transload on another train or onto a boat. The only scenario that I can see that would need to jump between rail and boat like that is if the northern half of Huron and Michigan were frozen over but the southern half was clear as well as Erie. A twelve car train was big in those days, and you could fit a few "trains" on the right boat. Thank god things have advanced. :D
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:17 pm

EWRice wrote:
CSX_CO wrote:
MQT3001 wrote:I know that there was at least one company who advertised a water route on Lake Erie and then rails from Toledo to Chicago, before lines were built across northern Ohio. It didn't last that long, but it was offered while that gap existed.


How horribly inefficient and expensive to transload your cargo unnecessarily.

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Very inefficient. But look at railroads in the mid nineteenth century. There was no standardization between roads. Track gauge, coupling systems, brake systems were mostly different. Probably was no difference in their mind; transload on another train or onto a boat. The only scenario that I can see that would need to jump between rail and boat like that is if the northern half of Huron and Michigan were frozen over but the southern half was clear as well as Erie. A twelve car train was big in those days, and you could fit a few "trains" on the right boat. Thank god things have advanced. :D


If you tried having this same conversation with someone from the time period when the Car Ferries were in their prime I bet this would have a totally different outcome.

DLM wrote:The Coopersville and Marne volunteers had dreams of rebuilding to the west in the early years. Other than maybe a more scenic ride, there is no reason or money to build west even if you could reclaim the right of way.


I would like to know how much more it is to make the tracks east of Marne available for a ride. Could offer a short ride to Marne and a long ride to GR or something like that. I know it has something to due with insurance and apparently some serious tie replacement would have to go down before it could be used that much. Something about the ties being hollow.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:21 pm

Track east of Marne is classed as excepted.

Max, in all seriousness, you're in 100% fantasyland out here with all these ifs. To be brutally honest, they struggle to maintain what they have, much less expand.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:55 pm

MQT3001 wrote:Track east of Marne is classed as excepted.

Max, in all seriousness, you're in 100% fantasyland out here with all these ifs. To be brutally honest, they struggle to maintain what they have, much less expand.


Yes I know I am in 100% fantasyland. I am a dreamer. I know that they barely get by. This whole thread (although off course) has been "What ifs".
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Schteinkuh » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:02 pm

It would take a massive track work project to make the Kent division legal for revenue passenger service. The ride is smoother than the Ottawa, but the ties are hollow. A whole lot of ties would need to be purchased and installed. (more than you'd think)
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby J T » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:23 pm

MQT1223 wrote:Yes I know I am in 100% fantasyland. I am a dreamer. I know that they barely get by. This whole thread (although off course) has been "What ifs".

Shouldn't it be in the "paper railroads" section then?
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:23 pm

J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:Yes I know I am in 100% fantasyland. I am a dreamer. I know that they barely get by. This whole thread (although off course) has been "What ifs".

Shouldn't it be in the "paper railroads" section then?

Probably...Max, you can reinstall the line to GH and run 4-8-8-4 steam excursions if you like. Been there, done that ;)
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby Steve B » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:44 pm

The carferry service started in 1903. Until then, everything was break-bulk (transloaded) from Gd. Haven to Muskegon. GTW moved the ferry terminal to Muskegon in 1933, when it obtained trackage rights on PRR from Penn Jct. to Muskegon. For some years thereafter, GTW and PRR operated the ferry service jointly. GTW didn't own Penn Jct.-Muskegon until 1976. GTW maintained the Grand Haven ferry dock as a back-up until the 1950s (exact date is given in "Evening Before the Diesel"). GTW abandoned Coopersville-Grand Haven in 1977.

The line from Detroit to Grand Haven was finished in 1858, and until 1933 its entire length was busy. Not exactly a wasted investment.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby MQT1223 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:49 pm

MQT3001 wrote:
J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:Yes I know I am in 100% fantasyland. I am a dreamer. I know that they barely get by. This whole thread (although off course) has been "What ifs".

Shouldn't it be in the "paper railroads" section then?

Probably...Max, you can reinstall the line to GH and run 4-8-8-4 steam excursions if you like. Been there, done that ;)
J T wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:Yes I know I am in 100% fantasyland. I am a dreamer. I know that they barely get by. This whole thread (although off course) has been "What ifs".

Shouldn't it be in the "paper railroads" section then?


Ehhh, I was more looking for history on the line west of Coopersville because, when I was talking to Alex one day I was thinking about doing an Abandoned Series on youtube that highlights abandoned Railway Lines in Michigan when I find them. When I say abandoned I mean truly abandoned. It's not a walking trail, it hasn't been developed over, its basically untouched since the railroad left it.
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby kd_1014 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:22 pm

TBH I'm thinking of making this line 110 MPH because you might as well throw that in there with all of these very fantasy ideas... :roll: :roll:
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby DaveO » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:11 pm

kd_1014 wrote:TBH I'm thinking of making this line 110 MPH because you might as well throw that in there with all of these very fantasy ideas... :roll: :roll:

Those fantasies are from 4 1/2 years ago :!:
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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby barnstormer » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:59 pm

CSX_CO wrote:If you're going by boat to Toledo like you describe, why wouldn't you just go by boat all the way to Chicago? Or am I missing something?


Remember, you're in Michigan (pronounced M-i-t-t-e-n) and in wintertime, the norther portion of the lakes would often freeze over completely, as was common during the 1800's. During that time of year, trains were it. Plus, the Soo locks were not built till 1855, and were relatively small, thus keeping more of this traffic on the RR's. Then when the locks were built, high-volume traffic from Duluth & Thunder Bay to ports at Chicago & Toledo, and beyond, shifted almost entirely to boats. Railroads were able to build their fortunes on the traffic between these ports until then (though they were still able to move passengers), as it was much faster than via ship. Once the RR's built west of Toledo, they became a serious competitor to ships, as they were faster, and could deliver right to the customer's plant. But, ships are cheaper, if you don't care about speed.

Though it may not have seemed wise, transloading allowed faster transit times to the customer...until the locks were built, and shipbuilding (and requisite capacity) methods improved. IMHO

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Re: GTW west of Coopersville

Unread postby DLM » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:31 am

I recently relocated a family of gophers I caught to the old ROW near Nunica so the boring could begin under I-96.
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