CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

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CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby chapmaja » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:36 pm

I know at one time, the former Grand Rapids and Indiana line to Mackinaw City ran up from Grand Rapids. I know there was track relation in Grand Rapids in the 1970's or 1980s (well before I spent time in GR).

When looking at the tracks just south of the GT, not GRE diamond and heading north, how were the tracks aligned?

Was the GR&I track on the west side, and the CSX line on the east side where they ran side by side? Was there a double diamond where it crossed the GT? When you go north of there, what is now the newer sand transload yard was a old local yard correct, for the GR&I, PRR / Conrail / NS correct? Did CSX ever have a yard up there, or just the industry tracks that that served places on the east side of the tracks. Also, who served the plant that is located on the north side of Ann St? The siding is gone now, but was it served by NS and those predecessors? Going farther north, I see the track that appears to be the old mainline last used by MIGN is cut just south of Turner. I assume this used to go up alongside the CSX track, but where did it cross because it ran more easterly going north of Comstock Park? Was there a diamond to the west of Mill Creek Ave in Comstock Park?

When MIGN was running, how far south did they come? Did they go all the way into GR, or was the interchange done in the yard north of the GT diamond?

With regard to the current opperations. How far north does CSX serve and where does the Marquette Rail service start? Who serves the place just south of the I-96/131 interchange?
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby Saturnalia » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:19 pm

The PRR/PC/MIGN/NS/GDLK alignment was located in its own ROW directly west of the PM/C&O/CSX alignment that remains today. The bridge carrying the wye over to the GRE from the CSX is the original PRR bridge. So yes, there was another interlocking at Fuller. The GDLK essentially rehabbed the old ROW north of Fuller Jct for the sand place.

The consolidation saw the removal of the redundant PRR alignment, with everything running on the now-CSX. When they did that, they added the east side of the wye at Sunnyside, eliminated the diamonds at Watson St (and connection put in), and added the new connections at Fuller Jct - one north, one south of the diamond. The one to the south was (and is) just a hand-throw, but the north side was integrated into the CTC with the power switch as it is today. The CTC was actually put in at that time as well. Before then, the diamond at Fuller was just gate/stop sign controlled.

The MIGN interchanged with the PC in the small yard north of Fuller Jct.

The modern border between the CSX and MQT is MP 3.6, which is the Turner Ave crossing. Not sure who maintains the crossing though.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby AARR » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:38 am

Is this where the Brinks sand transload is? Are they shipping sand from here now?
Saturnalia wrote:The MIGN interchanged with the PC in the small yard north of Fuller Jct.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby donnieland » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:03 am

hi alex
have a correction to what you said in your ist statement

the bridge still in place at the north end of the wye was owned by the pm and then c&o, to csx.
it served the Petoskey sub line that started at sunnyside interlocking.
the pennsy bridge was torn out along with pennsy tracks that ran from the north end of the union station
on ionia ave between there and the diamond at Watson st. Watson diamond wasn't interlocked,
it was protected by a 5' or so horizonal board atop a 30 or 40 ft high steel pole. the rr wanting to
proceed had to drop one side down which placed the other side up, thus able to proceed after waiting
for 5 mins iirc. there was a connection in the northeast quad. for the pm passenger trains, running from
the union stations north to Petoskey to use.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby J T » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:43 am

Is there another bridge over Indian Mill Creek hidden by those trees?

Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 8.42.08 AM.jpg
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby SD80MAC » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:15 am

Yes, the GR&I/PRR bridge is between the current CSX bridge and the GRE interchange bridge.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:35 am

SD80MAC wrote:Yes, the GR&I/PRR bridge is between the current CSX bridge and the GRE interchange bridge.

Oh shoot that’s right, I should have remembered to check that. Used to be able to see it on satellite view when the photos were taken in “stick” season. Now Google likes to use leaf season shots which look nicer but hide details.

Thanks for the clarification @Donnieland. I should have been more clear about the fact that they crossed each other at Watson and thus the PRR crossed using the Blue Bridge. Interesting note that Watson was no longer controlled by then...at some point, I assume, it was tower-controlled long ago?

And yes, per the original post, the PRR and PM crossed again in Comstock Park right where the PM makes the left hand curve going north...the GR&I kept going straight and becomes the White Pine Trail.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby donnieland » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:23 am

not the north side of gr, but maybe of interest
back in the day, both hall st and wealthy were at grade rr crossings.
both had tracks from century to the east
at hall st prr was located next to century , with a big prr roundhouse just north of hall along side of century.
from memory of the time had to be some 15 to 20 tracks n and s of hall st . the nyc rr was next , east of the prr, with
the south end of thier yard at hall st, with a small roundhse up by franklin st overpass.
at wealthy c&o came across century from sunnyside to union sta and used trackage rights on the prr to get to their dt south of 2nd ave tower
then came penn rr , the nyc rr, iirc there were 2 crossingmen shanties at wealthy to protect train movements over wealthy.
in the middle of the wyes and n/s tracks that stretched from franklin to wealthy was 2nd ave tower, 2nd ave a big interlocking white tower
thinking 12' e/w x 16 to 20' n/s
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby kd_1014 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:52 pm

CSX maintains the crossing at Turner. Sign that marks the start of MQT property is just a few feet north of the crossing.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby J T » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:20 pm

SD80MAC wrote:Yes, the GR&I/PRR bridge is between the current CSX bridge and the GRE interchange bridge.

I feel like I remember seeing it years ago, but I couldn't remember. I'm sure it's probably in the background of some random photo in my collection from 10+ years ago. :D
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:58 pm

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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby J T » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:11 am

Standard Railfan wrote:This might clear things up...

https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4114gm.g04023195205/?sp=8

Interesting track layout around the Gunn Furniture building. Before they tore the building down and redid that whole area, you could still see some of those old rails in the dirt parking lot behind the building. I never realized there were that many different tracks to and around the building though.

Luckily I was able to get a photo of the GRE passing that old building just before it was razed. Definitely a classic furniture factory building from GR's past that was lost forever.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:40 am

Gunn Furnurure was LG Cook wholesale hardware until they moved to Cascade. Ideal Seating was GR Chair until they moved out. There was a mysterious fire when the demo guy was there. Lots of varnish covered wood = big fire.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks for the info.

A few more questions. The tracks going west from the PRR line are now the interchange tracks between CSX and the GRE correct?

Didn't PRR have their own tracks which headed west towards Muskegon at one time? Where did this line run between this area and Penn Jct? Also, when was this line consolidated so the traffic only moved on the GTW tracks? When was the PRR line removed? Did the PRR line to Muskegon run on the south side of Indian Mill CreeK? It looks like at one time there may have been a ROW here. Also, were these tracks still in place when I-96 was built? Did the line used to run past what is now S Abraham and Sons on 3 mile Rd? The angle of this building always struck me as odd, almost like the building was built around a railroad.

Did this have something to do with the GTW removing their line from Muskegon through Sparta to Greenville?
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:50 pm

chapmaja wrote:Thanks for the info.

A few more questions. The tracks going west from the PRR line are now the interchange tracks between CSX and the GRE correct?

Didn't PRR have their own tracks which headed west towards Muskegon at one time? Where did this line run between this area and Penn Jct? Also, when was this line consolidated so the traffic only moved on the GTW tracks? When was the PRR line removed? Did the PRR line to Muskegon run on the south side of Indian Mill CreeK? It looks like at one time there may have been a ROW here. Also, were these tracks still in place when I-96 was built? Did the line used to run past what is now S Abraham and Sons on 3 mile Rd? The angle of this building always struck me as odd, almost like the building was built around a railroad.

The current CSX/GDLK/GRE Interchange tracks are not a part of the original PRR Line.

You are following the PRR alignment correctly, it is easy to follow as it stays south of Indian Mill Creek. Overall it was probably the better of the two alignments in comparison with the higher line taken by the GTW. Yes, that is why that building is built on an angle.

The railroads had consolidated to Muskegon by the time I-96 was built, so there were never any provisions for a bridge. The connection from the GTW to the PRR was made in the NW quadrant of the junction which had the GTW flying over the PRR. You can still see the long switch ties on the C&M trackage today.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:44 pm

Saturnalia wrote:
chapmaja wrote:Thanks for the info.

A few more questions. The tracks going west from the PRR line are now the interchange tracks between CSX and the GRE correct?

Didn't PRR have their own tracks which headed west towards Muskegon at one time? Where did this line run between this area and Penn Jct? Also, when was this line consolidated so the traffic only moved on the GTW tracks? When was the PRR line removed? Did the PRR line to Muskegon run on the south side of Indian Mill CreeK? It looks like at one time there may have been a ROW here. Also, were these tracks still in place when I-96 was built? Did the line used to run past what is now S Abraham and Sons on 3 mile Rd? The angle of this building always struck me as odd, almost like the building was built around a railroad.

The current CSX/GDLK/GRE Interchange tracks are not a part of the original PRR Line.

You are following the PRR alignment correctly, it is easy to follow as it stays south of Indian Mill Creek. Overall it was probably the better of the two alignments in comparison with the higher line taken by the GTW. Yes, that is why that building is built on an angle.

The railroads had consolidated to Muskegon by the time I-96 was built, so there were never any provisions for a bridge. The connection from the GTW to the PRR was made in the NW quadrant of the junction which had the GTW flying over the PRR. You can still see the long switch ties on the C&M trackage today.



Just trying to see if what I'm seeing is correct. Just south of Hayes St NW (and south of the Musketawa trail connector) there is a bridge on the C&M. Was this the bridge over the PRR? Did the PRR route go north on what is now the dead end road.

Following the C&M west you cross Haynes St NW and just west and there appears to be a ROW that breaks off going north and goes for a substantial distance before it would connect with the Musketawa trail connector. Was this the connection between the GTW and the the PRR.

How long did the PRR continue to go to Muskegon? Did the service last into the PC or Conrail days, or had it ended by that point?
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:01 pm

Yes, you have it right. The bridge on the current day C&M was the GTW bridge over the PRR. The connection is the long looping ROW that’s still visible that eventually tied into the PRR. The PRR south of the connection was abandoned between there and a couple of miles south by 1961 or 62, IIRC. It was gone before I-96 was put in.

The PRR and later Penn Central went to Muskegon until 1974 or 75 (it was before Conrail) when they sold the line from Penn Junction to Muskegon and all of the associated trackage in Muskegon proper to the GTW. The GTW poured a lot of money into the line which included welded rail and had a max speed of 49 mph. When Central Michigan bought everything west of Durand in 1987, the line between Muskegon and Penn Jct was quickly abandoned so the welded rail could be used on the Durand-Saginaw line.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby EWRice » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:44 pm

GTW abandoned the muskegon-greenville line in 1947 when PRR became a partner in the ferry operation. Part of this deal was trackage rights on the PRR line that connected to the GH-GR line at penn jct. This made the former GTW line redundant. I believe the last train from Muskegon was in '88 or '89. I vaguely remember seeing the tracks still in place along that line.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby J T » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:20 am

chapmaja wrote:When was the PRR line removed? Did the PRR line to Muskegon run on the south side of Indian Mill CreeK? It looks like at one time there may have been a ROW here.

It crossed Alpine just south of the creek (as mentioned already). Back in the mid 00's when Alpine was being resurfaced, there were tracks still embedded in the old pavement. Prior to tearing the road up, you could see cracks in the pavement from the rail heads. So when they finally demoed the road surface, there were the rails. I wish I had been able to take a picture of that!

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 8.08.53 AM.jpg


The house just to the south of the ROW must have had some really great views of the trains passing.
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Re: CSX / MIGN / Marquette / Grand Elk - GR Northside

Unread postby J T » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:47 am

There's a really cool double arch stone bridge just east of Wilson Ave.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 8.44.42 AM.jpg


Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 8.40.28 AM.jpg
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