Grand Elk

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  • The Grand Elk Railroad is owned by Watco Companies (WAMX) and began operations on March 8, 2009.
  • The railroad leases 123 miles of track from NS running south from Grand Rapids, Michigan through Kalamazoo, Michigan to Elkhart, Indiana.
  • The line leased by GDLK was the former GR&I mainline from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo. The portion of the line from Kalamazoo to Elkhart was a former branch of the LS&MS.


Grand Elk Railroad interchanges with:

  • CSX in Grand Rapids.
  • Norfolk Southern in Elkhart and Kalamazoo.
  • Canadian National in Kalamazoo and Trout Lake.
  • Michigan Southern in White Pigeon.
  • Marquette Rail (via CSX) in Grand Rapids.
  • Grand Rapids Eastern (via CSX) in Grand Rapids.
  • Coopersville & Marne (via GRE & CSX) in Grand Rapids.

Grand Elk Train Symbols

Symbol Origin/Base Destination/Turn Location Frequency On Duty Notes
100 Kalamazoo Sun - Thu 1800 Night time yard job
101 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri 1600 303 recrew
105 Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Local Mon - Fri 1000
120 Grand Rapids Grand Rapids local Mon - Fri 0600
121 Grand Rapids Grand Rapids local Sun - Thur 1800
302 Kalamazoo Elkhart Mon - Fri 0300 KZ-EK Turn
303 Kalamazoo Grand Rapids Mon - Fri 0800 KZ-GR Turn
503 Kalamazoo Bristol/Elkhart Mon - Fri 1300
501 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri 0600
700 Extra job, usually Grain or Stone
102 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri 0900

Grand Elk Frequencies

Frequency AAR Channel Notes
160.335 15-15 Road Channel
161.535 95-95 Yard Channel
160.920 54-54 Upjohn/CK&S

Grand Elk Locomotive Roster

Number Model Year Built History Year Arrived Notes
Lower Peninsula Division
GMTX 2204 GP38-2 1972 Ex-EMDX 747/CR 7947/PC 7947. 2016 Leased from 2016 to 2021. Leaving property soon.
WAMX 3531 GP35 1965 Ex-BNSF 2622/ATSF 2922/ATSF 3422/ATSF 1422. 2009
WAMX 3534 GP35M 1964 Ex-WRIX 324/DMVW 324/CNW 837. 2015 Out of service. Slowly being rewired/repaired in GR.
WAMX 3807 GP38-2 1974 Ex-BNSF 2102/BN 2102. 2021 Acquired to replace leased GMTX/HLCX units.
WAMX 3808 GP38-2 1974 Ex-BNSF 2105/BN 2105. 2021 Acquired to replace leased GMTX/HLCX units.
HLCX 3834 GP38-2 1979 Ex-NS 5384/CR 8259. 2020 Leased from 2020 to 2021. Leaving property soon.
WAMX 4002 GP40-2LW 1974 Ex-CN 9405. 2009/2019 Assigned to DREI from 2018 to 2019.
WAMX 4009 GP38-2W 1974 Ex-CN 9448 2009 Rebuilt from GP40-2LW.
WAMX 4017 GP38-2LW 1975 Ex-CN 9564. 2009
WAMX 4124 SD40-2 1973 Ex-EMDX 6304/SOO 6304/MILW 20/MILW 181. 2009
WAMX 4125 SD40-2 1973 Ex-EMDX 6305/SOO 6305/MILW 21. 2009
WAMX 4189 SD40M-2 1970 Ex-WSOR 4076/MPEX 751/EJE 751/UTAH 9007/CSX 8381/CO 7522. 2013 Repainted from WSOR to Yellow/Gold colors 2021.
WAMX 4190 SD40M-2 1970 Ex-WSOR 4077/MPEX 750/EJE 750/UTAH 9001/CSX 8382/CO 7523. 2013
WAMX 4206 SD40-2 1975 Ex-WRIX 5557/JLCX 5557/NPR 5557/CP 5752. 2014
WAMX 4209 SD40M-2 1967 Ex-NREX 2651/UP 2651/SP 8575/CNW 914. 2016
WAMX 4225 SD40M-2 1967 Ex-OFOX 2789/CITX 2789/CEFX 2789/UP 2789/SP/SOU 3141. 2016
Upper Peninsula Division
TBA 19?? Ex-?? 2021
TBA 19?? Ex-?? 2021

Grand Elk Lower Peninsula Division Customers

Customer Location Company Description Receives/Ships Notes
Northwest Hardwoods Elkhart Hardwood Lumber Products Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars (Lumber)
Worldwide Foam Elkhart Closed Cell Foam Supplier Covered Hoppers
BlueLinx Elkhart Lumber Products Boxcars/Flatcars (Lumber)
Carpenter Elkhart Comfort Cushioning Products Tank Cars (Poly)
Green Stream Elkhart Lumber Products Centerbeams Unloaded at Banks (County Road 17).
Great Lakes Forest Products Elkhart Lumber Products Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars (Lumber)
Robert Weed Bristol Wood Products Boxcars (Plywood)
Alliance Sheets Bristol Corrugated Sheet Manufacturer Boxcars (Pulpboard)
MJB Wood Group Bristol Lumber Distributor Boxcars/Centerbeams (Lumber) Expected to come online early 2022
Ameri-Kart Bristol Molding and Thermoforming Covered Hoppers Expected to come online early 2022
The Andersons White Pigeon Corn, Bean, & Wheat Elevator Covered Hoppers (Unit Corn, Bean, & Wheat) Uses NS run-through power.
OX Engineered Products Constantine Structural Insulated Sheathing Products Covered Hoppers (Plastics)/Boxcars (Pulpboard)
International Paper Three Rivers Corrugated Packaging Boxcars (Pulpboard)
Willbur-Ellis Three Rivers Fertilizer Products Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers (Fertilizers)
Co-Alliance Schoolcraft Fertilizer Products Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers (Fertilizers)
Van Beek Nutrition Schoolcraft Animal Feed Mill Covered Hoppers (Feeds)
J. Rettenmaier Schoolcraft Plant Fiber Products Boxcars (Woodpulp)/Covered Hoppers
Builders FirstSource Portage Building Materials Centerbeam Flatcars (Lumber)
Evergreen Packaging Kalamazoo Packaging Products Boxcars (Pulpboard)
L. C. Howard Emerald Dr. Warehouse Kalamazoo Warehouse Boxcars
Pfizer Kalamazoo Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tank Cars/Coal Hoppers
Allnex Kalamazoo Industrial Coating Resins & Chemicals Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers Jointly served with CN.
L.C. Howard Kilgore Rd. Warehouse Kalamazoo Warehouse & Transload Facility Centerbeam Flatcars/Boxcars Jointly served with CN.
Green Bay Packaging Kalamazoo Corrugated Packaging Boxcars (Pulpboard) Jointly served with CN.
Kalamazoo Metal Recyclers Kalamazoo Scrapyard Transload Gondolas (Scrap)
Aggregate Resources Rail Yard Kalamazoo Aggregate Transload Open Hoppers (Various Aggregates) Uses NS run-through power.
Graphic Packaging Kalamazoo Packaging Products Tank Cars (Kaolin)/Boxcars (Scrap Paper)
Otsego Paper Otsego Paper Mill Boxcars (Pulpboard)
Transcendia Martin Plastic Film & Bags Covered Hoppers (Plastic)
Endeavor Agronomy Wayland Fertilizer Products Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers (Fertilizers)
Bay Valley Foods Wayland Private Label Food Products Tank Cars (Syrup & Nut Oils)
Nutrien Ag Solutions Moline Fertilizer Products Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers (Fertilizers) Formerly Crop Production & Green Valley.
Zeeland Lumber & Supply Wyoming Lumber Yard Centerbeam Flatcars (Lumber)
Padnos Wyoming Recycling Center Boxcars (Aluminum Billet/Scrap Paper)
Magic Steel Grand Rapids Steel & Metal Supplier Steel Coil Cars (Steel)
Brink Farms Grand Rapids Transload Facility Covered Hoppers (Sand & Feed)
Harvest Energy Grand Rapids Machinery Components Flatcars
L&W Supply Grand Rapids Building Materials Centerbeam Flatcars (Gypsum Board)
Amerhart Grand Rapids Building Materials Centerbeam Flatcars/Boxcars (Lumber)
RSI Logistics Grand Rapids Transload Facility Covered Hoppers
Bluelinx Grand Rapids Building Materials Centerbeams/Boxcars (Lumber) Went to CSX late 2019 came back to GDLK spring 2021.
Glass Recyclers Grand Rapids Transload Facility Open Hoppers (Cullet)
Northern Dry Bulk Grand Rapids Transload Facility Covered Hoppers
Pregis Films Grand Rapids Blown Film Manufacturer Covered Hoppers
Sargent Sand Grand Rapids Transload Facility Covered Hoppers (Frac Sand) Closed, replaced by Kiros
Kiros Energy Grand Rapids Non odorized liquefied petroleum gas Tank Cars (Propane) Transloaded at Turner Yard

Grand Elk Upper Peninsula Division Customers

  • Not yet under Watco control as of 11/2021.
Customer Location Company Description Receives/Ships Notes
Besse Forest Products Newberry Log & Pulpwood Transload Log Flatcars/Pulpwood Flatcars
Louisiana-Pacific Newberry Engineered Wood Siding Centerbeam Flatcars/Pulpwood Flatcars/Tank Cars/Boxcars
Timber Products Evelyn Hardwood Lumber & Veneer Centerbeam Flatcars/Boxcars
Neenah Paper Munising Paper Mill Boxcars/Tank Cars

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