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 Kalamazoo and Elkhart,.
  • Canadian National in Kalamazoo.
  • 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 Notes
100 Kalamazoo Sun - Thu Night time yard job, on duty 1900.
101 Kalamazoo Sun - Sat 303 recrew, weekend manifest
105 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri Upjohn Switch Job, 0730 on duty
120 Grand Rapids Mon - Fri GR 1st Shift yard job on duty 0600
121 Grand Rapids Sun - Thur GR 2nd shift yard job on duty 2000.
302 Kalamazoo Elkhart Mon - Fri KZ-EK Turn; reported on duty time 0530
303 Kalamazoo Grand Rapids Mon - Fri KZ-GR Turn, reported on duty time of 1000.
503 Kalamazoo Bristol/Elkhart Mon - Fri Kalamazoo South Local; 1400 on duty
501 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri Automatic re-crew for 503; 2100 on duty
700 Unit train designators for Anderson's grain plant/stone pit trains
102 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri 302 recrew; 1100 start time
103 Kalamazoo 7 days a week 0800
104 Kalamazoo 7 days a week 1600

Grand Elk Customers

Customer Location Receives/Ships Notes
Northwest Hardwoods Elkhart Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars-Lumber
Great Lakes Forest Elkhart Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars-Lumber
BlueLinex Elkhart Boxcars/Flatcars-Lumber
Carpenter Elkhart Tank Cars-Poly
Robertweed Bristol Boxcars-Plywood
Alliance Sheets Bristol Boxcars-Pulpboard
The Andersons White Pigeon Covered Hoppers-Unit Corn, Bean, Wheat
OX Paper Constantine Covered Hoppers-Plastics, Boxcars-Pulpboard
International Paper Three Rivers Boxcars-Pulpboard
Willbur-Ellis Three Rivers Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers-Fertilizers
Co-Alliance Schoolcraft Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers-Fertilizers
Van Beeks Schoolcraft Covered Hoppers-Feeds
J Rettenmaier Schoolcraft Boxcars-Woodpulp, Covered Hoppers
Builders First Choice Portage Centerbeam Flatcars-Lumber
Allnex Kalamazoo Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers
Fabri-Kal Kalamazoo Covered Hoppers-Plastic
Green Bay Packaging Kalamazoo Boxcars-Pulpboard
Evergreen Packaging Kalamazoo Boxcars-Pulpboard
L C Howard Kalamazoo Boxcars-Pulpboard & Newsprint, Flatcars-Aluminum Billet
Pfizer Kalamazoo Tank Cars/Coal Hoppers
Kalamazoo Metal Recycle Kalamazoo Gondolas-Scrap
Graphic Packaging Kalamazoo Tank Cars-Kaolin, Covered Hoppers-Plastic, & Boxcars-Scrap Paper
Otsego Paper Otsego Boxcars-Pulpboard
Trancendia Martin Covered Hoppers-Plastic
CHS Wayland Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers-Fertilizers
Bay Valley Foods Wayland Tank Cars-Syrup and Nut oils
Nutrien Moline Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers-Fertilizers Crop Production <--Green Valley
Zeeland Lumber Wyoming Centerbeam Flatcars-Lumber
Padnos Wyoming Boxcars-Aluminum Billet
Magin Steel Grand Rapids Steel Coil Cars-Steel
Brink Farms Grand Rapids Covered Hoppers-Sand and Feed
AmerHart Grand Rapids Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars-Lumber
Bulkmatic Grand Rapids Covered Hoppers
RSI Grand Rapids Covered Hoppers
Northern Dry Bulk Grand Rapids Covered Hoppers
Glass Recyclers Grand Rapids Open Hoppers-Cullet
Great Lakes Gypsum & Supply Grand Rapids Centerbeam Flatcars-Gypsum board
Sargent Sand Grand Rapids Covered Hoppers-Frac Sand

Grand Elk Locomotive Roster

Number Model Year(s) Built History Notes
GMTX 2204 GP38-2 1972 Ex-EMDX 747/CR 7947/PC 7947. Leased.
WAMX 3531 GP35 1965 Ex-BNSF 2622/ATSF 2922/ATSF 3422/ATSF 1422.
WAMX 3534 GP35M 1964 Ex-WRIX 324/DMVW 324/CNW 837. Leaving property soon. Currently OOS.
HLCX 3834 GP38-2 1979 Ex-NS 5384/CR 8259. Arrived in early 2020.
WAMX 4002 GP40-2LW 1974 Ex-CN 9405.
WAMX 4009 GP38-2W 1974 Ex-CN 9448 Rebuilt from GP40-2LW.
WAMX 4017 GP38-2LW 1975 Ex-CN 9564.
WAMX 4124 SD40-2 1973 Ex-EMDX 6304/SOO 6304/MILW 20/MILW 181.
WAMX 4125 SD40-2 1973 Ex-EMDX 6305/SOO 6305/MILW 21.
WAMX 4189 SD40M-2 1970 Ex-WSOR 4076/MPEX 751/EJE 751/UTAH 9007/CSX 8381/CO 7522. Arrived in 2013.
WAMX 4190 SD40M-2 1970 Ex-WSOR 4077/MPEX 750/EJE 750/UTAH 9001/CSX 8382/CO 7523. Arrived in 2013.
WAMX 4206 SD40-2 1975 Ex-NPR 5557/CP 5752. Arrived September 2014.
WAMX 4209 SD40M-2 1967 Ex-NREX 2651/UP 2651/SP 8575/CNW 914. Arrived April 2016.
WAMX 4225 SD40M-2 1967 Ex-OFOX 2789/CITX 2789/CEFX 2789/UP 2789/SP/SOU 3141. Arrived in July 2016.
WAMX 7030 GP7u 1952 Ex-WSOR 702/ATSF 2015/ATSF 2805. Leaving property soon. Currently OOS.

Past Grand Elk Locomotives

Number Model Year(s) Built Notes
BNSF 2108 GP38-2 1974 Built as BN 2108. Left property in 2011
BNSF 2109 GP38-2 1974 Built as BN 2109. Left property in 2011
BNSF 2972 GP39V 1964 Built as GM&O GP35 601, rebuilt to GP39V by VMV for BN. Left property in 2011
WAMX 3806 GP38 1970 ex-K&O 1155 / TFM 1155 / HATX 118 / CSXT 2125 / C&O 4825. Left property in 2013
WAMX 3829 GP38-3 1967 ex-BAR 352 / BAR 86. Left property in 2015
WAMX 4012 GP40-2LW 1974 ex-CN 9481 (Departed GDLK in July, 2010)
WAMX 4020 GP40-2LW 1975 ex-CN 9605 (Departed GDLK in July, 2010)

Grand Elk Frequencies

Frequency AAR Channel Notes
160.335 15 Road Channel
161.535 95 Yard Channel

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