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 Mon - Fri 303 recrew
105 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri Kalamazoo Local, 0730 on duty
120 Grand Rapids Mon - Fri GR 1st Shift yard job on duty 0700
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; 1200 on duty
501 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri re-crew for 503; 1900 on duty
700 Unit train designators for Anderson's grain plant/stone pit trains
102 Kalamazoo Mon - Fri 1100 start time
104 Kalamazoo 7 days a week 1600

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
GMTX 2204 GP38-2 1972 Ex-EMDX 747/CR 7947/PC 7947. 2016 Leased.
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.
HLCX 3834 GP38-2 1979 Ex-NS 5384/CR 8259. 2020 Leased.
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

Former Grand Elk Locomotives

Number Model Year(s) Built History Notes
BNSF 2108 GP38-2 1974 Ex-BNSF 2108/BN 2108. Left property in 2011. Now WAMX 3858, assigned to Stillwater Central.
BNSF 2109 GP38-2 1974 Ex-BNSF 2109/BN 2109. Left property in 2011. Now WAMX 3859, assigned to Stillwater Central.
BNSF 2972 GP39V 1964 Ex-BNSF 2972/BN 2972/PAL 601/GMO 601. Left property in 2011. Now WAMX 3903, assigned to Alabama Southern. Rebuilt to GP39V by VMV for BN.
WAMX 3806 GP38 1970 Ex-KO 1155/TFM 1155/HATX 118/CSX 2125/CO 4825. Left property in 2013. Now CBFX 3805, assigned to Progressive Rail.
WAMX 3829 GP38-3 1967 Ex-BAR 352/BAR 86. Left property in 2015 for WSOR. Currently stored at K&O shops in Wichita.
WAMX 4012 GP40-2LW 1974 Ex-CN 9481. Left property in 2010. Now assigned to Watco switching contract at El Dorado Chemical in El Dorado, AR.
WAMX 4020 GP40-2LW 1975 Ex-WAMX 9605/CN 9605. Left property in 2010. Now assigned to Watco switching contract at El Dorado Chemical in El Dorado, AR.
WAMX 7030 GP7u 1952 Ex-WSOR 702/ATSF 2015/ATSF 2805. Scrapped Feb. 01, 2021.

Grand Elk Customers

Customer Location Company Description Receives/Ships Notes
Northwest Hardwoods Elkhart Hardwood Lumber Products Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars (Lumber)
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)
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)/Covered Hoppers (Plastic)/Boxcars (Scrap Paper)
Otsego Paper Otsego Paper Mill Boxcars (Pulpboard)
Transcendia Martin Plastic Film & Bags Covered Hoppers (Plastic)
CHS 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)
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) Temporarily halted.
Kiros Energy Grand Rapids Natural Gas Liquids Tank Cars (NGLs) Transloaded at Turner Yard

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