Is anyone have knowledge in Lower Michigan...

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 9:05 PM

On the historical map locator, you just need to plug in a location, and it will give you a list of maps by date and scale.  

I see that the oldest topo map of Reed City only goes back to 1959.  However, there is a Ludington map at decent scale for 1932.  If you compare it to the 1983 map, not all that much has changed.  The branch to the south goes to  the Dow Chemical plant.  The Ludington and Northern to the north was an interesting shortline that ran to a sand dune mining operation.

Back in Reed City, the 2 rail lines were "railbanked".  Nevertheless, the Yoplait plant was expanded to the east over the old GR&I ROW.  If they were ever to bring back the rail line, they would have to take quite a jog at that point.

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Posted by Woodys Workshop on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 9:17 PM
I grew up in Reed City. The only Engines I ever remember seeing were cruddy first generation small Diesels. I remember part of the old Freight Station, just the E/W Dock was left. It was condemned and removed late 70's if I remember correctly. There is a 1/2 mile road North of Reed City called Oreno between 8 & 9 mile. I have learned at some time that was known as Orono Junction and a branch went NW to Luther. That must have been in service before cars and abandoned very early 1900's. A look at Google Earth today you can see any signs of an old road bed. The Badger at Ludington I was hoping to model so freight could be put on and taken off with a static ship model. I understand a round house and yard is there. But what was there between 1929 & 1930? Between WWI & WWII road infrastructure became more popular thanks to Henry Ford, and others. Especially in Michigan! I plugged in dates in that link to the map and locations, and it did absolutely nothing. Perhaps because I'm focusing on a the smaller towns? I have learned that Reed City was quite the Boom Town of Opportunity after tracks came in, especially when the Land Office for the whole Western half of the state was put there. 120 years later it's just a pit stop for passers-by on the Freeway, or across 10 to the Western Shoreline. A couple years ago the 3 story hotel that had been there was torn down. The owner had it appraised, and a contractor ruff estimate bring back to life. Cost of repairs exceeded the restored value by over a Million Dollars. Across the street was the Post Office (before my time) and know to me was Henry's Bar, an old Pool Hall (Later renovated to a game room. My first wife and I actually rented part of the 2nd floor for a while), the theater where I watched True Grit when it was released with Jame's Bond Movies, and many others. Later taken over by the Moose Lodge for a Bingo Hall. And the old barber shop where I had many a hair cuts. On the corner was the 3 story Bisbee Building. Over a century it had many functions. Now, General Mills owns all that block, and most of the next one South. It started back in late 70's when Yoplait bought out Michigan Cottage Cheese. Yeup, I worked there for a while too. Also at the Wolverine Glove Plant as a cutter across the track crossing NE. That building now is the Cub Scouts. That is when there is enough children, and adults, with interest to pursue it. Our boy was in it for 3 years, and the next year he was the only one that signed up for it. Sad, Very Sad. I'm not really sure when General Mills gobbled up Yoplait, I was gone for a few year working construction. When I did live in Reed City, I out the door before dawn, and dark when I got home. And I didn't do much on the weekends but take care of personal business and try a few hours of down time. Things like that map where you put in a place and a time, if it worked, is all I would really need. I'm sure when better comes I will be able to get out and visit the surrounding museums. Being disabled, getting out and around is my enemy. That's why I hope to find it online. But I just don't think it was ever kept, maybe not saved, maybe lost or burned in a fire. Tucked in the basement of a church in boxes, got water logged and tossed out. Who knows with things your looking for that's almost 100 years old. I picked the era for a very good reason. Starting in 1930's, rail mileage started to go down. And Diesel's were not yet refined, although they had started working on designs in the late 20's. Time is getting short, I've got the bench work drawn up in CAD, and nothing but the Reed City plat Map from 1887. The Museum here in town is closed until the 1st of May. Contributions need start, but plans need finished. And I'm stuck.
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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 8:16 PM

I was in the Cadillac Depot restaurant today, and I saw a photo of a PRR stam engine used on the GR&I line.  It was a 2-10-2, apparently the largest one used on the line.  (sorry about the reflections off he glass frame)

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipO6ga1eDg9-xZQg71_zEVn0c_GL3S4y1UkM6hP8

I wonder if it was actually used north of Cadillac since with the Manistee River bridge nowdays they keep visiting PM 1225 south of that bridge.

I looked in my book on the Ann Arbor RR, and the 2-8-2 were the common freight engines on the mainline.  Atlantic 4-4-2 were the popular passenger engines, although they also ran McKeen motor cars as far north as Cadillac, but kept them off the steeper grades west of there.  

In the Reed City Depot museum there was a picture of a PM 2-8-0 described as the "hill engine", presumably used as a helper on the hill west of town.

As far as interesting trackside models: there were the carferry landings; fruit processing facilities near the Lake Michigan shore; lumber industries; chemical plants in Luddington and Manistee; sand dune mining; and an oil refinery in Reed City.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, February 9, 2020 10:10 PM

The Ann Arbor went thru Mt. Pleasant, Clare, Cadillac, Thompsonville to Frankfort/Elberta carferry landing.  The PRR/Grand Rapids & Indiana went thru Grandrapids, Reed City, Cadillac, to Mackinaw City carferry landing.  There was also a branch from Walton Jct to Traverse City, and another branch to Lake City and Falmouth.  C&O/Pere Marquette went thru Grand Rapids, Newaygo, White Cloud, Baldwin, Kalava, Traverse City to Petosky.  C&O/PM also had an E-W line from Saginaw thru Clare, Reed City, Baldwin, to Luddington carferry landing.  There was also a branch from Walhalla, thru Manistee to Kalava where it met the Petosky line.  There was also a branch from Muskegon thru Fremont, White Cloud, Big Rapids to Edmore where it connected to other lines.

More info:  http://www.michiganrailroads.com/

Historical topo maps which may show sidings/yards:  

https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/viewer/#4/40.01/-100.06

Enter a town name to search by location.

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Posted by Enzoamps on Sunday, February 9, 2020 3:44 PM

I came to Michigan in 1965 for college, so I don't know the history.  But we do have the Steam Railroading Institute here in nearby Owosso Michigan.  They own and operate the Pere Marquette 1225 on a regular basis.  That locomotive used to be a static display on the Michigan State University campus when I was there.  Across from the stadium.  But over the years it was restored to operation.

Here is the resources page from their web site.  You can go to their library, but they say a lot is also online, so...  I'd imagine if you contacted them, whatever they lack, they could likely suggest resources.

https://www.michigansteamtrain.com/resources

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Is anyone have knowledge in Lower Michigan...
Posted by Woodys Workshop on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:10 AM

From 1930 to 1940, centering around Reed City, North to Cadillac, NW to Frankfort, South thru Manistee to Ludington, back East to Baldwin, South thru White Cloud to Newago. East of Reed City to Clare, South to Mt. Pleasant, and anything West back Newago.

I need to know who had the lines, what Steam Engines were used and specifics to sidings and trackside builds through towns, and any sidings that might be unique to model.

Suggestons on where to look is always welcome.

I'm disabled, getting out and around is hard for me.

Thank You Kindly 

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