1875 [MCR-75]: The Michigan Central general offices were in
Detroit. Of the nine directors, 1 was in Detroit (James F. Joy,
President) and the remainder were from out of state (7 from New York and
1 from Boston). The road was 270 miles in length, of which 221
were main line in Michigan (6 miles in Illinois and 43 miles in
Indiana). 72 miles of the road were double-tracked. The
company claimed no branch lines at this point. They had 96.37
miles of sidings in Michigan. Almost all track was laid with steel
rail (vs. iron) with a per yard weight of 60 lbs. The road had 4
wooden bridges, 2 stone bridges, 3 iron bridges and 54 wooden trestles.
The route crossed six other railroads at grade (LS&MS at Grand Trunk
Jct. [West Detroit] and Kalamazoo; the F&PM at Wayne, the Ft. Wayne,
Jackson & Saginaw at Jackson, the Northern Central Michigan (LS&MS) at
Albion, the C&LH at Battle Creek and the GR&I at Kalamazoo). The
road crossed 258 highways at grade, of which 8 had gates or flagmen.
18 highway crossings went over the railroad on bridges, with 7 going
under. The road had 64 stations, of which 52 were in Michigan.
There were 4,800 employees, most in Michigan. The entire line was
fenced. The road operated five other railroads under lease or
Michigan Air Line - 114 miles
Joliet & Northern Indiana - 45 miles
Grand River valley - 84 miles
Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw - 236 miles
Kalamazoo & South Haven - 39 miles
Total length of these roads were 788 miles, of which 688 were in
Michigan. The Michigan Central had 108 locomotives of 30 ton or
greater weight, 92 which were between 20 and 30 tons, and 11 locomotives
weighing less than 10 tons. The company owned107 passenger cars, 40
baggage and express cars, 2,924 box cars and 1,541 other freight cars.
61 of their locomotives were equipped with Westinghouse Air Brakes, and 82
of their passenger cars were so equipped. 97 passenger cars were
equipped with a Miller platform and buffer.
The railroad carried 862,416 passengers in 1875 as well as 1,726,166
tons of freight. The average number of cars in a passenger train,
including baggage cars was 6. The average number of cars in a
freight train was 28, and the average train weight was 442 tons. The
company used the Pullman Car Company for sleeping and/or dining cars until
November 1, 1875, and then switched to the Wagner Car Company.
14 people were killed on the railroad during 1875 and 14 suffered
significant injury. Interesting deaths included:
falling off the locomotive tender
scalding by a bursting flue
fingers smashed coupling cars
fell from engine
many people lost limbs due to jumping on/off trains