Station:  Big Rapids, Michigan

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Above, the Grand Rapids & Indiana depot at Big Rapids, Michigan in a postcard view, circa 1920.  Below, a black and white photograph of the same depot in the early 20th century.  [Alan Loftis Collection]. 

Below, a 2003 view of the same depot.  [Dale Berry]

Comments from RRHX Bulletin Board ("Bill") 1/9/2004:  The railroad that crossed the Pennsylvania had two connection tracks, one in the northwest quadrant and one in the northeast quadrant.  When that line was abandoned, they left the two connection tracks and a short section of the main line intact.  This formed three legs of a wye, which was left in place until the successor Michigan Northern ceased operations.

Comments from RRHX Bulletin Board ("RSF") 1/9/2004:  The Pennsylvania was crossed by the Pere Marquette line from Greenville-Edmore-White Cloud and Muskegon.  The crossing shows as being protected by a gate only (normally in the clear position for the PRR) in PRR Grand Rapids Division employee time table #2, 9-27-1942.    Traffic generated in 1973 at Big Rapids was 109 carloads (from information in the Conrail system evaluation of 1975).  Note:  Gene Zank added that the PM line from Big Rapids to Remus was abandoned in the summer of 1943.

Comments from RRHX Bulletin Board ("Tom Hynes") 1/10/2004:  The only traffic on the former Pere Marquette trackage in Big Rapids during the Michigan Northern era was Central (?) Concrete, which unloaded box cars of brick at a concrete loading dock built on the northeast leg of the wye.  The only remaining PM trackage at that time was the wye itself, which was the only turning facility south of Cadillac.  Sometimes boxcars of brick had to be wyed as well as boxcars of paper products for Michigan Cigar, which unloaded near the lumber mill on a spur at the south end of town.  At some point, Michigan Northern removed the diamond and it sat alongside the main for about a year but was later reinstalled, and remained in place until the track was turn up.  The track was originally the Detroit, Lansing and Northern, later Pere Marquette.  As far as I know, it was never interlocked, but always a gate.  Two steel posts, about 10 feet high with ornate cast iron tops, were there until the track was turn up, but the gates were gone by 1976.

Comments from RRHX Bulletin Board ("Graydon Meints") 1/10/2004:  The PM abandoned the White Cloud-Big Rapids segment in 1926 and the Remus-Big Rapids segment in 1943.  There were some industrial tracks, a wye track, and a part of the old main line east of the river that were conveyed to the Pennsylvania Railroad.  These lasted, I believe, until at least the 1980's.