Railroads change Detroit to serve the auto industry...

Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum


1900 - 1909


  • Railroad event or related event in Michigan

  • Important non-railroad event in Michigan or outside.

  • Improvement in Technology         Mining.

  • Railroad built or extended

  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed

  • Economic panic or depression        Car ferries.


Info Sources






















1900's Overview  

  • January 1:  Chicago & West Michigan, Flint & Pere Marquette, and Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western are consolidated to form the Pere Marquette RR, the state's largest railroad system under one management.  General offices are moved from Saginaw to Detroit.  [MDOT][PMHS][COHS-8/1997]

  • January 1:  Pere Marquette opens line from Freeport to Belding.  [MRRC]

  • Early:  The Copper Range Railroad builds their Painesdale Branch from Painsdale Jct. (one mile south of the Atlantic Mine station) to Champion Mine at Painesdale, a length of 4.38 miles. The line passes through the Baltic Mine, Tri-Mountain Mine, and the Champion Mine. [CRH]

  • Winter:  A Detroit & Mackinac passenger train is delayed for 10 hours at Lengsville, 13 miles north of Bay City, due to heavy snowfall.  [GW]

  • May 13:  Detroit & Mackinac extended from Onaway to Tower.  [NK]

  • June:  D&M opens spur to Tawas Beach Park, operates a tourist and resort business there.

  • July:  Link and pin couplers comes to an end on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern.  [LS]

  • Summer:  Lake Shore shops in Adrian, present since the road began, are moved to Air Line Junction near Toledo.  This had a serious effect on unemployment in Adrian.  Over half of the men moved to Toledo to work there.  [LS]

  • August 3:  Interurban service between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and Gull Lake and Battle Creek officially begins, although "test" cars have been running since the first of the year.  [MT]

  • August 15:  A head-on collision north of Pierson on the Grand Rapids & Indiana RR, caused by operator error, killed 8 persons.   [MDOT]

  • August:  Onaway & North Michigan Ry. opens 5.5 mile line in and around Onaway, known as the "Dinky line".  Closed in 1930.  [MRRC]

  • September 16:  The first electric interurban car arrives in Flint.  [EMR4]

  • November:  Union depot in Grand Rapids is opened.   [MDOT/IT-4/81/PMHS/AAD]

  • December 1:  D&M opens Harrisville cutoff.  Discontinues line north of W. Harrisville (Lincoln).  [HI]

  • December 7:  T&W officials ride the first car over the interurban line from Toledo to the Wabash tracks at Adrian.  [EMR4]

  • December 27:  The Lake shore opens their new station in Elkhart, Indiana.  The 2nd floor included the passenger-conductor bunkroom, brakeman's bunkroom, two rooms for the trainmaster, and the claim agent's office.  [LS]

  • December 28:  Escanaba and Lake Superior opens line from Watson to Channing.   This was the result of an agreement with the Milwaukee Road for the purpose of hauling iron ore to the Milwaukee Road docks at Escanaba.  This arrangement was terminated in 1936 when the Milwaukee Road decided to enter a pooling arrangement with the C&NW rather than undergo the heavy expense of major improvements to the Escanaba Docks.. [MRRC/EDP-12/27/1950]

  • December 31:  Detroit United Railway consolidates city street car lines.  [DWS]

  • December 31:  Michigan Railroad Mileage Totaled 7,946 miles - 12/31/1900 - [MDOT]

  • GTW builds new depot at Haslett Park (Lake Lansing) - [GTWHS 08/01]

  • Port Huron Southern completes initial 3 mile line between Port Huron Salt Company and the Pere Marquette railway junction at Tappan (Port Huron).  [IT-4/81]

  • Carey Hoop Co. builds a private logging road near Stutsmanville in Emmett County.  [MRRC]

  • Houghton County Traction Company opens street car line between Houghton and Boston Mine.  [SSJB]

  • The Copper Range Railroad erects a coal-unloading hoist on the Portage lake at West Houghton to provide for large coal tonnage which would be required by the South Range mines. [CRH]

  • Houghton County Traction Co. extends street car line to Calumet.  Branches are eventually built to Lake Linden, Hubbell, and Wolverine.  [SSJB]

  • The  Milwaukee Road builds a branch line from Kelso Junction to Crystal Falls.  [MSL]

  • Empire & South Eastern Railroad builds 10.7 mile logging ling from Empire to Empire Jct.  [MRRC]

  • The Copper Range Railroad begins building its line between McKeever and Calumet, serving the South Range mines and mills.  [MOD-6/1985]

  • The Copper Range Railroad opens a four mile branch line between Mill Mine and Painesdale.  [CRAR]

  • The Copper Range builds a roundhouse at Houghton which uses a 60 foot turntable. It holds 10 locomotives.  The railroad also builds depots at Houghton and at Range Jct, which are the largest on the line.  The Range Jct. depot is built in conjunction with the B&NW and Milwaukee Road [CRH]

  • The Copper Range RR reaches mines at Elm River, Winona, Wayndot and Belt. [CRH]

  • Michigan Central RR builds a brick freight house, across from the Ypsilanti depot - [MRC-09/88]

  • The Pere Marquette relocates it line in Howell, to west of Walnut Street where a route was cut through the hill.  This location straightened the line.  [COHS-2/1998]

  • Hancock and Calumet Railroad changes from 3' to standard gauge between Hancock and Keweenaw Co.  [MRRC]

  • The Grand Rapides, Newaygo and Lake Shore Railroad builds a new wooden depot in Grant.  [MRP-I]

  • The GTW builds a new wood depot in Lapeer.  The depot is stilled used today by Amtrak.  [MRP-I]

  • 793 individuals were killed or injured in railroad related accidents this year.  [AAD]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Lapeer and Davison.  Depots continue to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • State law now requires trains to come to a complete stop at railroad grade crossings which are not protected by an interlocker.  [AAD]

  • Alexis, Ohio crossing is finally converted to a full interlocking.  Until this time, all trains were required to come to a complete stop at this busy crossing.  [EMR4]

  • Almost 100% of railroad track in the country is made of steel.  [STOV]

  • Nationally, there are 193,346 miles of railroad track.  [STOV]

  • January:  The 42-mile Detroit & Charlevoix RR, started as a logging railroad, is incorporated as a common carrier.  At one time, the D&C was reputed to be the longest railroad in Michigan owned by one person.   [MDOT]

  • January 25:  The Port Huron Southern RR (later Port Huron & Detroit RR) was chartered.   [MDOT]

  • March 29:  Harbor Springs Railway opens 2' 6" line from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.  Abandoned in 1910.  [MRRC]

  • April 8:  LSMS Train No. 63 was robbed at Durham, near LaPorte.  A brakeman, using a railroad detective's gun, shot one of the intruders.  They were taken to jail.  [LS]

  • June 7:  The Lake Shore completes the last of its double tracking project between Chicago and Toledo.  The last section to be completed was between Ligonier and Brimfield, Indiana.  [LS]

  • September 16:  Detroit and Charlevoix Railroad completes line from Frederic to East Jordan.  [MRRC]

  • October 1:  East Jordan & Southern completes line from East Jordan to Bellaire.  [MRRC]

  • November:  Kinnear track pans east of Dexter on the Michigan Central RR, the state's first track pan installation, began operation.  Track pans permitted a speeding locomotive to scoop up water without stopping.  The MCRR was the only railroad in Michigan to install track pans.   [MDOT]

  • November 27:  A head-on collision on the Wabash Railroad near Seneca (in Lenawee County) killed 24 persons.  [MDOT]

  • December 1:  The Detroit & Mackinac Ry. opens its Harrisville cut off, bringing the main line closer to Lake Huron and running it through Alcona County's seat of government.  [GW]

  • December 1:  Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw - CK&S - completes Kalamazoo to Pavilion line.   [IT-12/79]

  • December 28:  The Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway starts regular service between Escanaba and Channing.  [MDOT]

  • Onaway & North Michigan Ry. builds 5.5 mile line in and around Onaway.  [NK]

  • Caro and Lake Huron Railroad opens line from Caro to Owendale.  [MRRC]

  • A connection is constructed between the LS&I and the Munising, Marquette and Southeastern is built (?)  [AAD]

  • The Mason and Oceana Railroad builds an extension to Goodrich.  [AAD]

  • The Copper Range Railroad extends its Mill Mine-Painesdale line 12 miles to Freda.  The line is used to transport copper rock from the newly-opened Trimountain and Champion Mines to the stamp mills at Beacon Hill, Freda and Redridge.  [CRAR]

  • The Pere Marquette builds from Greenville to Stanton. [PM45]

  • Pere Marquette puts car ferry Pere Marquette 17 into Lake Michigan service.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette builds new 12-stall roundhouse in Saginaw.   [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette builds depot at Petosky.  Depot continues to exist into 2001.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic builds depot at Marquette.  Depot continues to exist into 2001.  [IT-12/1974]

  • CK&S builds roundhouses at Kalamazoo (6 stalls) and Woodbury (2 stalls).  [NYC-2/1989]

  • Interurban railway lines consolidated as Detroit United Railway System.  [DWS]

  • Michigan Central builds first track pan east of Dexter.  Called Kinnear Track Pans, named after Wilson Kinnear, Chief Engineer of the Michigan Central.  [MHS]

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds depot at Lenawee Junction.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • H. K. McHarg, a Director of the Wabash Railroad, begins buying up all available Detroit & Mackinac stock.  It is feared that the "Gould interests" are moving in on the D&M but McHarg ultimately ends up running it himself.  [WK]

  • Mechanical coal stokers first used.  [STOV]

  • January 1:  Saint Marie Union Depot Co. opens line in Sault Ste. Marie to downtown.  [MRRC]

  • January 18:  The first interurban car from Ann Arbor arrives in Jackson.  [EMR4]

  • May 9:  Anthracite coal minors go on strike with far reaching affect.  Resolved on October 25.  [DWS]

  • June 15:  The New York Central and Lake Shore begin operating the 20th Century Limited, a crack luxury passenger train between New York City and Chicago, via the Airline.  It was an extra fare, all Pullman train for most of its existence.  It continued to operate until 1967.  During the steam era, the train's locomotive was regularly changed at Elkhart.  [LS]

  • June 25:  The Michigan Central and the Pere Marquette RR open Union Station in Lansing.   [MDOT]

  • July 1:  Marquette and Southeastern completes line from Big Bay through Marquette to Lawson.  Controlled at incorporation by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co.  [MRRC/MRC-10/1987]

  • Fall:  The Pere Marquette begins Port Huron-Sarnia car ferry service.  [MDOT][PMHS]

  • October:  Double tracking of the Michigan Central Railroad main line at Albion is completed.  [Albion Morning Star]

  • November 22:  The Wisconsin Central's (1st) Ashland ore dock catches fire, causing severe damage.  Three lives were lost fighting the blaze.  Work was immediately begun to reconstruct the dock.  It was reopened on April 24, 1903.  The rebuilt dock had fire walls every 200 feet and sprinkler systems throughout to help avoid sesequent conflagrations.   [SOO-W/1996]

  • November:  The interurban bridge over the Lake Shore and MCRR lines at Albion is completed.  It is 700 feet long, with its largest span being 135 feet.  It was built by the American Steel & Bridge Co.  [Albion Morning Star]

  • December:  The extension from Houghton to Calumet and Laurium was now completed, except for ballasting. Freight trains were running and passenger service would start about May 1, 1903. Six new passenger coaches were purchased, and three locomotives were added bringing the total to 16. [CRH]

  • December:  The Manistique Marquette & Northern car ferry No. 1 was launched and is sailing between Manistique and Elberta.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • LS&I builds southeast, from Marquette to Lawson in Alger County where is joins the Munising Railway (which it purchased).  [MSL]

  • The Copper Range Railroad is extended to the Calumet area.  Subsequently (date unknown) a branch line is built from Dollar Bay to Senter, adding 26 miles to the trackage.  [CRAR]

  • The Wyandotte Southern Railroad builds 5.5 miles of track to serve the Pennsylvania Salt chemical plant in Wyandotte.  This road connected with the DT&I.  The WSRR went out of business in the 1980's.  [EMR4]

  • The Toledo Terminal Railroad builts its upper bridge over the Maumee River.  [GLF]

  • The E&LS builds its Escanaba Branch, and a branch from Northland to Gleason.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad summer season steamship service between Ottawa Beach (Holland) and Milwaukee ended.  [PMHS]

  • Railroad repair shops of the Ausable & Northwestern Railroad burn in McKinley.  [HI]

  • GTW completes construction on a castle-like depot in Lansing, with its square tower (current building).  [MHM]

  • Pere Marquette begins car float operations in Port Huron.  [MRC-2/1995]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Lansing.  Depot continues to exist into 2001 and is owned and operated by Clara's Restaurants.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Michigan Central builds depots at Dowagiac and Charlotte.  Depots continue to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • 1902 is a record breaking year for the amount of ore shipped from the Gogebic Range in the Upper Peninsula.    [SOO-W/1996]

  • The town of Blaney in the Upper Peninsula is created by the William Mueller Lumber Company.  Itis converted to resort operation about 1927. [BOM]

  • Bear Lake and Eastern Railroad abandons 3' gauge route from Pierport via Bear Lake to Cleon Twp. in Manistee County.  [MRRC]

  • January 1:  Following the collapse of the Everett-Moore syndicate, the Pleasant Bay Railway sells its right of way to the new Detroit & Toledo Shore Line.  They constructed a freight-only connector line between Toledo and Detroit.  See September 8th.  [EMR4]

  • January 20:  The Grand Trunk Western opened a passenger depot on South Washington Street in Lansing.   [MDOT]

  • January:  Pere Marquette acquires Lake Erie & Detroit River Railroad (in Canada).  [PMHS]

  • January:  The Manistique, Marquette & Northers builds a two-story depot and office building in Manistique.  The 24' x 65' structure is located on the north side of Deer Street, west of the Soo Line crossing.  It cost $2,500.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • April 6:  Copper Range Railroad completes line from McKeever to Calumet.  [MRRC]

  • May 4:  A GTW passenger train rear ends a LS&MS special which was loading passengers at Canfield Avenue, on GTW's line south of Milwaukee Jct.  Seven people die and 22 are injured.  [MRC-4/1976]

  • May 6:  Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron RR, Bay City Belt Line RR, and Sanilac RR are merged into Pere Marquette.  [PMHS]

  • May:  Harbor Beach and Port Hope RR completed between namesake towns.   [PMHS]

  • June 1:  Mason and Oceana Railroad opens 3' line from Buttersville to Maple.  Abandoned in 1909.  [MRRC]

  • June 1:  Pere Marquette (Sanilac Railroad) completes line from Poland to Sandusky.  [MRRC]

  • August 6:  Detroit & Mackinac Jackson Lake Branch was removed to Hurst.   [NK]

  • August 7:  Air brake failure caused a freight train to plow into the Wallace Brothers Circus Train at Durand killing 26 persons and several animals.   [MDOT]

  • September 1:  The T&W opens its line in Adrian from the Wabash Railroad to Adrian's town center.  [EMR4]

  • September 8:  Detroit and Toledo Shore Line Railroad completes line from River Rouge to the Ohio state line, near Lang Yard.  [MRRC/MDY33]

  • September 16:  The Toledo Railway and Terminal Company completes its belt line around the City of Toledo and celebrates by taking hundreds of citizens on a tour of the line.  It is later known as the Toledo Terminal Railroad.  [HMRB]

  • September 20:  Car ferry service between Manistique and Northport begins.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • September:  Grand Trunk Car Ferry Line began service between Grand Haven and Milwaukee.  [MDOT]

  • October:  The Manistique, Marquette & Northern RR initiates car ferry service between Northport and Manistique with ferry "Manistique, Marquette & Northern No. 1".   [MDOT]

  • October 1:  Durand Union Depot is dedicated.  Still in use for passengers, the building is claimed by railroad enthusiasts to be the most photographed depot in the nation.   [MDOT] [MHM]

  • October:  Pere Marquette completes line from Harbor Beach to Port Hope (in Huron Co.). [MRRC]

  • November 1:  The T&W begins service to Pioneer, Ohio.  [EMR4]

  • December 15:  Pere Marquette Railroad opens line from Alfred to Porter, Indiana.  They begin using the LSMS from Porter to Pine.  [MRRC/LS]

  • December 17:  Wright brothers make first airplane flight.  [DWS]

  • December 21:  Harbor Beach and Port Hope RR merged into Pere Marquette RR.   [PMHS]

  • December 26:  Pere Marquette RR passenger trains accident at East Paris killed 18 persons.  The accident occurred after high winds extinguished a kerosene warning light.  A second report indicates that 22 may died and 30 injured.  [MDOT][MT]

  • December:  Pere Marquette RR completes trackage between New Buffalo to NYC at Porter, IN.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad begins ferry service between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad converts PH&N line to Almont to standard gauge.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad abandons line from Atkins to Saginaw Jct. (via Fargo) in the Thumb.   [PMHS]

  • Milwaukee, Benton Harbor & Columbus (former St. Joseph Valley RR) is sold to Pere Marquette which operated it as the Buchanan Branch until abandonment in 1924.  [PMHS]

  • Packard Motor Car factory built on East Grand Blvd.  Remain's Packard's main plant until 1950's.  [DWS]

  • The Pere Marquette builds branches to Sanilac Center (Sandusky) and Port Hope.  [AB]

  • The E&LS extends a branch line from Gleason to Austin, and a second branch from Austin Jct. to Kates.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • The Copper Range makes a rail connection between the side-hill (Michigan) smelter site (located at the mouth of Coleís Creek on the Portage lake) and the main track after the property was acquired from the Atlantic Mining Company. The Michigan Smelting company was built about three miles west of Houghton and just a little beyond the site of the old Atlantic Stamp Mill. Mineral was delivered to the smelter in 40-ton bottom-dumping steel cars by the COPR, which also hauled away the refined copper. They also brought coal to the trestles on the upper plateau, which held 15,000 tons of coal within tunnels. [CRH]

  • The Pere Marquette standarfd gauges its Almont Branch.  [AB]

  • Pere Marquette carferries Pere Marquette 19 and Pere Marquette 20 placed into Lake Michigan service.  [PMHS]

  • PM car ferry service begun between Ludington and Kewaunee, WI.  [PMHS]

  • President Teddy Roosevelt signs the Elkins Act, which strengthened the prohibition on railroad rebates.  [STOV]

  • The Detroit & Mackinac begins replacing light rail between Bay City and Alpena with 70 lb. rail.  [GW]

  • The Lake Shore begins building a new twin hump yard, one mile west of the Elkhart depot.  In order to build these facilities, the Northern Indiana Railway electric line had to move one and a half miles of track. [LS]

  • The Manistee & Northeastern begins daily service through Suttons Bay and Northport.  [BWC-2/90]

  • MCRR installs a manual block signal system on all its branch lines.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Vicksburg.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • By the end of the year, the PM is operating 3 steel ferries from Ludington.  All package break-bulk freighters had been disposed of by this date.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • January 14:  The oil house in Manistique, of the MM&N catches fire and burns to the ground.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • April 14:  Fire destroys the Lake Shore depot at LaPorte, Indiana.   The fire started in the Express office and spread to the rest of the building.  A new station was finally opened in 1910.  [LS]

  • June 1:  The Manistique, Marquette & Northern RR car ferry service between Northport and Manistique was abandoned.   [MDOT]

  • May 1:  Detroit, Flint & Saginaw Railway opens electric line from Saginaw to Bridgeport.  [MRRC]

  • June 25:  D&M prevails in a battle to cross the Michigan Central tracks in Cheboygan.  A supportive mob turned over an MCRR car which was in the way.  [HI]

  • June 26:  D&M reaches Cheboygan.  The road orders two new solid vestibule passenger trains, complete with 70-ton, high wheeled locomotives, for through service between Detroit and Mackinac Island, via boat from Cheboygan.  [HI/NK/MDOT/GW]

  • June 29:  Delray Connecting Railroad completes 2 mile line from Delray to Detroit Southern RR on Zug Island.  [MRRC]

  • June 30:  Erie & Michigan Railway and Navigation Co. incorporated.  [MDY33]

  • July 9:  A bad derailment occurred on the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic at a low spot called "Plumber's Sag" ten miles east of Mellen, WI.  Excessive speed while attempting to make the hill was blamed for the crash which killed Conductor Wilbur Curry.  [SOO-Sp/1996]

  • December:  Quinnesec & Western Railway completes line from Everett to Menominee River.  [MRRC]

  • Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Short Line Railway completes electric line from Springwells to Toledo.  [MRRC]

  • The Pere Marquette replaces individual passenger and freight depots with a brick combination depot in Mt. Pleasant.  [COHS-2/1995]

  • Lansing Manufacturers Railroad (owned by MCRR/LS&MS) opens 6 miles of line on the west side of Lansing.  [MRRC]

  • The Wyandotte Terminal railroad builds 10 miles of track to serve the Michigan Alkali Company in Wyandotte.  [EMR4]

  • The W&M builds a branch from Everett Jct. to Miscauno Island.  [MW]

  • GTW completes double tracking of their main line east of Lansing - [GTWHS 08/01]

  • The last 10 steam engines are produced in Jackson and rolled out of the Michigan Central Railroad's machine shops.  Employment at the facility is now down to 1,500.  [JCP]

  • The Michigan Central/Canada Southern builds a new brick depot on Grosse Isle, to handle cross river international traffic.  The depot, which was apparently the only island depot in Michigan, still exists today (2001) as a museum.  The route over the island was used prior to the establishment of the Detroit-Windsor railroad tunnel.  [MRP-Volume I]

  • The Lake Shore Elkhart yard "humps" are raised to a height of forty feet, to obtain the necessary speed for rolling cars into the yard.  The Elkhart twin-hump yards hold 2,000 cars, the 2nd largestin the United States (1st being the CB&Q Stickney Yard near Chicago).  [LS]

  • Pere Marquette river ferry Pere Marquette 14 launched.  [PMHS]

  • Coach shops are erected by Pere Marquette Railroad  in Saginaw.  It contains four tracks and has the capacity of eight cars.   [PMHS][PM45]

  • A collision on the Pere Marquette at Elmdale kills five and injures 25.  [AAD]

  • Ford Motor Company builds the Piquette Avenue Plant, at Piquette and Beaubien St. [BOM]

  • Due to congestion in the City of Detroit, an outer belt railroad line was built on the east side of the city.  This line opened up the vast corridor for industrial development just outside the city limits.  [BOM]

  • Crawford and Manistee River Railway abandons line 10 miles in length in Kalkaska County, from Sec. 13 T25N R5@ to Sec. 25 T26N R6W.   [MRRC]

  • February 1:  Delray Terminal Railroad completes 2 mile line from Delray to the Detroit Edison Co.  Active corporation as of 1992.   [MRRC]

  • February 10:  The Michigan Railroad Commission approves three interlockings in Cheboygan.  All three protect the D&M main line.  MCRR Tannery Spur and Paper Mill spurs are protected by half interlockers, with signals on the D&M and a gate across the crossing.  The 3rd crossing, across the MCRR McArthur dock track is also protected by a swing gate, but has a signal system on a pole (with two lower quadrant semaphores) and a ground switch stand.  [MSAI]

  • April 15:  Houghton-Hancock bridge is rammed by steamer ship which was enroute to Quincy Mining Shelter in Ripley.  Bridge out of service until 1906.  [SSJB]

  • April 17:  The Durand Union Depot is nearly destroyed by fire.  It is rebuilt and opened on 9/25/1905.   [MDOT] [MHM]

  • May 1:  Detroit adopts Standard Time (no longer on Sun Time).  [DWS]

  • May 2:  Detroit, Toledo & Ironton RR charted as a reorganization of the Detroit Southern Railroad.  [MDOT]

  • May 28:  Boyne City, Gaylord & Alpena RR incorporated, takes over operations from the Boyne City & Southeastern RR.   [MDY33]

  • June 21:  Pere Marquette RR gains control of the Toledo Railway & Terminal Co.  [PMHS]

  • June:  Wyandotte Terminal Railroad opens 1.5 mile line in Wyandotte.  [MRRC]

  • August 13:  As part of a statewide upgrading program, Michigan Central opens the "Miller Cut-off" between Kalamazoo and Lawton.   Amtrak now owns the segment.  [MT]

  • After August:  Marquette and Southeastern Railway adds line from Marrquette to Big Bay.  [MRRC]

  • September:  The LSMS moves the dispatchers for their Grand Rapids division from White Pigeon to Elkhart.  At this new location, they were under closer supervision of the assistant superintendent who was located at Elkhart.  [LS]

  • Michigan United Railway interurban extends its tracks from Lansing to the Pine Lake resort area (Lake Lansing) - [GTWHS 08/01]

  • The Lake Shore begins buying 100 lb. rail.  Up to this time, the heaviest rail on the route was 80 lbs. with some still at 65 lbs.  [LS]

  • Many of the Lake Shore's track cars have been changed from hand pump operation to gasoline operation.  [LS]

  • The Lake Shore moves locomotive headlights from the top of the smoke box to the front of the boiler.  [LS]

  • The Lake Shore discontinues the use of the "mail bag" as their insignia.  [LS]

  • The Pere Marquette abandons their 4-mile long branch line between Charlevoix and Ironton.  [GM]

  • Railroad depots in Michigan reach an all-time maximum of 1,776 buildings.   [MDOT]

  • Wisconsin & Michigan Railway completes a plush resort on Miscauno Island, in the Menominee River.  The railway's patrons were housed in the elegant hotel, which had telephones, marble baths, and electric lights. 

  • Grand Trunk builds it's Spier and Rohns Mission style depot in Battle Creek, and a depot in Clarkston.  [MDOT/IT-12/1974/MRP-I]

  • Detroit & Mackinac Railway. builds a line to the Black River Quarry near Black Lake.   [NK]

  • Boyne City, Gaylord and Alpena railroad reaches Gaylord (date/year unknown).  [MRRC]

  • Pere Marquette RR builds new shops complex at Wyoming MI.  [PMHS]

  • The Michigan Central double tracks it's main line at Wayne.  [MRC-11/1976]

  • The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada builds a large Richardsonian depot in Durand, designed by Spier and Rohns.  The depot is destroyed the same year it opened, but was rebuilt immediately.  [BOM]

  • Pere Marquette builds a new swing bridge at St. Joseph over the St. Joseph River.  [COHS-2/1998]

  • Packard and Cadillac (on Cass Avenue) plants are served by the Michigan Central Belt Line railroad; congestion along that line prompts  plans for development of an outer belt line railroad.  [DWS]

  • GTW electrifies the Port Huron - Sarnia tunnel, after several asphyxiations of train crews under steam operation.  [MRP-I]

  • The Delray Terminal Railway is built by the Detroit Edison Company, for the purpose of bringing in coal and other supplies to their Delray plant site and South Street coal yard.  To get to the Union Belt of Detroit, the railroad line passed over the "Price Trusteeship" trackage.  The short railroad also served Fort Wayne.  [EMR4]

  • The Packard automobile plant is built in Detroit near Milwaukee Jct.  [BOM]

  • The GTW builds a new stone and brick station at Battle Creek, which serves as itís Chicago Division general office. [MRF-2/1981]

  • January 1:  Manistee & Grand Rapids opens line from Peacock to Marion via Luther.  [MRRC]

  • January:  Grand Rapids Terminal Railroad completes 2+ mile line in Grand Rapids (became Grand Trunk).  [MRRC]

  • Winter:  An ice famine in the central United States, produces substantial business for the Detroit & Mackinac Ry.  During cutting season, four  solid trains of ice moved south daily.  [GW]

  • May 5:  The first train operates on the Kalamazoo, Lake Shore & Chicago, which uses the former Michigan Central line between Kalamazoo and Lawton.  This line had been sold to the LKS&C after the opening of Michigan Central's "Miller Cut-Off" (the present Amtrak line).  [MT]

  • October:  The Detroit River Tunnel Co. commences work on a railroad tunnel from Detroit to Windsor. [MDOT]

  • December:  The LS&MS, in cooperation with the Michigan Central, resumes through passenger trains between Detroit and Hillsdale.  These had been reduced when the DH&SW came under LS&MS control in 1881.  [MRC-7/1973]

  • December 27:  The Michigan Central purchases the Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw (CK&S). [MT]

  • Consumers Power builds private industrial road 5 miles, from Erwin to Croton Dam in Newaygo Co.  [MRRC]

  • Erie & Michigan Railway & Navigation Co. opens line from Alabaster to Alabaster Jct. (near Tawas City). [MRRC]

  • Traverse City, Leelanau and Manistique completes line from Hatchs to Northport in the Leelanau Peninsula.  [MRRC]

  • The Kalamazoo, Lake Shore and Chicago interurban line builts tracks from Kalamazoo through Lawton to Paw Paw.  The railroad used the old Michigan Central right-of-way (from Kalamazoo to Mattawan) for part of its route.  (The MCRR had recently relocated to a new right of way between these towns.  The road was operated as a steam road.  [AAD]

  • The Detroit Terminal Railroad builds from the Detroit River, in a northwesterly direction to a crossing of the GTW Mt. Clemens Subdivision near Mt. Elliott.  The line then continues to be built past MCRR's North Yard to Davison and Mound Roads.  A yard, engine house and general office is constructed on land west of Mound Road.  Over the next five years, tracks are laid to 1/2 mile west of Grand River Avenue.  [EMR4]

  • The Keewenaw Central standard gauge line is built from Calumet northeast to Manden and Lac LaBelle, serving mines at Mandan and Phoenix.  [MOD-6/1985]

  • Houghton-Hancock bridge is rebuilt and placed back into service with center pilot house.  [SSJB]

  • NOTE:  As of July, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern continue to use "left hand" operation of double track.  [LS]

  • The Steel  Trusts begin to purchase huge tracts of land with limestone deposits for future development.  [GW]

  • It was reported that signal crews from the LS&MS were preparing their Air Line track to change from "left hand" to "right hand" operation.  [LS]

  • Pere Marquette operates 2,393.09 miles of track at its peak this year.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • Kalamazoo, Lake Shore & Chicago (Fruit Belt) leased discontinued line from MCRR between Kalamazoo and Mattawan, and the PM-owned South Haven and Southeastern.   [IT-12/79]

  • Henry Ford acquires a 60-acre site in Highland Park for a new factory.  It is completed in 1914 and includes a moving assembly line.  [BOM]

  • The Pere Marquette RR began Detroit-Windsor car ferry operations.   [MDOT]

  • Michigan United Railways builds Kalamazoo's first interurban depot.  [IT-12/79]

  • Michigan Central opens new (current) depot in Wolverine in Cheboygan County.  [MHM]

  • Pere Marquette builds a new single track, steel swing span bridge over the St. Joseph River in St. Joseph.  [PM45]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Saranac.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Pere Marquette RR abandons line from Rodney to Chippewa Lake, 6 miles.  [PMHS/COHS-8/1997]

  • Congress passes the Hepburn ct which abolishes the practice of granting passes.  It also empowers the ICC to establish "just and reasonable railroad rates".  [STOV]

  • All-steel paassenger cars are placed in regular passenger service.  [STOV]

  • June 29:  D&M leases Alabaster Branch (4 miles) to Erie & Michigan Railway and Navigation Company.  Lease continues until January, 1948. [HI/MRRC]

  • July 20:  Michigan's worst railroad accident, a head-on collision of two Pere Marquette trains east of Salem due to misread train orders, kills 30 persons.   [MDOT]

  • December 4:  Pere Marquette RR relinquishes control of the Toledo Railway & Terminal Co.  [PMHS]

  • Ann Arbor RR builts a 100-room hotel in Frankfort, known as the Hotel Frontenac.  [MDOT]

  • The Keweenaw Central RR is completed to Mandan from Calumet, most northerly railroad in Michigan.   [MDOT]

  • The Michigan Railroad Commission is created.  [MDOT]

  • The Detroit & Mackinac Ry. begins construction of their branch from Alpena (Hillman Jct.) to Hillman.  [WK]

  • MM&N moves its round house and shops from South Manistique to Manistique itself, just north of the depot and office building on Deer Street.  The roundhouse is enlarged to six stalls. [AATHA-W/1990]

  • Grand Trunk builds depots in West Bay City, Kalamazoo and Port Huron.   [IT-12/79][IT-12/1974]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Pigeon.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • The Huron Portland Cement plant at Alpena begins production.  [GW]

  • The Pere Marquette builds a new wooden depot in Hemlock.  It is later moved to Saginaw to house a museum.  [MRP-I]

  • The PO&N builds a replacement depot at Cass City, a block structure which is almost identical in design to the wooden depot it replaced.  [IT-5/80]

  • The Wisconsin & Michigan acquire trackage rights on the Milwaukee Road between Quinnesec and Iron Mountain.  [MW]

  • Michigan Limestone & Chemical Co. opens a private line to its quarry near Rogers City.   [NK/MRRC]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad retires it's last narrow gauge locomotive, a 4-4-0 "D".  [PMHS]

  • The Packard Motor Company opens a plant on Chalmers Avenue.  [BOM]

  • The railroad car building business reaches it's peak in Detroit, employing over 9,000 men with an annual production value of $28 million.  Two big freight car plants build 100 cars a day in Detroit.  [HWC]

  • January 5: The car ferry Manistique was damaged in the Manistique port.  The boat made it back to port but sank at the dock off the Chicago Lumber Company.  She was raised four days later and taken to dry dock at South Chicago.  Ann Arbor No. 1 was chartered by the MM&N as her replacement.   [AATHA-F/1990]

  • January:  The New York Central announces that the color of the freight and passenger stations on all of its lines would be standardized.  At the time, there was no uniform color and it was said there were about 10 colors in use on various lines.  [LS]

  • February 28:  First trip through the St. Clair Tunnel with electric locomotives takes place with a 700-ton train.  Steam operation through the bore ended on May 17, 1908.    [MDOT]

  • June:  Pere Marquette's depot at South Lyon is destroyed by fire.  [MHM/CB]

  • September:  Manistque & Northern sells MM&N Car Ferry #1 to the Grand Trunk for service between Grand Haven and Milwaukee.  It was renamed the Milwaukee..  The M&N contracted with the Ann Arbor Railroad for car ferry service.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • October 14:  Tragic forest fire kills 13 women and children in Metz.  D&M is credited with trying to save the lives ot villagers.  [HI]  [GW] lists this date as October 18th.

  • SNAPSHOT:  December 13:  Michigan Central record of movement of trains on the Air Line Division, Sunday December 13, 1908: 11 eastbound freights and 2 westbound moves. (Note... the MCRR ran the Air Line as an eastbound freight main between Niles and Jackson  Westbound moves used the regular main line via Kalamazoo.)  There were two eastbound and two westbound LS&MS trains between Jackson and Haires, apparently passenger trains. One arrived in Jackson in the morning and left with the same power in the evening, the other departed in the morning and the power returned in the evening.

  • Houghton County Traction Co. reaches Mohawk, the full extent of its route.  [SSJB]

  • Garden Bay Railroad begins operation as a private logging road in the Garden Peninsula.  Becomes a common carrier route in 1914.  [MSL]

  • The W&M build their own track between Quinnesec and Iron Mountain.  [MW]

  • Grand Trunk builds a 42-stall roundhouse at Durand, at the time the state's largest and one of the few completely circular roundhouses in the nation.  [MDOT]

  • The Calumet & Hecla Railroad begins standard gauging its line.  [MOD-6/1985]

  • New York Central operated a "uniform train", which made semi-annual trips over the line.  It stoped at all stations to measure the station agents, conductors and all other employees who wanted to obtain new uniforms.  The uniforms were then made up in New York and sent out to the employees.  [LS]

  • The Pigeon depot was constructed and served two railroad lines. the Pontiac, Oxford and Port Austin Railroad and the Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron Railroad.  [MHM]

  • Detroit Terminal Railroad may have been built or begun this year.

  • The Pere Marquette depot at Carleton is destroyed by fire.  It is replaced with a new L-shaped structure which survived into the early 1970's.  [MRC-3/1981]

  • The Pere Marquette builds a new, 7-stall roundhouse at Boardman Yard in Traverse City.  The turntable is 65 feet long.  [PM45]

  • February:  In what was one of the original examples of "wireless train communications", the Lake Shore transmitted a telegraph message between a train and the stations at Cleveland, Toledo, Elkhart and Chicago.  In Elkhart, a line was installed between the station and an antenna on the  Standard Hotel in Elkhart.  On the train, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company installed receiving equipment in the  buffet car of a special train.  The first message was received when the train was 12 miles from Elkhart. [LS]

  • Early:  The Soo Line cuts back passenger service on the Gogebic branch between Bessemer, MI and Mellon, WI from three round trips to two.  [SOO-Sp/1996]

  • May 29:  "Ann Arbor Carferry No. 4" capsizes on its side at Manistique while being improperly loaded with 24 cars of iron ore.  There was no loss of life.  It was righted and sent to Milwaukee for drydocking and repairs.  It would not return until September 27.   [MDOT/AATHA-F/1990]

  • Fall:  Keweenaw Central builds a new station at Copper City.  [MCR/09]

  • December 1:  Mason and Oceana Railroad abandons 3' gauge lines from Maple to Crystal Valley, via Buttersville.  [MRRC]

  • December 31:  High point of Michigan steam railroad mileage reaches 9,059 road miles in operation at the end of the year;  employment of steam lines was 81,695.   [MDOT]

  • Pere Marquette's principal resort train to northwestern Michigan "The Resort Special," is inaugurated.    [MDOT]

  • Manistee & North Eastern builds line from Kaleva to Grayling.  [PMHS]

  • The Manistique & Lake Superior builds a branch from Shingleton to Evelyn (Doty) for a connection with the Munising Railroad (part of the LS&I).  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • Following sale to the MCRR, the Detroit Belt Line Railroad builds an additional 2 miles of track on the east side of Detroit.  [EMR4]

  • The E&LS extends its Woodlawn Branch and lays branches off the main line at Ralph.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • The Copper Range builds a branch line to Senter, near dollar Bay, where the E. I. DuPont De Nemours Powder Co. had constructed a plant to manufactur explosives on a large scale. [CRH]

  • Construction begins on Ford Motor's Highland Park Plant on Woodward Avenue.  Operation starts in 1910; 30 acre site built out by 1920.  [DWS]

  • Fourteen passenger and two "fast mail" trains served Adrian each day on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern.  In the same town, the Wabash approached the Lake Shore in volume of passenger traffic and exceeded it in freight tonnage.  [AAD]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Ionia.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Wolverine.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • New union depot, built by the GTW, opens in South Lyon to replace previous building destroyed by fire.  The depot has a notable conical roof, and serves the Pere Marquette and Grand Trunk Railroads.  [DJB]

  • Small forest fires plague the Upper Peninsula.  Railroads pitch in to put out the fire.  (Year might be 1910 instead.)  [SOO-10/1991]

  • The Boyne City, Gaylord and Alpena Railroad carries 46,300 passengers and 441,282 tons of freight between Boyne City and Gaylord this year.  82% of the freight is in forest products.  [AAD]