Decline in Michigan railroads begins...

Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum




  • 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




Previous Year


Next Year


1890 - 1919 Menu


  • May 14:  The Pennsylvania begins running regular freight and passenger trains to Detroit by way of its own route from Carleton to Detroit.  [RA-5/19/1923]  Note: Possible conflict with 1922 entry.

  • June 5:  The Flint Belt Railroad Co. is placed into operation in and around Flint, MI.  The purpose of the line is to serve manufacturing industries in Flint and to provide a cut-off by which certain PM trains may be operated around the congested portion of the city.  The road was financed the operated by the PM.  [PM45]

  • June 19:  Inbound Shore Line interurbans turn around at Detroit's east city limits (the Wayburn Loop), no longer going to the downtown terminal.  This is the first DUR abandonment.  [EMR4]

  • July 5:  Knights Templar Grand Commandery special train derailed at Durand, killing 5 persons.   [MDOT]

  • August 17:  The Munising, Marquette and South Eastern Railway (with 140 miles of main line) merged with the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway Co. (with main line mileage of 33 miles.  [MRC-10/1987]

    September 21:  A new interlocking plant at Charlotte is inspected and approved for operation.  It is a small, General Railway Signal Co. floor model electric  interlocking machine which is operated by the GTW from inside their depot.  Archives suggest that the crossing was a stop and proceed crossing up to this time.  [MSAI]

    Fall:  The Michigan Central Railroad builds an 8-stall, reinforced concrete roundhouse, boiler house, office building and sanding facilities at Grand Rapids at a cost of $100,000.  [RA-7/21/1923]

    October 1:  DT&I completes the Dearborn to D&I Junction branch.    [IT-2/80]

  • Muskegon Railway and Navigation Co. opens 10 miles of track in Muskegon.  (Transferred to GTW in 1955).  [MRRC]

  • Michigan Central double tracks its branch from Jackson to Rives Junction.  [MSAI]

  • Fruit Belt (Kalamazoo, Lake Shore and Chicago) ceases operations between Paw Paw and Kalamazoo.  [IT-12/79/AAD]

  • Remnents of the Detroit & Mackinac Jackson Branch was removed between Hurst and La Rocque.  [NK]

  • Pere Marquette begins massive upgrading of Wyoming Yard.  This includes a new 42 stall roundhouse with a 115 feet long turntable.  [PM45]

  • SNAPSHOT:  The Detroit & Mackinac Railway has about 1,500 railroad cars under ownership.  The D&M Transportation Department is under the charge of C. A. Pinkerton Sr., the Superintendent of Transportation.  The D&M also employs 40 station agents along their line.  [HSE-Fall/2003]

  • Pere Marquette builds a 3-chute, 300-ton capacity coal dock at Ottawa Yard, just north of Toledo.  [PM45]

  • As a result of the City of Saginaw's failure to protect Pere Marquette property during a strike in 1922, much of the railroad's shop operations were transferred to Wyoming Yard in Grand Rapids.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • Pere Marquette closes ex-Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western shops in Ionia.  [PMHS]

  • The Pennsylvania Railroad builds six miles of belt line trackage in Springwells (East Dearborn) to the Ford plant in Highland Park.  [EMR4]

  • The Detroit and Mackinac is authorized by the ICC to construct an extension 12 miles in length from its Avery Branch at Alpena, Michigan to Rockport.  The Boyne City, Gaylord & Alpena, which had proposed construction of a line between the same towns and over nearly the same route, has withdrawn its application.  The main object of the proposed line is to reach the plant of the Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company, at Rockport, on the Shore of Lake Huron.  [RA-7/14/02]

  • The first roller bearing is applied to the axles of gasoline powered motor cars.  Some drive axles on steam engines and roller bearings are added to hopper and box cars.  [SAM]