Railroads tough it out during the depression...

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.


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1920 - 1949 Menu


  • Depression continues.

  • Railroads collectively operate at a financial deficit.  [STOV]

  • January 8:  Arrangements are made with the Mineral Range Railroad (DSS&A) to operate jointly between Hancock and Calumet, with a joint agency in Calumet.  This continues for a short time until May 15, 1934 when the roads resume using separate lines.  [CRH]

  • April 2:  The Pennsylvania and Wabash Railroads inaugurate new fast, through passenger trains from Chicago to Detroit via Ft, Wayne, IN.  The trains are given a running time of 4 hours, 45 minutes.  [MDOT]

  • July 1:  The T&W ends passenger service to Pioneer, Ohio.  [EMR4]

  • July 17:  Grand Trunk moves car ferry operations from Grand Haven to Muskegon, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Railroad.   Until this time, a carferry had not called Muskegon home since the Pere Marquette left in 1906.   [GTWHS-5/1997/MDOT]  Note:  MDOT shows date as September.

  • August 4:  The DT&I removes their eastbound diamond at Carelton, leaving one track to cross the PM at that location.  [MSAI]

  • September 1:  Type AB air brakes are now required on all cars built.  [SAM]

  • September 1:  T&W ends passenger service to Adrian.  (Note:  The Blissfield newspaper suggests an earlier date).  [EMR4]

    September 17:  The Grand Trunk Western moves their Lake Michigan railroad car ferry terminal from Grand Haven to Muskegon.  [MT]

  • Pere Marquette RR abandons line from Mears to Pentwater, 7.37 miles.   [PMHS/COHS-8/1997]

  • Pere Marquette RR abandons line from Otter Lake to Otisville, 4.23 miles.   [PMHS/COHS-8/1997]

  • Pere Marquette RR abandons line from Port Austin to Grindstone City.   [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette RR abandons line from Haynor to Stanton, 19.46 miles, and from Stanton to Stanton Jct.[I&L]   [PMHS/COHS-8/1997]

  • The former DT&M, between Marshall and Dundee is abandoned.  [Adrian Daily Telegram, 6/26/1975]

  • The Michigan Central abandons 5.2 miles of the Michigan Air Line Branch, from Air Line Jct. westward to Niles.  [GB]

  • The MC removes the line between Mount Forrest and Bentley, in Bay/Arenac Counties.  [GM]

  • Pere Marquette ferry service between Port Huron and Sarnia ends.  [AB]

  • The Copper Range Railroad water tank at Redridge Jct. is retired from operation. [CRH]

  • The coded track circuit is developed by the Union Switch & Signal Company.  Similiar to the automatic block system, the circuit uses pulses instead of steady state current flow.  [SAM]

  • Billboard reefers are outlawed as a violation of anti-trust laws.  By 1938, they are virtually gone.  [SAM]

  • Type "E" or "F" couplers are required on all new rail cars.  [SAM]