Railroad: Detroit United Railway Company

The Detroit United Railway was operated from 1901 until 1934. The DUR acquired for than a dozen interurban and street railway companies reaching from Detroit as Flint, Jackson Port Huron and Toledo, and operated them as a system. As early as 1922, the company began selling portions of their operation to the City of Detroit Department of Street Railways ( DSR), as well as to the City of Royal Oak and Pontiac. The remainder were abandoned between 1925 and 1934. [MRL]


VariousDetroit United Railway → Cities of Detroit, Royal Oak and Pontiac

Consolidated lines: In 1901 (see list)

Became: Eastern Michigan Railways in 1928.

Reference: [MRRC]


DUR Farmington Car BarnPhoto Info/Credit: This is an early photo of the DUR car barn in Farmington, Michigan. [ALC] The map at the bottom of the page shows the DUR lines in Michigan.

This was an electric line. The following lines were consolidated into the Detroit United [MRRC]:

  • Detroit Citizens Street Railway - 1900
  • Detroit, Fort Wayne & Belle Isle - 1900
  • Detroit Suburban - 1900
  • Detroit Electric - 1900
  • Wyandotte & Detroit River - 1901
  • Detroit & Northwestern - 1901
  • Detroit & Pontiac Ry. - 1901
  • Detroit & Port Huron Shore Line - 1901
  • Detroit & Flint - 1901
  • Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Short Line - 1906
  • Detroit, Almont & Northern - 1913
  • Highland Park & Royal Oak - 1916

Time Line

1902: DUR lines are powered by the following generating stations:

  • Stations A and B - powers downtown Detroit, and south to Trenton.
  • Station D - Farmington Junction (DC) - powers from Detroit limits to Farmington and from there north to Pontiac
  • Station E - Birmingham (DC) - powers from Royal Oak to Pontiac
  • Station F - (DC) Pontiac - 
  • Station G - Rochester (AD/DC) - powers Big Beaver to Rochester, Ortonville and Romeo.
  • Atlas Substation - Atlas (near Goodrich) - powers Ortonville north to Flint
  • Oxford Booster - (from Station G) - powers Lake Orion to Ortonville
  • Ecorse Storage Battery - powers from southwest Detroit to Trenton

1915: Fifteen passengers in a DUR train were killed in a collission with a DT&I train at Delray. See article link below.

December 16, 1916. The Detroit United Railway Sells to Pennsylvania. Steam railroad buys land at West Congress and sixth streets.

Through its publicity agent, D. B. Van Zant, announcement was made last night by the Detroit United lines that its freight depot at the foot of Sixth Street had been sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The rumor in existence for several weeks that the Pennsylvania was negotiating with the DUR was confirmed after the traction company had fully completed its negotiations for a new freight terminal between St. Aubin and Chene and Monroe and Macomb adjacent and in connection with its car repair shops which are being abandoned with the enlargement of the Highland Park shops.

In removing its freight terminal from the west side of Woodward Avenue to the east, the street railway company believes it is going to have a more central location. The area for freight purposes is greatly enlarged by the shift from one side of the city to the other because in the move, the company will have 2 1/2 blocks in which to carry out its growing business. [DFP-1916-1216]

1920. The Detroit United Railway electric lines have five sets of team tracks which hold 178 cars and 3 freight houses. [DWT-1920]


Books and Articles:


Map of the DUR Interurban Lines