Railroad: Traverse City, Leelanau and Manistique railroad


Built → Traverse City Leelanau & Manistique RR → Leelanau Transit Company (leased to  M&NE)


Operated: 18 Years (including 1 bankruptcy)

Used M&NE track from Traverse City to Hatch's crossing.

Built: 1901 - Hatch's to Northport [MCR-1903 reports June 28, 1903 as date of operation.]

Car Ferry: 1903 until 1908, Northport to Manistique in the Upper Peninsula

Foreclosed: 1907 - Union Trust Company, name change.

Sold: 1919 - rail assets to Leelanau Transit Company (leased to Manistee & Northeastern)

Reference: [MRRC]


The Traverse City, Leelanau and Manistique railroad completed a line from Hatch's (just northwest of Traverse City) to Northport, in the Leelanau peninsula. The line used trackage rights on the Manistee & Northeastern (M&NE) from Hatch's to Traverse City.

The TL&M operated a rail car ferry, the Manistique, beginning in October, 1903. Almost immediately, the road fell into financial distress and was put in receivership. The receiver assigned the road to the leadership of the Manistee & Northeastern. Car ferry sailings were episodic until regular service was reestablished in 1906 between Northport and Manistique.


Time Line

1903. Completed and in operation north of Hatch's Crossing on Jue 28, 1903. [MCR-1903]

January, 1908.The Manistique sank in Manistique harbor. It was temporarily replaced by an Ann Arbor car ferry but the ferry operation was discontinued in 1908 and the Manstique sold. Without car ferry service, the railroad limped along with financial losses each year.

1919. Branch line was purchased by local interests and leased to the Manistee & Northeastern. [FL] The line was reorganized due to financial problems several times. The assets were sold to the Leelanau Transit company in 1919 and immediately leased to the Manistee & Northeastern railroad.

The M&NE continued to operate the branch until the railroad was leased to the Chesapeake & Ohio in 1955.

After 1955. The railroad was operated from time to time as a tourist passenger road.