Timeline - 1868

  • STATISTIC: Miles of railroads in operations this year: 1,299.  Miles built this year 36. [MRC/72]

  • January 16:  A refridgerator car is patented by William Davis, a Detroit fish dealer.  [MT]

  • February 28:  Canada Southern Railway incorporated in the Dominion of Canada.  [MDY33]

  • June:  The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada operates passenger trains between Toronto and Detroit, crossing the border at Port Huron, then down what is now known as the Mt. Clemens subdivision to Milwaukee Jct. The road stopped at the depot at the Junction, and then went on to the MCRR Third Street station via Grand Trunk Junction (now West Detroit). [CRP1]

  • July 4:  Grand River Valley Railroad opens line from Rives Jct. (north of Jackson) to Eaton Rapids.  [MCR-75/MRRC]

  • Autumn:  The Grand River Valley extends its line from Eaton Rapids to Charlotte.  [MCR-75]

  • October 26:  The Flint & Pere Marquette open their line from Midland to Averills.  [MCR-75]

  • October:  The Hecla & Torch Lake complete their line from Hecla to Torch Lake Incline.  [MCR-75]

  • November 23:  The Kalamazoo, Allegan & Grand Rapids Railroad reaches Allegan from Kalamazoo.  [MCR-75]

  • December:  The Ionia & Lansing Railroad reaches an agreement with the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw reach an agreement which allows the I&L to use JL&S track between Michigan Avenue and Franklin Street, in Lansing.  The agreement also allowed the I&L to rent JL&S depots at North Lansing and Middletown (near Michigan Avenue).  [I&L]


  • E. P. Cambell and Co. builds 1 mile mile railway from mill to dock in Alpena. [MRRC]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette opens their line from Midland to Averill.  [PM45]

  • William Davis, of Detroit, receives patent for an "icebox on wheels", a refridgerator car he uses to ship fruit and fish by rail.  [DWS]

  • Eli H. Janney receives patent for the automatic rail car coupler, which begins to replace the dangerous link-and-pin coupler.  [STOV]

  • The Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana begins using the "Baker patent car warmer" which circulated salted water through pipes underneath coach seats.  [AAD]

  • Railway conductors organize into a national union.  [STOV]

  • Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee (GTW) builds depot in Grand Haven.  Depot continues to exist as of 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette begin running into Detroit via trackage rights on the Grand Trunk between Holly and downtown.  This lasted until 1872 when the F&PM began using the MCRR between Wayne Jct. and downtown.  [PM45]

  • The Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee builds a new depot in Ionia to replace an older 1857 version.  The new depot is built just west of the DL&LM diamond.  [I&L]

  • The Robinson, Russell & Company, a freight car manufacturer founded in 1854, is merged into the Detroit Car & Manufacturing company.  Their works are located at the foot of Beaubien Street.  [HWC]

 

 Timeline Key:

  • Railroad event in Michigan
  • Event relating to mining
  • Event related to car ferries
  • Event outside of Michigan
  • Improvement in Technology
  • Railroad built or extended
  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed
  • Economic panic or depression