Timeline - 1973

  • January: The GTW's Taylor Street freight house in Chicago, adjacent to the Dearborn Street Station, is torn down.  It was the last of the three downtown GTW freight houses in Chicago. [MRC-7/1973]

  • March 2: Copper Range Railroad abandons all remaining operations. [MRRC]

  • March 13: Governor Milliken issues an executive order reorganizing the State Highway Department giving it jurisdiction over all state transportation programs. The department's responsibility was expanded to include aeronautics, railroads, buses, water transportation and port development. [MDOT]

  • March 31: The Copper Range Railroad abandons its entire line of railroad. The rail is pulled up in the Spring of 1974. [CRAR/CRH]

  • March: Penn Central abandons 10 miles of the "Old Road" from the west side of Adrian to Clayton. [GM] See also

  • The ICC gives permission to abandon the Cadillac and Lake City Railway between station 18352 and the end of the Falmouth branch in Clam Union Township (the unincorporated community of Falmouth), 8.32 miles. [MRC-11/1972]

  • June 29: The last passenger train, No. 999 (a Detroit-Pontiac commuter train), leaves the Brush Street Depot in Detroit.  Because tracks had been removed from the depot yard to make way for the Renaissance Center, passengers had to walk 1 1/2 blocks from the depot concourse to board it.  The Brush Street station was 106 years old, built in 1867. [MRC-8/1973]

  • Mid: The ICC approves the abandonment of Penn Central trackage between Kalamazoo and South Haven, a distance of 37.45 miles. [MRC-8/1973]

  • August: The C&O station at Erie, Michigan was destroyed by fire. [MRC-12/1973]

  • Summer: The DSS&A Calumet passenger station is sold to a Detroit businessman. This station was once the headquarters for the Mineral Range Railroad. [MRC-9/1973]

  • September 12: The GTW dedicates a 76.8 mile microwave network, connecting Detroit, Pontiac and Port Huron. The system eliminates the need for wire-on-pole communications along the railroad right of way. [MRC-10/1973]

  • Fall: The Penn Central completes a mile mile long spur to serve Detroit Edison's new Monroe Power Plant. [MRC-12/1973]

  • October 15: Ann Arbor RR enters into bankruptcy. [MDOT]


  • According to MPSC Commissioner William R. Ralls, 21 railroads in Michigan are seeking to abandon 1,960 miles of track - 29% of the state's total trackage. [MRC-7/1973]

  • Ann Arbor razes office at Durand (a couple of blocks north of the GTW diamond). A crossover is being installed in its place. [IT-2/1974]

  • The Ann Arbor removes their main line from Pittsburgh Road (now known as "Pitt") south of Durand, to a point north of the diamond. AA trains now use the GTW line on the west side of the depot, and the track on the east side of the depot is removed, as well as the grade crossing. [CW]

  • The Chicago & Northwestern purchases a fleet of high-hood Alco Century 628 locomotives, purchased second-hand from the Norfolk & Western. These units retire the C&NW's Fairbanks-Morse H16-66 "Baby Train Masters" on the Upper Peninsula lines. [R&R-3/1980]

  • Within a few weeks of tearing down C&O's Trowbridge Tower in East Lansing, a derailment occured at the tower's former location. Had the tower been standing, it would have been demolished by the derailment. [MRC-7/1973]

  • The first enclosed tri-level autorack car is introduced. [SAM]

  • D&M removes the Au Gres Branch, from Omer to Au Gres (removal estimated between 1971 and 1973. Not confirmed by another source. [DB]

  • Penn Central discontinues operations on the Kalamazoo-South Haven branch. [IT-12/79]

  • Penn Central removes the remainder of CK&S-former Michigan (interurban) Railroad track. [NYC-2/1989]

  • The ICC approves the abandoment of the C&O line from Edmore to Lakeview, 12.46 miles. [MRC-4/1973]

  • The ICC approves the abandonment of the Penn Central between Fort Wayne Jct. and Bankers. They also approved abandonment of 5.4 miles between Horton and Haires, and 38.8 miles between Byron Center and Wentworth, MI. [MRC-4/1973]

  • The ICC approves the abandonment of 6.26 miles of track between Parchland and Richland and Doster, on the former CK&S. [MRC-3/1973]

  • The ICC approves the abandonment of 7.07 miles of the Penn Central from Hillsdale to North Adams. [MRC-2/1973]


 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