Railroad: Chicago, Detroit and Canada Grand Trunk Junction Rail Road Company, The

BuiltChicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction Railroad → Grand Trunk Railway of Canada (later GTW)

Built: 1859 from Grand Trunk Junction (West Detroit) to Fort Gratiot (Port Huron)

Operated for 

Became: Grand Trunk Ry. of Canada in 1859 and then GTW in 1928

Reference: [MRRC]


This was a railroad construction corporation. It has one of the longest names of any Michigan railroad.

This was the third road opened between Detroit and the east, coming via Portland, Main through the New England states, Canada and Port Huron.

Until about 1882, the main station in Detroit for this railroad appears to have been at Woodward Avenue.

Time Line

1958. March 27. The books of subscription to the capital of the CD&CGTJ railroad will be opened at the city of Detroit, at the office of the Michigan Insurance Company on Saturday, the 27th of March instant, at 9 o'clock a.m. [DFP-1858-0327]

1859. September. Thirty rivetters are wanted for immediate employment on the CD&CGTJ railroad. From one dollar and a quarter to one dollar and three-quarters will be paid per day, or work by the piece is preferred. Apply at the Detroit & Milwaukee dock, at the foot of Hastings street. [DFP-1859-0909]

1859. November. The road is opened from Grand Trunk Junction (also known as West Detroit or Grand Junction) to Fort Gratiot (near Port Huron) for 59 miles. There were 30 miles of sidings and spurs. Standard gauge. [MCR-1903]

1859. The roads installed a draw bridge at Port Huron, 122 feet six inches in length. It is a swing draw made of iron and stone, 23 meet above water. The river has a depth of 20 feet. Swung by hand power. Trains are signaled to proceed with semaphores. [MCR-1903]

1859. The railroad begins using the Michigan Central Third Street depot until 1882. This railroad had positive relations with the Michigan Central for traffic continuing west to Chicago. It interchanged with the MC at Detroit Junction (West Detroit). [GTWHS-2020-Sum]

1865. Shareholders elect new Board members including John Brooks and Samuel Ward (of Boston), C.J. Brydges, James Ferrier and William Molson (of Montreal), and Lewiston Moffatt (of Toronto and Robert McClelland (of Detroit). Brooks was elected President and Ward Secretary.

1881. The railroad connects with the Wabash railroad at West Detroit. [GTWHS-2020-Sum]

1882. February. The railroad discontinues using the MC depot in Detroit, moving to their own depot at Woodward Avenue. In October, their freight business was moved to the DGH&M depot on the river. [GTWHS-2020-Sum]

1902. Top five categories of freight carried are: Coal (16%), Lumber (10%), Stone (6%), Grain (6%) and Hay (6%). This railway company handles its own express business. They have 57 miles of wire owned by the GT railway, and 333 miles owned by Western Union. Sleeping cars provided b the Pullman Palace Car Company.

1903. SNAPSHOT: The Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction railroad employed 20 engineers and firemen, 10 conductors, and 16 brakemen. They also employed 4 baggagemen, 28 laborers, 30 yardmen and 162 others. The railroad had 67 miles of telegraph wire, and hosted 332 miles of wire from the Western Union Telegraph Co. [MCR-1904]


The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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