I was doing assignments today and stopped at a railroad crossing (no gates, just a stop sign), and was shocked to find a beautifully painted GP35 engine sitting just about 200 feet away, fired up, with headlights on. It wasn't moving, so I crossed the tracks and stopped to take some pictures.
I'd never heard of the Great Lakes Central Railroad. Huh. Well, it used to be the Tuscola & Saginaw Bay RR, but was purchased and renamed in 2006. The line runs from Ann Arbor to Petoskey, with a spur to this location in Wexford County, The Wexford Sand Company. They are the longest short line in Michigan with 424 miles of track.
If there's one thing lower Michigan has plenty of, it's sand!
While we are on the subject of short rail lines, here's one I encountered in Oklahoma, SKOL, which stands for South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad. They have 511 miles of track.
Just for comparison, the short line that runs in back of my house, Marquette Rail, has only 126 miles of track.
Have you wondered what trains do in winter when there is about six inches of snow? They drive right through! The GLC train pulled away from the sand company while I was down the road. I took a picture of the fresh "cut," as I went back by.
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