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Monday, December 30, 2013

Short Line Railroad Fun

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.

Great Lakes Central RR engine

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.

Wexford Sand Company

If there's one thing lower Michigan has plenty of, it's sand!

Wexford Sand Company

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.

SKOL engine

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.

railroad tracks in snow

See Today's Good Views for a Marquette Rail engine
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rose AKA Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

Very cool. Even I have to admit that there is something romantic about the rails, the engines, the wheeled barges of our past ~ and present.

vanilla said...

Guess there are a lot more railroads than many people realize.

Secondary Roads said...

A very interesting post. I remember when steam locomotives ruled the tracks. What awesome machines they were.

Ann said...

the railroad that runs through the town I live in is the Bessemer and Lake Erie. I was curious how long it was so I had to look it up. From what I read it looks like its 139 miles.

The Furry Gnome said...

Very interesting. Someday I want to write something on all the old abandoned railways of southern Ontario. Happy New Year Joan; keep up the writing.

John Sealander said...

I've always liked short line railroads. There are still quite a few out there too. Nice paint job on the SKOL engine. This one looks like a GP30

Unknown said...

Check out ASLRRA.org
There are 550+ Shortline terminal and switching railroads in North America.