Great railroads merge before the big fall...

Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum


1960 - 1969


  • Railroad event or related event in Michigan

  • Important non-railroad event in Michigan or outside.

  • Improvement in Technology         Mining.

  • Railroad built or extended

  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed

  • Economic panic or depression.     Car ferries.


Info Sources

























  • May (or March)  27:  Last regularly-scheduled steam-powered passenger train on a major U.S. railroad, runs from Durand to Detroit over the Grand Trunk Western.  [MDOT] [MHM]

  • August:  NYC and DT&I remove interlocking tower in Adrian, replacing it with stop boards.  The tower had been unmanned since 1931.  [MSAI]

  • December 16:  The Senter Plant of the Atlas Powder Co. discontinues operations and dismantles their plant.  This results in a decrease in Copper Range Railroad revenue of 5%.  [CRAR]

  • December 31:  Michigan Railroad Mileage Totaled 6,640 miles - 12/31/1960 - [MDOT]

  • Grand Trunk Western drops passenger service between Durand and Muskegon, via Grand Rapids - 1960 - [MDOT]

  • E&LS closes their agents office in Escanaba.   [ELSW]

  • The New York Central is down to just one train per day to Mackinaw City, arriving at 4:30 p.m.  A 2nd train, the Timberliner" sill runs on summer weekends.  [MRC-3/90]

  • The Soo Line runs just a tri-weekly mixed train between Gladstone (Escanaba) and Sault Ste. Marie.  [MRC-3/90]

  • Current Houghton-Hancock vehicle/railroad bridge is completed.  [DWS]

  • CK&S discontinues operation from Doster to Hooper.  [NYC-2/1989]

  • Unit trains begin to haul western coal to eastern markets.  [STOV]

  • February 27:  Ann Arbor RR comes under the control of the DT&I.  [IT-2/80]

  • May 20:  Grand Trunk Western's steam locomotive #5632 donated to the City of Durand.  [MDOT]

  • July 1:  The Hoboes of America opened their international convention in Kalamazoo, many of them making the trip by rail. [MT]

  • September 4:  "The Northern Arrow" of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Michigan's last summer-only passenger train service, makes final trip from Mackinaw City.  [MDOT/R&LHS-Summer2000]]

  • East Jordan & Southern Railroad abandons line from East Jordan to Bellaire.  [MRRC]

  • Soo Line abandons former DSS&A line from Sault Ste. Marie to Raco Jct. where the Department of Defence had a Bomarc base. [IT-5/81]

  • Oxford Interlocking Tower closed, at the intersection of the NYC Bay City Branch and the GTW Cass City sub.  The tower's call sign was "XN".  [CW]

  • The Vasser Interlocking Tower closed, at the intersection of the NYC Bay City Branch and the Pere Marquette.   [CW]

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Railway car ferries transported 132,000 railroad cars, 54,000 automobiles and 153,000 passengers cross-lake between Ludington and Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee, WI this year.   [MDOT]

  • LS&I constructs tracks to serve the Empire Mine, which is situated on the old Volunteer Mine property at Palmer, Michigan.  [MRC-10/1987]

  • January:  WB Tower in Adrian is closed following automation.  It guarded the crossing of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern (NYC) and the Wabash from 1981 to 1960.  [MSAI]

  • April 14:  The Copper Range Houghton freight station is destroyed by fire. [CRH]

  • Labor Day:  The New York Central ends all Mackinaw passenger operations.  They now runn Budd cars only between Detroit and Bay City.  (Note:  The Timberliner apparently continued on summer weekends until the following year).  [MRC-3/90]

  • The New York Central abandons its former "Old Road" line between Hudson and Osseo, about 11 miles.  This is the first abandonment of the Old Road to take place.  [GM]

  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (which served Detroit with passenger trains) is merged into the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.  [STOV]

  • The New York Central train to Mackinaw City is now a Budd car, running during daylight.  Food service was a box lunch put on board the "Beeliner" in Standish in both directions.  [MRC-3/90]

  • March 30:  The Detroit & Mackinac Ry. receives authorization from the Michigan Railroad Commission to close the Rogers City station agency.  [MA]

  • April:  LS&I sells unused Big Bay branch line (23.74 miles) to the Marquette & Huron Mountain Railroad Company.  [MRC-10/1987]

  • August 31:  Detroit, Toledo & Ironton RR assumes management of the Ann Arbor Railroad.  [MDOT]

  • September 3:  The NYC Timberliner makes its last run between Detroit and Mackinaw City.  [MRC-4/1983]

  • September:  NYC Dearborn Passenger Station is torn down.  [DPG]

  • New York Central discontinues "Beeliner" service between Detroit and Bay City.  [MDOT]

  • Cadillac & Lake City purcdhases Missaukee Jct. to Lake City/Falmouth line from Penndel Co. [MRRC]

  • March:  All passenger service ends on the Detroit to Bay City branch of the New York Central.  [MRC-3/90]

  • June 20:  Cadillac & Lake City Railway begins operations on the former PRR Misaukee branch from Missaukee Jct. to Lake City and Falmouth, 21 miles, using an 0-4-0T steam locomotive.   [MDOT/MRF-4/90]

  • June 30:  Copper Range Railroad lines from Atlas to Senter, Lake Linden Jct. to Calumet, Calumet Jct. to Laurium, Calumet Jct. to Nichols, and Mohawk to Gay are abandoned.  CR also discontinues operations over the Keweenaw Central Railroad from Nichols to Fulton, which is a leased line.  This is a 33% reduction in main and branch line mileage for the CR.  [CRAR]

  • October 16:  Wabash Railroad and Nickel Plate Road are leased to the Norfolk & Western system.   N&W begins serving Michigan.  [MDOT]

  • U.S. Supreme Court decides that most freight train and yard firemen should be eliminated.  [STOV]

  • Michigan's logging-railroad era officially ends when the last log train is rolled westward out of Sunrise Landing to Cusino and Marquette, on the LS&I.  [MH-11/1993]

  • December 23:  DT&I abandons its Petersburg Junction-Lambertville route to Toledo, in favor of trackage rights over the Ann Arbor RR.   [IT-2/80]

  • DSS&A depot at Chassell is closed.  [SOO-10/1991]

  • The D&M adds 2,000 feet of yard tracks at it's Big Cut quarry near Millersburg.  [DMAR-1965]

  • There are 6,408 miles of railroad in Michigan.  [STOV]

  • February 4: Lucius Breebe, well known rail photographer and author, dies. [MRF-3/1981]
  • October 29:  Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. passenger train service between Grand Rapids and Traverse City is discontinued.   [MDOT]

  • Work begins on a 3-year project to build a new 36-track classification yard on the DT&I at Flat Rock.  The yard includes a hump and semiautomatic retarders.   [IT-2/80]

  • LCL (less than carload) freight drops to 1 million tons, down from 51 million tons in 1919.  [STOV]

  • The ICC approves the merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central Railroads.  [STOV]

  • Vulcan Corporation at Donken, the largest lumber mill on the Copper Range tracks, terminates operations.  [CRAR]

  • The Detroit & Mackinac Ry. removes its branch from Omer to AuGres (the AuGres Branch), 7.95 miles.  [DMAR-1966]

  • July 10:  The State Legislature creates the Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA) to plan, operate and improve commuter service, including rail, in seven counties.  SEMTA eventually operates Detroit-Pontiac commuter service on GTW's line.   [MDOT]

  • December 3:  The New York Central discontinues operation of the 20th Century Limited, which began in 1902. [LS]

  • The Gogebic Range (iron) closes, the first range in the Upper Peninsula to completely cease operations.  [MSL]

  • Soo Line depot at Hermansville is closed.  [SOO-10/1991]

  • The New York Central continues its abandonment of the Old Road, started in 1962.  This year, they abandoned the section from Clayton to Hudson, about 5 miles.  [GM]

  • The Copper Range Company shuts down of their Champion Mine and Freda Mill, impacting freight revenues by 47% on the Copper Range Railroad.  [CRAR]

  • February 1:  Penn Central RR is formed by the merger of the New York Central System and the Pennsylvania RR.   [MDOT]

  • July 18:  The Manistique & Lake Superior RR is abandoned.   [MDOT/AATHA-F/1990]

  • The Penn Central abandons the remainder of its old Lansing Branch, from Albion to Springport, 10.5 miles in length.  Only a small stub is left in Albion to service industry on the north side of town.  [MRC-5/1981]

  • August 5:  The Ann Arbor RR abandons its car ferry route between Frankfort and Manistique. 

  • August 21:  The Calumet and Hecla Consolidated Copper Company closes operations in Calumet, following a strike which closed the mine permanently.  [MSL]

  • July 15:  The Peninsula 400, the only remaining passenger train in the Upper Peninsula, began its last round trip from Ishpeming to Chicago, over the C&NW.  [MSL]

  • September:  A short branch line is built by the Copper Range to the wood fabricating plant of the Northern Hardwoods Division of the Copper Range Company. [CRH]

  • Alco ceases to built locomotives.

  • The ICC gives the Copper Range Railroad permission to abandon branch lines from Mill Mine to Freda, Redridge Jct. to Redridge and the Edgemere Spur to Edgemere.  No trains have operated on these lines for at least a year.  [CRAR]