Location: Detroit, MI - Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities

In 1922, the Pennsylvania Railroad built tracks from Carleton to Detroit, bringoing the large eastern railroad to the city. Trackage rights were obtained from the Pere Marquette between Alexis (near Toledo) and Carleton. The PRR built a yard (Lincoln Yard) in Ecorse Township (now Lincoln Park), as well as freight facilities in Delray and downtown adjacent to Fort Street Union Depot. They used FSUD for passenger service.

In addition to serving the booming auto industry in Detroit, the PRR appears to have created a relationship with Henry Ford and the Ford Rouge works in Springwells/Dearborn. The PRR, through the Union Belt of Detroit, built a branch line between Rougemere and the Ford Highland Park plant, after a legal crossing battle with the Detroit Terminal Railroad at Livernois Avenue. PRR also purchased the DT&I from Henry Ford around 1930 when Ford became disillusioned with operating it In a heavily regulated environment (ICC).


December 16, 1916. The Detroit United Railway Sells to Pennsylvania. Steam railroad buys land at West Congress and sixth streets.

Through its publicity agent, D. B. Van Zant, announcement was made last night by the Detroit United lines that its freight depot at the foot of Sixth Street had been sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The rumor in existence for several weeks that the Pennsylvania was negotiating with the DUR was confirmed after the traction company had fully completed its negotiations for a new freight terminal between St. Aubin and Chene and Monroe and Macomb adjacent and in connection with its car repair shops which are being abandoned with the enlargement of the Highland Park shops.

In removing its freight terminal from the west side of Woodward Avenue to the east, the street railway company believes it is going to have a more central location. The area for freight purposes is greatly enlarged by the shift from one side of the city to the other because in the move, the company will have 2 1/2 blocks in which to carry out its growing business. [DFP-1916-1216]


September, 1922. Pennsy Closes Contracts for 4 Big Buildings. Will Spend $20,000,000 in erecting Its Terminal Facilities Here. Plans Engine, Freight House and Train Yard. Track Work May be Complete by November 22, Line's officials say.

A new epoch in Detroit's astonishing industrial development was marked Friday when the Pennsylvania Railroad system announced that it had awarded contracts for four huge building projects which will form the principal units of the road's general operating plans for this territory and which before they are complete will involve an expenditure of approximately $20 million dollars.

Officials of the road said that the contracts were let Thursday for construction of a great engine house to be built in the Ecorse yard, at Lincoln Park, and for a general freight house which will go up at Third and Larned streets.

Include Freight House

The contracts also include building of the team yard at Third and Summit streets, and the locomotive turntable, and a 50,000 gallon water tower and huge coaling station.

The steelwork and foundation of the freight house, which will be 680 by 70 feet, will cost approximately $200,000 not including tracking or grading, or the main structure. The team yard, it was said by officials, will cost about $30,000, and the engine house, which will be 210 feet long and 60 feet wide, about $18,000. All of these figures, it was explained, represent only initial costs.

Letting of these contracts, officials said Friday, means that the Pennsylvania's huge project is so far completed that the road is planning for the operation of both freight and passenger trains over its own tracks next New Year's Day.

For the present, the road does not intend to establish its own passenger depot, and will use the Union station, at Third and Fourth streets, in connection with the Pere Marquette.

Track work progresses.

The work of grading, tracking and ballast in the company's right-of-way between Carlton and Delray, a distance of 21 miles, has progressed more rapidly than was expected, and it was said Friday that all track in terminal construction may be completed by November 22.

The first definite announcement of the Pennsylvania's systems plan for this improvement was made in person by Samuel Rea, president of the Pennsylvania lines, at a dinner arranged in his honor at the Detroit Board of Commerce several weeks ago. Since Rae's visit, many officials have been transferred to Detroit from various points on the system, and B. V. Somerville has been actively in charge of construction work as chief engineer.

Large offices leased.

Recently the road has leased virtually half of the 11th floor of the First National Bank building, where Thomas A. Roberts is in charge as chief operating official of the road in this territory. Roberts is general agent and division superintendent. Associated with Roberts in the new offices C. C. Trueb, division passenger agent; S. T. Stackpole, division freight agent; G. E. Couse, real estate agent, and other officials.

[DFP-1922-0916:1]