Story - Physical Condition - Detroit & Mackinac Railway - 1909
This line was inspected August 14 . Bay City to Omer: The. rail in the rack is 85 pound steel and well maintained. The track is ballasted with a good grade of ballast. Surface cattle guards in fair condition. Right-of-way clean and well maintained; Surface and alignment of track good. The draw bridge at West Bay City is provided with inside guard rails, the right-of-way fence is well maintained. Crossings and crossing signs in good repair. Switch stands provided with single switch targets, lights and locks. The track is ballasted with crushed stone, gravel and cinders. Tie renewals have been liberal and same are generally provided with tie plates. Open culverts are being replaced with concrete. The company has two gangs of men replacing wood culverts with concrete on the entire line. Two sets of switches at Pinconning not blocked. The stations at Saganing and Pine River are in good repair and well painted both inside and out. Stations are provided with wood platforms.
Omer to Au Gres: Very little fencing on this branch. Where fence is built it is in fair condition. Crossings and signs well maintained. Track fairly well surfaced. Light rail 50 and 56 pound. There are no stations on this branch between Omer and Au Ores. The station of Au Gres is small having only one waiting room, wood platform. No bulletin board for the bulletining of passenger trains. No telegraph line on this branch. Switch stands provided with single targets and locks, no switch lights. Informed by superintendent that no night trains are being run on this branch. Bridge structures receive all necessary repairs.
Omer to Emery J unction: Rail is 85 pound to Turner, tie plates used on all tie renewals. Company at present is laying 85 pound rail from Turner to Tawas City . The fence and right of-way are well maintairied. Bridge structures in good repair. Surface and alignment of track is good.
Emery Junction to Rose City: Rail on this branch is 50, 56 and 70 pound, mostly 50 pound and is considerably worn. Weeds on right-of-way have not been cut. Several of the company's wire crossings need reconstruction so as to comply with the specifications of this department. The ballast is of a light grade. The surface and alignment of track is fair. There are a number of stub switches still in service on this branch and a number of the same are not properly blocked. Cattle guards are of the steel surface pattern and are in fair condition. however, it was noted that a number of them should be renewed. This branch is fairly well fenced. Crossings and crossing signs satisfactory. The trains on this branch are operated by the telephone system. There are very few stations of any importance on this branch. New stock yards have been built at Taft. The Long Lake station has one waiting room and is painted both inside and out. A bulletin board is provided for the bulletining of passenger trains. Switch stands are provided with double switch targets and locks. The tie renewals have been liberal, and the surface and alignment of track is fair. There are no passenger stations of any importance on this line with the exception of at Long Lake and Rose City. The station at Rose City is satisfactorily maintained and seems to be equal to the traffic presented. From Emery Junction to Smith Junction the track is much better than from Smith Junction to Rose City. The speed of trains between Smith Junction and Rose City should not exceed 20 miles per hour and from Smith Junction to Emery Junction not to exceed 25 miles per hour.
Emery Junction to Tawas City: the condition of the track, rail, surface and alignment and right-of-way and fence is satisfactory. From East Tawas to Cheboygan. The track is generally ballasted with a light grade of ballast. Right-of-way fence satisfactorily maintained, surface and alignment of track is good. The rail between East Tawas and Cheboygan is 70 pound and well maintained. The station at Harrisonville is well maintained, same being provided with bulletin hoards and [water] closets which are well taken care of. All ain line switches provided with switch lights. Right-of-way fences generally in good repair.
The portion of the Hillman Branch extending from Alpena to Hillman is under construction and the same is being laid with rail from 50 to 70 pound with cedar ties, ,tie plates being used. This branch is built generally for the purpose of handling shale to the Portland Cement Company's plant at Alpena. there are no stations on this line as yet. On this entire road the bridges are not generally provided with inside guard rails.
A number of the farm crossing gates were found open. This company encourages the farming of the right-of-way. Interlockers at the several crossings in good repair. This company is doing considerable experimenting with reforestation and have two nurseries located at Tawas Beach and have distributed to parties along their line of road within the past two years about 25,000 trees, 95% of them growing.
The train service is extended from West Bay City to Bay City over the tracks of the Pere Marquette RR. The trains on this road are operated under the standard code with the additional safeguard of the train orders. From observation it would appear that this company's property is operated satisfactorily.
[From the 1909 Annual Report of the Michigan Railroad Commission, State Library of Michigan.]