Story - Physical Condition - Grand Trunk Railway System - 1909

The inspection of this road was made July 6, 7, and 8 [1909].  This system is comprised of the Grand Trunk Western, the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction, Cincinnati, Saginaw & Mackinaw, Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon and Michigan Air Line Railroads.

Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction Railway from West Detroit to Port Huron:   The rail is 70 pound steel and is in good condition and well maintained. Tie renewals have been liberal. The right of way is being cleared of weeds. Right of way fences are satisfactorily maintained.  Highway crossings and signs satisfactory. Wood slat surface cattle guards are generally the standard and they are in satisfactory condition. Bridges in good repair.  Road bed well ditched. Surface and alignment of track excellent.  Bridges are from 50 feet in length provided with inside "T' guard rails. Switch stands are provided with single targets, switch lights and locks for main line. Farm crossing gates in good repair.  Stations generally in fair condition. Bulletin boards generally properly marked.  [Water] closets in fair condition. At Milwaukee Junction the company intends to build a new passenger station during the present year. A new coal shed is now under construction at this point. Passenger trains blocked one station apart by order board. Crossing alarm bells in good repair. 

Michigan Air Line Division from Lenox to Jackson: The rail is generally 67 pound and in good condition for the traffic presented. A few miles of light rail remains on the track near Jackson, which will be replaced with a heavier rail inside of 90 days. The section men were cutting weeds at the time of the inspection. The surface and alignment of track is satisfactory for the traffic presented. Bridge structures satisfactorily maintained, a number of them being rebuilt this year. Bridges generally. provided with steel "T" rail for inside guard rail. Switch stands are provided with single and double switch targets; no switch lights.  Right of way fence generally in fair condition, considerably new fencing having been built during the past year.  Highway crossing signs generally satisfactory. A number of farm  crossing gates found open. New passenger station at South Lyons which is neat and convenient to the traveling public. The surface cattle guards are generally in fair condition. However, it was noted that several of them had become filled with sand and weeds. The station at Lakeland was found to be in a dilapidated condition and should be renewed. The station platform should be repaired at once. The safety bridge guards at Orchard Lake crossing of the Detroit United Railway needs renewing. The question of a full interlocking and derailing switch and signal system for the crossing of the Pere Marquette R. R. at Wixom and South Lyons was discussed at considerable length.

Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Division from Detroit to Grand Haven:  From Detroit to Owosso the line is laid with 80 pound rail and is in good condition. From Owosso to Grand Haven the line is laid with 67 pound rail and is in fair condition. This rail is being replaced with 80 pound rail, 3,500 tons of 80 pound rail being laid this year. The tie renewal have been liberal. The track is ballasted with a good grade of ballast, and the surface and alignment of track is excellent. Right of way is being cleared of weeds. Right of way fence generally in good repair. Cattle guards are generally of the wood surface type and generally in good repair. Wing fences whitewashed. Highway crossing signs generally in good repair. Split point switches with spring rail frogs generally well blocked. Stations generally in satisfactory condition, with the exception of the joint station at Holly. This station should be repainted and cleaned up generally.  The company has built a new freight station at Ionia and expects to build a new passenger station at Ionia this year. Switch targets are generally of the single type. All main line switches provided with switch lights and locks. Crossing alarm bells in satisfactory condition.  Bulletin boards generally satisfactorily marked. All of the bridge structures are in good condition. The safety devices at the several railroad crossings were found to be satisfactory with the exception of the protection at the crossings of the Pere Marquette Railroad at Holly and Ionia. The signals at these crossings should be interlocked. All bridge structures of over 50 feet opening provided with "T" rail for .inside bridge guard,

Cincinnati, Saginaw & Mackinaw Division from Durand to West Bay City:  The rail is in fair condition. Right of way fence generally in fair condition. Considerable ballasting has been done on this division since the last inspection and the surface and alignment of track is satisfactory for the traffic presented. The stations are generally in satisfactory condition. Semaphore signals are generally provided for protection at all stations located on curves. Wing fences are generally whitewashed. Crossing signs are generally in good repair.  Bridges receiving necessary repairs. A new steel girder is being placed over the Cass river. Switch targets generally of the single type showing no target for main line. Weeds are being cut on right of way. Tie renewals have been liberal. Switches and frogs fairly well blocked. 

Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon Division from Ashley to Muskegon:   The rail is generally 60 pound and is in fair condition. The ballast on this division is of light quality.  The surface and alignment of track is fair. The right of way fences need renewing at several places. Considerable new fence has been built since last inspection.  This line is equipped generally with stub switches and solid frogs and the same is fairly well blocked. Section men were cutting weeds at the time of inspection. No wing fences at a number of the highway crossings. Cattle guards need renewing at several highways. Weeds should be cleaned out of cattle guards. Stations small but seem to be sufficient for the traffic presented. Bridges receiving necessary repairs.  Three new steel girders being placed instead of wooden structures. A new steel bridge ordered for bridge near Perrinton. Safety devices at the several railroad crossings in satisfactory condition. Anew passenger and freight station has been built at Muskegon which is neat and convenient. No passenger train bulletin board at this station. The switch stands on this branch are provided with single and double targets.

Grand Trunk Western Division from Port Huron to the State line near Granger, in Michigan:   It is a double track laid with 100 pound and 80 pound stool, in good condition and well maintained.  The cattle guards are of wood surface type and are generally in good repair. The right of way fence is generally good.  Wing fences are whitewashed.. Switch targets are generally of the single type.  Stations on this division are generally in good condition a number of them being constructed of the most modern architectural design and are neat and commodious. The bulletin boards were found to be generally satisfactory marked. Safety devises at the several railroad crossings in satisfactory repair. A new station has been erected at Duffield during the past year. Tie renewals have been liberal. The track is ballasted with a good grade of ballast and the surface and alignment of track is first class. Switches are provided with switch lights; and locks.  Switches and frogs fairly well blocked. Passenger trains are blocked between stations. .On the entire system 136, 384 oak ties and 3,900 cedar ties have been renewed on main tracks. with 18,275 ties' renewed on side tracks. Also 1.50 set of switch ties have been renewed. The passenger train service on the entire system is all that could be desired. The equipment, both freight and passenger, is as required by law. This property shows every sign of being properly managed.
 

[From the 1909 Annual Report of the Michigan Railroad Commission, State Library of Michigan.]