Story - Physical Condition - Manistee & Grand Rapids Railroad - 1909

This road was inspected October 19 [1909]. This line of road extends from Marion a connection with the Ann Arbor Railroad to Manistee. There is no regular passenger train service, the public being taken care of between these points by a mixed train service. One train each way daily, except Sundays. In addition to the main line from Marion to Manistee, the company has five branches, which are used exclusively for the removing of forest products., The main line from Marion to Dighton is 10 miles in length and has been built about five years. Very little surfacing has been done on this portion, and the surface and alignment of track is poor. The rails are considerably surface bent; the ties are in fair condition. There are no stations between these points. Considerable new fence has been built between Dighton and Marion and the same is of woven wire.  From Dighton to Tustin the track is in fair condition.. A number of ties have been renewed and the rail is 60 pound and in fair condition. The surface and alignment of track is fair.  From Tustin to Manistee the general condition of the track is fair and the surface and alignment is much better than between Dighton and Tustin. 20,000 ties have been renewed on the line this year. The line is not generally fenced, but fencing has been built where requested and parties have their land enclosed by exterior fences. The station at Dighton is a small structure, having but one waiting room, and it would seem that the traffic presented would require larger station facilities. We are informed that it is the intention of the company to build a station at this point in the very near future. The station at Luther is a brick structure having one waiting room, and the station is well maintained and seems to be ample for the traffic presented.  There are no other stations of any importance or where agents are maintained.  The trains are operated under the standard telegraph code and orders are dispatched by telegraph.  Very little attention is paid to the blocking of frogs and switches.  The cuts are generally narrow and the track is poorly drained.  A number of the highway crossings are without crossing signs.  Switch targets are of various types, and switch stands are provided with switch locks.  No switch lights - no night service.  The equipment is as required by law.  The cattle guards are generally of the "Pit type."  All curves are generally well braced, or provided with tie plates.  Section men are cleaning weeds off of the right of way.  The ballast used on this line is of a very light quality.

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