Story - Physical Condition - Mineral Range Railroad (DSS&A) - 1909
This property was inspected August 16, 17 and 18 . From Soo Junction to Marquette. The company continues to replace light rail with rail of a heavier section. The company continues to reballast the track with a superior quality of ballast and the surface and alignment of track is equal for the traffic presented. The tie renewals have been liberal, all curves are well braced with rail braces. The stations on the line between Soo Junction and the Soo are small but seem to meet the requirements of the public, the same are fairly well maintained, all bulletin boards properly marked. From Soo Junction to Marquette the stations are generally well maintained, however, stations at DollarviIle, McMillan, Seney, Wetmore and Munising Junction should be replaced with larger stations. All bridge structures are in good repair, no inside guard rails being placed on same. The weeds on this division have not been cut. The platform at the station at Soo Junction needs repairs. The right-of-way fence is fairly well maintained, although the entire division is not fenced.
Marquette to Thomaston: The rail from Marquette to Nestoria is from 70 pound to 85 pound and being generally in good condition. The tie renewals have been liberal, all curves are well braced with rail braces. Bridge structures have received all necessary repairs, are not provided with inside bridge guards. The right-of-way fences where constructed are generally in good repair. Highway crossings and signs well maintained, stations between Marquette and Nestoria are generally in fair condition, however, it was noted that the [water] closets at Champion and Nestoria were in an unsanitary condition. Bulletin boards at all stations were found to be properly marked. Nestoria to Thomaston. Rail is generally 60 pound or 65 pound rail with the exception of five miles of new 85 pound just west of Nestoria. The stations on this line are generally small but seem to meet the requirements of the public. A new station has been constructed at Sidnaw at the junction of the a. M. & St. P. This station is neat and commodious and a credit to the companies constructing same. This division is not entirely fenced, but where fence is constructed it is in good repair. All bridge structures have received general repairs. Bridges not provided with inside guard rails. Tie renewals have been liberal and considerable ballasting has been done and the surface and alignment of track is equal to the traffic presented. Weeds have not been cut.
MINERAL RANGE DIVISION
Mass City to Keweenaw Bay: This line is laid with 56 pound rail, the same is considerable worn. No regular passenger service is run on this division, the public being handled with a mixed train service. The ballast on this division is generally of a light quality but track is being ballasted with stamp sand, which is a great improvement. The company is filling a number of wooden trestles, tie renewals have been liberal, all curves have been braced with rail braces. This line is not generally fenced. Where fences are constructed they are in good repair. Highway crossings and signs well maintained. There are no stations of any importance on this division. Bridge structures receive careful attention, no inside bridge guards.
Nestoria to Houghton: The rail in the track is from 65 to 70 pound and well maintained. The tie renewals have been liberal and the track has been reballasted, for a greater portion of the distance with stamp sand and the surface and alignment of track is good. The stations at L' Arise, Baraga, Keweenaw Bay, Chassell and Houghton Station are well maintained; Order boards properly marked and [water] closets
in fair condition.
Mineral Range, Houghton to Calumet: The rail in track is 65 pound, 70 pound and 85 pound and is in good condition. The stations at Hancock, Osceola, and Calumet are in first class condition, special mention is made of the new station built at Calumet at a cost of $25,000. This station is neat and commodious and of the most modern architectural design and a credit to the company constructing same. The fences are generally well maintained. Bridge structures receive careful attention. The track is ballasted for a greater portion with stamp sand, which has proven very satisfactory and the surface and alignment of track is good.
Hancock to Lake Linden: This division is laid with 56 pound and 85 pound rail, a very small portion of it being laid with 56 pound, located between Mills and Lake Linden. The rail is ill first class condition and well tied and ballasted at all curves. There are no stations of any importance on this division, very little fencing on the right-of-way. Bridge structures receive careful attention. All highway crossing signs in good repair on the entire system. Switch stands are provided with single targets and are placed so as to show a full target for main line indication. All trains are operated under the standard code with the additional safe guard of train crews identifying one another at all meeting points. Station employees are not generally provided with badges or uniforms. Interlockers at the different railroad crossings are in good repair and blocking of frogs and switches are found to be fairly well maintained. The company has twelve of their engines provided with fire pumps for the purpose of extinguishing fires along the right-of-way of their tracks.
[From the 1909 Annual Report of the Michigan Railroad Commission, State Library of Michigan.]