Story - A Disgruntled Operator at Woodside Interlocking

Copied from a file at the State of Michigan Archives

The Michigan Railroad Commission controlled much of the railroad operations in the state from the late 1800's to the mid-part of the 20th century.  As a result, they received communications from many people, including complaints.  The interlocking tower at Woodside, which was near both the Michigan Central and Pere Marquette stations on Bay City's East Side was an important place at one time.  But with the cut off from Denmark Jct. to Saginaw, the MCRR trains to Bay City used the former JL&S tracks on the west side of the Saginaw River.  The Pere Marquette also ran north much less as industry was reduced on the south shore, and the Detroit & Mackinac ran its last passenger train into the PM station in 1950.  Railroads were cutting back, and Woodside was no exception.  Maud E. Sederlund, an operator at Woodside, wrote this short letter to the Commission, which has been maintained in the State Archives.  No reply was noted:

Route 3

Midland, Mich.

July 4, -58.

Michigan Public Service Commission

Lansing, Michigan

I am operator/leverman at Woodside Tower Bay City Mich.  When the NYC moved their station to the west side of the river the night job 11 P to 7 am was abolished.  2 tricks on duty now, 5 am to 1 pm and 1pm to 9pm.  This in order to handle the Jackson trains and south bound early am freight thru Reese, Mich -

Now it is rumored the NYC is going to ask the last man on duty at Woodside to line the levers in such a manner that a switch engine can come out of the freight house with a string of cars, past our target at Adams St. and no doubt as far as the tower where we have a crossing warning operated by tower operators.  They would cross a diamond, what if the C&O decided to do the same thing and case of accident who would be liable and according to your ruling and state laws?  Would i have the right to line the tracks in this manner?  They could go anywhere to the east of the bridge if they had a clear block.  Please write me, my home address.  Thanks.

Maud E. Sederland

Rte 3

Midland, Mich.