Timeline - 1890

  • January 1: Wisconsin and Michigan opens line from Fisher to Faithorn Jct. [MRRC]

  • April 1: The Wisconsin Central (1st) surrendered its Gogebic & Montreal River Railroad between Ironwood and Bessemer and branches to the Northern Pacific for 99 years. Three years later, the NP goes into receivership and the lease is revoked with the line returning to the WC. [SOO-W/1996]

  • July 8: First Chicago & West Michigan passenger train into Traverse City. [MDOT]

  • August 4: Indiana & Lake Michigan completes line from St. Joseph to South Bend. [MRC]

  • Summer: The Lowell & Hastings railroad builds a Howe truss bridge with three spans over the Grand River in Lowell. [L&H]

  • October 29: The L&H depot in Lowell is constructed at the south end of Washington Street. [L&H]

  • December 1: Detroit City Railway becomes the Detroit Street Railway. [DWS]

  • December 31: Michigan Railroad Mileage Totaled 6,957 miles. [MDOT]


  • Tower 1 in Kalamazoo placed in service. [IT-12/79]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Lawton. Depot continues to exist into 1974. [IT-12/1974]

  • The Iron Cliffs Company is bought by the Celveland company and they have formed the Cleveland Cliffs Company. [EHMT]

  • Michigan's first interurban, the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor began operating. Pulled by a steam engine, the cars went west on Packard Road to the Ann Arbor city limits. [MHM]

  • Early 1890's:The Jennings & Northeastern Railway is built over sixty miles extending from Lake City to Kalkaska. [MRC-09/88]

  • Ann Arbor Street Railway Co. opens line in Ann Arbor. [MRRC]

  • Work begins on the Iron Range and Huron Bay, beginning at "Huron Bay", on Lake Superior and heading towards Champion.  Completed in 1895. [MSL]

  • The Cincinnati, Saginaw & Mackinaw (later GTW) opens 54 miles of track between Durand to Bay City through Saginaw. [IT-10/1972/AAD]

  • The Chicago & West Michigan Railroad opens a line from Baldwin to Traverse City. Later becomes a part of the Pere Marquette. [PM45]

  • The Wisconsin Central (1st) lays a new connection with the Lake Shore at Ironwood in 1990 which avoided having to use their main track to transfer the ore out of the Aurora mine. [SOO-W/1996]

  • Manistique Railway opens line to Grand Marias (approximate year). [MRRC]

  • Burt and Gamble Lumber Co. abandons 3' gauge railroad, 7 miles long from Grand Marais southerly.Part of grade is used by the Manistique Railway. [MRRC]

  • The Wisconsin Central (old) makes improvements at their Ironwood depot to handle the increasing business out of the Aurora Mine. The trackage was rearranged near the depot by moving the station back and having all the trackage in front. [SOO-W/1996]

  • The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds a new bridge over the River Raisin, which continues to exist today on the Michigan Southern Railroad. [MRP-I]

  • The Michigan legislature requires cattle guards on all railroad engines. [AAD]

  • The Ann Arbor Railroad builds a new brick and stone depot in Cadillac. [MRP-I]

  • The Michigan Central Railroad opens a new spier and Rohns depot at Niles. [BOM]

  • F&PM takes delivery on cross-lake boat No. 5, deployed at Ludington. No. 5 is not a car ferry, but carries bulk-break freight. [COHS-8/1997]

  • Hobart and Manistee River Rail Road abandons 9.2 miles from the south branch of the Manistee River to Hobart (on the GR&I). [MRRC]

  • About 80% of all track is made of steel. [STOV]

  • The Pennsylvania Railroad installs automatic signaling between Pittsburgh and East Liberty. [SAM]

  • Nationally, there are 163,597 miles of railroad track. [STOV]

  • Detroit's population has grown to 205,876. [BOM]  ([BOM} also notes this population as of 1900). 


Timeline Key:

  • Railroad event in Michigan
  • Event relating to mining
  • Event related to car ferries
  • Event outside of Michigan
  • Improvement in Technology
  • Railroad built or extended
  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed
  • Economic panic or depression