Timeline - 1902

  • January 1: Saint Marie Union Depot Co. opens line in Sault Ste. Marie to downtown.  [MRRC]

  • January 18: The first interurban car from Ann Arbor arrives in Jackson.  [EMR4]

  • January 28: After being closed due to severe snowfall, the local newspaper reports that street car traffic has reopened between Houghton and Red Jacket. Manager  Oakley had given orders yesterday to abandon everything on the road "until the blizzard has spent its fury". One car was abandoned at Woodland Avenue and another was abandoned at Albion on Sunday night. The storm was so severe that the passengers on the car at Albion did not feel secure in leaving the car to find their way to their destination on foot. A number staid on the car all night. At one o'clock two cars followed the snow plow to Laurium. The paper reports that most street railway employees feel that more and efficient methods will have to be used [to remove snow] if the road is expected to be kept open in future storms of a similar character. The street car company has over 100 men at work today shoveling snow at different points along the road.  [CCEN]

  • January 29: The PM depot at Greenville receives a new addition, allowing passengers and freight to be handled in one building.  [I&L]

  • February 4: The newspaper opines that the Houghton County street railway manager has had no experience in running cars in the Lake Superior country, for whenever there is a snow storm of no special severity, the street car service is at a stand still.  "The little narrow gauge trains that used to run over the Mineral Range did not miss schedule time a dozen times in a dozen years.  During the winter of 1893, there were snow drifts along the line at Franklin, Highway, and Osceola from twenty to thirty feet high, yet those little trains would get through.  [CCEN]

  • March 29: The Hecla and Torch Lake railroad brakes the amateur record yesterday in its transportation of vein rock from the big Calumet & Hecla mine to the mill.  About 1,250 cars of rock were taken down, reports the local newspaper.  [CCEN]

  • April 2: The Michigan Central takes over operation of the Detroit Manufacturers'' railroad along Guoin street along the riverfront, from the Grand Trunk. 85% of interchange is made with the MC's Belt line at Beaufait Yard. MC is the operator but this line continues to be independently owned.
  • May 9: Anthracite coal minors go on strike with far reaching affect.  Resolved on October 25.  [DWS]

  • June 15: The New York Central and Lake Shore begin operating the 20th Century Limited, a crack luxury passenger train between New York City and Chicago, via the Airline. It was an extra fare, all Pullman train for most of its existence. It continued to operate until 1967.  During the steam era, the train's locomotive was regularly changed at Elkhart.  [LS]

  • June 25: The Michigan Central and the Pere Marquette RR open Union Station in Lansing.   [MDOT]

  • July 1: Marquette and Southeastern completes line from Big Bay through Marquette to Lawson. Controlled at incorporation by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. [MRRC/MRC-10/1987]

  • July: Work begins on the Copper Range Railroad building a tunnel underneath the Hecla and Torch Lake Railroad northeast of Hancock. The tunnel was situated above the Lake Linden reservoir where the H&TL made a large curve. It is build mostly of concrete for durability. [CRH]

  • August 29: The Wabash Railway makes a passenger train run from Detroit to Chicago in 4 hours, 55 minutes. [RA-1902-0905]

  • Fall: The Pere Marquette begins Port Huron-Sarnia car ferry service. [MDOT][PMHS]

  • October: Double tracking of the Michigan Central Railroad main line at Albion is completed.[Albion Morning Star]

  • November 22: The Wisconsin Central's (1st) Ashland ore dock catches fire, causing severe damage.  Three lives were lost fighting the blaze. Work was immediately begun to reconstruct the dock. It was reopened on April 24, 1903. The rebuilt dock had fire walls every 200 feet and sprinkler systems throughout to help avoid subsequent conflagrations. [SOO-W/1996]

  • November: The interurban bridge over the Lake Shore and MCRR lines at Albion is completed. It is 700 feet long, with its largest span being 135 feet. It was built by the American Steel & Bridge Co. [Albion Morning Star]

  • December: The extension of the Copper Range Railroad from Houghton to Calumet and Laurium was now completed, except for ballasting. Freight trains were running and passenger service would start about May 1, 1903. Six new passenger coaches were purchased, and three locomotives were added bringing the total to 16. [CRH]

  • December: The Manistique Marquette & Northern car ferry No. 1 was launched and is sailing between Manistique and Elberta.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • December: The Toledo Railway & Terminal Co. reports that their road is now extended from Vickers to Paine and from Gould to Waldner, Ohio, a total of 16 miles, leaving 3 miles to complete from Waldner to Paine. An extension is proposed from Boulevard to Terminal, 2 miles, which will make a total of 30 miles of road. [RA-1903-0116]

  • LS&I builds southeast, from Marquette to Lawson in Alger County where is joins the Munising Railway (which it purchased). [MSL]

  • The Copper Range Railroad is extended to the Calumet area. Subsequently (date unknown) a branch line is built from Dollar Bay to Senter, adding 26 miles to the trackage. [CRAR]

  • The Wyandotte Southern Railroad builds 5.5 miles of track to serve the Pennsylvania Salt chemical plant in Wyandotte. This road connected with the DT&I.  The WSRR went out of business in the 1980's.  [EMR4]

  • The Toledo Terminal Railroad builds its upper bridge over the Maumee River  [GLF]

  • The E&LS builds its Escanaba Branch, and a branch from Northland to Gleason. [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • The Huron & Western Railroad builds west from Foss (northeast of Bay City) to the coal mines owned by the Wolverine Coal Company. This line was bought by the Pere Marquette in August, 2003 and operated for at least 10 years as a cheap supply of coal. (Built in 1902 or 1903) [NK]

  • The Hecla Belt Line Railroad begins building from Essexville south and west to form a belt line around Bay City. It is taken over by the Bay City & Battle Creek Railway in 1912 and became part of the Michigan Central in 1916. [NK]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad summer season steamship service between Ottawa Beach (Holland) and Milwaukee ended. [PMHS]

  • Railroad repair shops of the Au Sable & Northwestern Railroad burn in McKinley. [HI]

  • SNAPSHOT: In the City of Detroit during the summer, 186 city street cars and 24 interurban cars are on the schedule. A maximun 400 city street cars and 50 interurban cars are put on for holidays and Sundays. [SRJ-1902-1004]

  • GTW completes construction on a castle-like depot in Lansing, with its square tower (current building). [MHM]

  • Pere Marquette begins car float operations in Port Huron. [MRC-2/1995]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Lansing.  Depot continues to exist into 2001 and is owned and operated by Clara's Restaurants. [IT-12/1974]

  • Michigan Central builds depots at Dowagiac and Charlotte. Depots continue to exist into 1974. [IT-12/1974]

  • 1902 is a record breaking year for the amount of ore shipped from the Gogebic Range in the Upper Peninsula. [SOO-W/1996]

  • One person is killed and 100 are injured as a result of a Detroit & Mackinac excursion train wreck at Black River. A defective switch is blamed for the accident. [RMK]

  • The town of Blaney in the Upper Peninsula is created by the William Mueller Lumber Company. It is converted to resort operation about 1927. [BOM]

  • Bear Lake and Eastern Railroad abandons 3' gauge route from Pierport via Bear Lake to Cleon Twp. in Manistee County.  [MRRC]

  • The City of Detroit has 187 miles of city street railways. [SRJ-1902-1004-437]
  • SNAPSHOT: Travel on the interurban railway from Detroit to Jackson, 76 miles, takes 3 hours and 45 minutes and costs $1.05. A trip from Detroit to Flint, 68 miles takes 3 hours and 15 minutes and costs $1.00. Service to Flint and Jackson is hourly, however Ann Arbor receives service every thirty minutes. Cars reach 40-45 miles per hour outside of the city. [SRJ-1902-1004]

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