Timeline - 1903

  • January 1:  Following the collapse of the Everett-Moore syndicate, the Pleasant Bay Railway sells its right of way to the new Detroit & Toledo Shore Line.  They constructed a freight-only connector line between Toledo and Detroit.  See September 8th.  [EMR4]

  • January 20:  The Grand Trunk Western opened a passenger depot on South Washington Street in Lansing.   [MDOT]

  • January:  Pere Marquette acquires Lake Erie & Detroit River Railroad (in Canada).  [PMHS]

  • January:  The Manistique, Marquette & Northers builds a two-story depot and office building in Manistique.  The 24' x 65' structure is located on the north side of Deer Street, west of the Soo Line crossing.  It cost $2,500.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • April 6:  Copper Range Railroad completes line from McKeever to Calumet.  [MRRC]

  • May 4: A new record in the history of railroading is believed by the Pere Marquette to have been established on May 4, when three babies were born to as many mothers while traveling on the same train, during a run of a hundred miles. The parents belonged to a big party of Germans, Russians, Poles and Swedes enroute from Nebraska to the beet sugar fields beyond Port Huron. [RA-1903-0515:875]

  • May 4:  A GTW passenger train rear ends a LS&MS special which was loading passengers at Canfield Avenue, on GTW's line south of Milwaukee Jct.  Seven people die and 22 are injured.  [MRC-4/1976]

  • May 6:  Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron RR, Bay City Belt Line RR, and Sanilac RR are merged into Pere Marquette.  [PMHS]

  • May:  Harbor Beach and Port Hope RR completed between namesake towns.   [PMHS]

  • June 1:  Mason and Oceana Railroad opens 3' line from Buttersville to Maple.  Abandoned in 1909.  [MRRC]

  • June 1:  Pere Marquette (Sanilac Railroad) completes line from Poland to Sandusky.  [MRRC]

  • August 6:  Detroit & Mackinac Jackson Lake Branch was removed to Hurst.   [NK]

  • August 7:  Air brake failure caused a freight train to plow into the Wallace Brothers Circus Train at Durand killing 26 persons and several animals. [MDOT]

  • August 7: The first revenue run takes place on the interurban Southern Michigan Railway, between South Bend to Niles. [MT]

  • September 1: The T&W opens its line in Adrian from the Wabash Railroad to Adrian's town center. [EMR4]

  • September 8: Detroit and Toledo Shore Line Railroad completes line from River Rouge to the Ohio state line, near Lang Yard. [MRRC/MDY33]

  • September 16:  The Toledo Railway and Terminal Company completes its belt line around the City of Toledo and celebrates by taking hundreds of citizens on a tour of the line.  It is later known as the Toledo Terminal Railroad.  [HMRB]

  • September 20:  Car ferry service between Manistique and Northport begins.  [AATHA-W/1990]

  • September:  Grand Trunk Car Ferry Line began service between Grand Haven and Milwaukee.  [MDOT]

  • October:  The Manistique, Marquette & Northern RR initiates car ferry service between Northport and Manistique with ferry "Manistique, Marquette & Northern No. 1".   [MDOT]

  • October 1:  Durand Union Depot is dedicated.  Still in use for passengers, the building is claimed by railroad enthusiasts to be the most photographed depot in the nation.   [MDOT] [MHM]

  • October:  Pere Marquette completes line from Harbor Beach to Port Hope (in Huron Co.). [MRRC]

  • November 1:  The T&W begins service to Pioneer, Ohio.  [EMR4]

  • December 4: The Pere Marquette Saginaw car shops are destroyed by fire. [RA-1903-1211:827]

  • December 15:  Pere Marquette Railroad opens line from Alfred to Porter, Indiana.  They begin using the LSMS from Porter to Pine.  [MRRC/LS]

  • December 17:  Wright brothers make first airplane flight.  [DWS]

  • December 21:  Harbor Beach and Port Hope RR merged into Pere Marquette RR.   [PMHS]

  • December 26:  Pere Marquette RR passenger trains accident at East Paris killed 18 persons. The accident occurred after high winds extinguished a kerosene warning light.  A second report indicates that 22 may died and 30 injured.[MDOT][MT]

  • December 31:  The services of the town marshal were requested at the Calumet Mineral Range depot, on account of the many small boys who congregate there for the purpose of taking up parcels and newspapers.  The marshal cleared the depot of the small boys who were there "in swarms".  It is said that the boys indulge in tobacco chewing in the depot.  They are also addicted to the habit of wrestling and passengers on more than one occasion have been "carried off their feet".  [CCEN]

  • December:  Pere Marquette RR completes trackage between New Buffalo to NYC at Porter, IN.  [PMHS]


  • Pere Marquette Railroad begins ferry service between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad converts PH&N line to Almont to standard gauge.  [PMHS]

  • Pere Marquette Railroad abandons line from Atkins to Saginaw Jct. (via Fargo) in the Thumb.   [PMHS]

  • Milwaukee, Benton Harbor & Columbus (former St. Joseph Valley RR) is sold to Pere Marquette which operated it as the Buchanan Branch until abandonment in 1924.  [PMHS]

  • Packard Motor Car factory built on East Grand Blvd.  Remain's Packard's main plant until 1950's.  [DWS]

  • The Pere Marquette builds branches to Sanilac Center (Sandusky) and Port Hope.  [AB]

  • The E&LS extends a branch line from Gleason to Austin, and a second branch from Austin Jct. to Kates.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • The Copper Range makes a rail connection between the side-hill (Michigan) smelter site (located at the mouth of Cole’s Creek on the Portage lake) and the main track after the property was acquired from the Atlantic Mining Company. The Michigan Smelting company was built about three miles west of Houghton and just a little beyond the site of the old Atlantic Stamp Mill. Mineral was delivered to the smelter in 40-ton bottom-dumping steel cars by the COPR, which also hauled away the refined copper. They also brought coal to the trestles on the upper plateau, which held 15,000 tons of coal within tunnels. [CRH]

  • The Pere Marquette standarfd gauges its Almont Branch.  [AB]

  • Pere Marquette carferries Pere Marquette 19 and Pere Marquette 20 placed into Lake Michigan service.  [PMHS]

  • PM car ferry service begun between Ludington and Kewaunee, WI.  [PMHS]

  • President Teddy Roosevelt signs the Elkins Act, which strengthened the prohibition on railroad rebates.  [STOV]

  • The Detroit & Mackinac begins replacing light rail between Bay City and Alpena with 70 lb. rail.  [GW]

  • The Lake Shore begins building a new twin hump yard, one mile west of the Elkhart depot.  In order to build these facilities, the Northern Indiana Railway electric line had to move one and a half miles of track. [LS]

  • The bulk of the Copper Range Railroad’s business is rock transportation between the mines and mills served by the line, but timber and fuel traffic was heavy and steadily increasing.  Passenger traffic and general freight business has shown steady and surprisingly heavy growth. [CRH]

  • The Manistee & Northeastern begins daily service through Suttons Bay and Northport.  [BWC-2/90]

  • MCRR installs a manual block signal system on all its branch lines.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Vicksburg.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • The Grand Rapids & Indiana builds a new 3-stall brick roundhouse in Formans, just south of Petosky.  [GB]

  • By the end of the year, the PM is operating 3 steel ferries from Ludington.  All package break-bulk freighters had been disposed of by this date.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • The first glass lined steel tank is used by railroads for hauling milk.  [SAM]

 

 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