Timeline - 1955

  • February 15: The last steam locomotive, switching locomotive No. 468, is retired from the Soo Line System, making the road all-diesel. [SOO-S/1994]

  • May 10: The mechanical interlocking tower at Clare is changed to an automatic interlocker. [MSAI]

  • June 4: DSS&A trains #7 and #8 between Marquette and Duluth are discontinued. [RO]

  • August 1: Transportation of passenger trains by car ferry discontinued between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. [MDOT]

  • August: The Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad begins using a Budd RDC car between Marquette and St. Ignace, using it on trains 1 and 2. [SOO-S/1994][SOO-S/2006]

  • September 25: Canadian National Railways discontinues passenger service on its Detroit River car ferries and substitutes bus service through the auto tunnel. [MDOT]

  • October: The C&O dismantles "high bridge", three miles north of Peacock, using the former M&NE line through Manistee. 
  • November 30: Manistee & North Eastern is merged into the C&O. [PMHS]

  • December 1: Chesapeake & Ohio begins using the New York Central railroad tunnel to reach Windsor from Detroit. The C&O's car float operations are curtailed.

  • December 30: Last Grand Trunk Western "mixed-passenger and freight" train out of Grand Haven. [MDOT]

  • December 31: One of state's last "mixed passenger and freight trains," Grand Trunk Western service from Pontiac to Caseville was withdrawn. [MDOT]

  • December 31: Mixed train service is discontinued on the GTW's Pontiac, Oxford & Northern line. The current twice per week freight normally turns at Pigeon. Service to Caseville is rare due to a lack of customers. [MRC-7/1975]


  • New copper mine is opened on Ontonagan. [DWS]

  • A 112-day strike at the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company reduces traffic levels on the Soo Line (DSS&A). [RO]

  • LS&I completes track to the Eagle Mills Pellet Plant. [MRC-10/1987]

  • The MC/DSS&A discontinues transfer of railroad coaches in the carferry across the Straits. Through passengers must now take a cab to the State Highway Department dock, board that ferry to St. Ignace, and then board the South Shore train. [MRC-3/90]

  • The railroads and AAR begin reporting intermodal freight as a separate category. [SAM]

  • Airslide hoppers are introduced. [SAM]

  • The Allied, full-cushion rail car truck is banned, due to problems with derailments. [SAM]

  • Trailer-Train is organized by the PRR, N&W and the Rail-Trailer Company. [SAM]

  • The Americal Locomotive Company (ALCo) becomes Alco Products, Inc. [SAM]

  • The DSS&A no longer owns any steam locomotives. [RO]

  • SNAPSHOT: The iron ore docks at Ashland, Wisconsin ship out approximately 1 to 1 1/2 million tons of iron ore in the mid-1950's. The Soo Line operates a mine transfer engine between Hoyt Wisconsin and Bessemer, Michigan - a distance of 13.4 miles - and collects ore loads from the mines (and from C&NW interchange) and takes them to Hoyt where loaded trains are made up for the trip to Ashland. Also, Local trains 52/52 operates between Ashland and Bessemer, and returns. This train handles up to 135 ore cars, plus any local freight. The round trip normally took 12 hours. For many years, this was a mixed train with a combine on the rear. [LSIOR] 

  • The DT&I railroad reaches an agreement with the Pennsylvania railroad to operate run-through trains to Cininnati that interchange with the Louisville & Nashville and the Southern railroad. [TR-08/2020]

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