Timeline - 1974

  • January: The Durand diamond is now CTC controlled from Pontiac yard. This ends the ancient manual gate/flagman system. The gates and shanty have been removed. [IT-4/1974]

  • January 31: The Ann Arbor Railroad begins using the GTW between Pittsburg Road (Pitt) to a new track at Oak Street. Their track is removed between MP 94 and MP 96. Pitt is controlled via CTC by the GTW dispatcher in Pontiac. [IT-4/1974]

  • February: Penn Central begins installing 2-way CTC signaling on both main tracks between Town Line (in Dearborn) and Jackson. Two high speed crossovers are installed east and west of Wayne Jct. tower. [IT-4/1974]

  • February: Demolition of the Fort Street Union Depot in Detroit is finished. [IT-4/1974]

  • Spring: All rail on the former Copper Range Railroad is pulled up. [CRH]

  • Summer: Tracks are removed on the former "Old Road" (LS&MS) between the west side of Adrian and Cadmus. [IT-4/1974]

  • August: The Popular Furniture building on Ypsilanti's Michigan Avenue - a former carbarn and powerhouse for interurban lines - was razed. During demolition, rails embedded in the floor were observed. [IT-10/1974]

  • August: The Chessie System (ex-PM) depot at Erie is destroyed by fire. [IT-2/1974]

  • September 13: Amtrak runs inaugural Chicago-Port Huron trip via Lansing and Flint, the "Blue Water Limited". [MDOT]

  • Fall: N&W's Sumner Street Yard (ex-Wabash) is closed.  All operations are transferred to ex-NKP Homestead yard. [IT-12/1974]

  • Fall: Delray Connecting Railroad purchases the rotary car dumper from Detroit Edison's Delray plant and moves the dumper to Zug Island. [IT-12/1974]

  • October 31: After a lapse of 3 1/2 years, Amtrak restores passenger service between Detroit and New York City. The first passengers were treated to the sounds of music by the Detroit Fire Department Band, inside the MCRR depot in Detroit, under the direction of Lt. Alex Meldrum. [MRC-12/1974]

  • November: GTW closes station agencies in Fenton and Ionia. [IT-2/1975]


  • Grand Trunk depots at Middleton and Perrington on its "orphan" line from Ashley west to Greenville have been removed. [IT-10/1974]

  • The CSX cross river operation in Port Huron is converted from a self contained steam powered ferry, to a barge/tug operation. The eleven crew members were cut to five as a result. [Port Huron Times Herald-10/8/1994]

  • All rail cars having an axle loading of greater than 55,000 lbs. must have roller bearings. [SAM]

  • The box car pool known as "Railbox" is formed. [SAM]

  • The following maximum heights are adopted by the AAR: Plate "E" cars - 15' 9";  Plate "G" cars - 17' 0";  Plate "H" cars - 20' 2". [SAM]

  • Penn Central abandons a portion of its Waterloo Branch from Fort Wayne Jct. to Horton, Michigan, 14.7 miles. [MRC-10/1973]

  • The former GR&I branch from Kendallville, Indiana to Sturgis, Michigan is abandoned. [MRC-9/1973]

  • LS&I completes construction of a line between the Empire and (new) Tilden Mine. Construction had been started in 1972. [MRC-10/1987]

  • The modern Tilden open pit mine opens near Palmer, south of Negaunee. [IOHT]

 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