Timeline - 1981

  • January 8: Sister Ann Joachim, 79, died at the Dominican Mother House in Adrian.  Sister Ann was also a lawyer, and opposed before the I.C.C. in 1969 the discontinuance of Norfolk and Western's St. Louis to Detroit "Wabash Cannon Ball".  The famous train continued in service until making its last run on April 30, 1971 - one day before thestart up of Amtrak. [MRC-3/1981]

  • January 15: Ludington & Northern stops operating after C&O raises rates. [IT-10/81]

  • March 1: Conrail scheduled to close the Porter (Indiana) Tower, at the junction of the Lake Shore route with the Michigan Central route to Chicago. [MRC-2/1984]

  • March 24: The Gramd Trunk Western announces the purchase of the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line. [EFI]
  • April: Chessie Mt. Pleasant subdivisioin is abandoned and the rail removed, 14.7 miles.  Chessie secures trackage rights on the Ann Arbor Railroad between Clare and Mt. Pleasant to service Mt. Pleasant customers. [IT-5/81]
  • April: The ICC approves a request from the CNW to abandon 52.9 miles of track between Monico, WI to Watersmeet, MI.  Watersmeet continues to be served by CNW from two other directions. [IT-4/81]

  • April: Chessie closes the Wyoming roundhouse near Grand Rapids. [IT-5/81]

  • May: Chessie abandons Remus branch, 15.7 miles north out of Edmore. [IT-5/81]

  • May: Chessie files to abandon 26.8 miles of the Ionia Branch from Grand Ledge to Ionia.  Closed within the next three years. [IT-5/81]

  • July 16: Detroit Terminal RR becomes a part of Conrail. [IT-4/81]

  • July 16: Detroit Terminal's Davison Yard closed. [IT-4/81]

  • October 1: Grand Trunk Western acquires the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line RR. [MDOT]

  • November 18: Nichols Tower in Battle Creek is closed.  It was a Conrail structure. [IT-12/81]

  • November 18: Conrail and GTW lines in downtown Battle Creek are consolidated onto the GTW rails. The Conrail tracks are removed. [IT-12/81]

  • November 19: N&W Maumee River Bridge in Toledo, OH was strengthened to handle 6-axle locomotives. [IT-12/81]

  • November: Battle Creek opens new intermodal rail-bus-cab station. [IT-5/81]

  • November: D&M resumes operations between Cheboygan and Big Cut for 30 days, then stops. [IT-12/81]

  • December 21: Chessie System runs its last train to Hart. The rails are pulled up north of Montogue on May 13, 1982. [MRC-6/1986]

  • December: Amtrak Depot opens in Battle Creek. [IT-10/81]

  • Late: Soo Line 49 mile rail line from Hancock to Nestoria is approved for abandonment by the ICC. [IT-5/81]

  • Late:  Conrail closes Airline Yard. [IT-5/81]


  • GTW Bancroft depot is destroyed by fire. [IT-5/81]

  • The Escanaba & Lake Superior purchases the former MILW Republic line. [ELSW]

  • Ludington's CSX turntable is removed and scrapped. [IT-10/81]

  • State purchases trackage from Grawn through Traverse City to Williamsburg, as well as 16.4 miles from Charlevoix to Bayview for $1.7 million, to be operated by the Michigan Northern. Charlevoix to Lanson is being railbanked. [IT-12/81]

  • Chessie System abandons the Hart Subdivision. (delayed?) [IT-12/81]

  • Conrail's MCRR Belt Line on Detroit's east side is now embargoed south of Gratiot Avenue, including the Detroit Transit RR. [IT-12/81]

  • Detroit Terminal RR trackage west of old Davison yard is abandoned. [IT-12/81]

  • Old Detroit Terminal RR roundhouse at Davison yard is removed. [IT-12/81]

  • Soo Line drops passenger service on mixed trains in the Upper Peninsula. [IT-1/82]

  • Soo Line 49-mile line from Hancock to Nestoria has been authorized for abandoment by the ICC (Note: stayed open from Baraga to Nestoria). [IT-2/82]

  • Airline Yard in Toledo is closed. [IT-2/82]

  • Cadillac and Lake City Railway abandons branch from Penn Central to Lake City. Ceased operation in 1975. [MRRC]

  • The Republic open pit mine closes. [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