Timeline - 1986

  • February 25: North Yard tower in Detroit is closed. This tower protected the interlocking of the old MCRR Bay City Branch and the Detroit Terminal Railroad. It was also the north entrance to the Detroit terminal for the MCRR for many years. [CW]

  • March 27: The Huron and Eastern Ry begins operations on 83 miles of former Chessie System track in the Thumb area. [MDOT][MRRC]

  • Mid: Chessie closes the yard office and engine house at Waverly Yard in Holland. Operations are transferred to Wyoming Yard in Grand Rapids. [MRC-6/1986]

  • Summer: Grand Trunk Corporation applied to abandon an inactive portion of their Cass City subdivision,. There has been no traffic movement on the 34.5 mile segment between Orion and Kings Mill during 1986. Only 32 revenue carloads were shipped on th line in 985.  They note tat the line has several wash-outs which would require $45,000 to bring the line up to 10 mph FRA Class 1 stafety standards.

  • Fall: Grand Trunk corporation announces moving their offices to Stroh's Brewery Park in Detroit. [CTCR-1986-10]

  • November 2: Ceremony at Blissfield commemorates 150 years of railroad service in Michigan. [MDOT]

  • November 17: The CSX freight agency in Howell, housed in the depot, was closed. [MRC-2/1987]

  • November: The gatehouse at the CSX Michigan Avenue crossing in Lansing was retired in November and moved to the Lansing-North Lansing Electric Railroad Museum. The gatekeeper controlled the crossing gates from this building. Originally the gates were operated by compressed air and were later converted to electricity. [MRC-2/1987]\

  • December 20: The CSX abandons the South haven branch. It was a 15.3 mile branch westward from the Chicago subdivision at Hartford and served a foundry in South Haven and the Cosumers Power Palisades plant nearby. [MRC-2/1987]

  • December: The train order operator job at St. Joseph on the CSX Chicago subdivision was abolished with the close of shipping season. Located on the swing bridge, the operator also operated the bridge. In the Spring, a bridge tender will operate the bridge. [MRC-2/1987]


  • The doubling track at East Saugatuck has been removed from service. Trains that doubled New Richmond hill used this track until now. Any trains that double the hill in the future will have to run all the way to Waverly yard at Holland, an additional eight miles. The No. 1 main track between the St. Joseph depot and Vine, four miles westward has also been removed. This was the double track section along Lake Michigan. [MRC-2/1987]

  • Conrail converts their double track main line between Willow Run and Jackson to single track. Passing sidings are maintained between Four Mile Lake and Chelsea, and through Jackson. For most of the line, the eastbound main was kept and the westbound main was removed. A CTC traffic control system is also put into operation with new signals which is remote controlled by the dispatcher located in Dearborn. [SSV]

  • The State of Michigan has 4,370 miles of track. [MRC-10/1987]

  • The CSX freight house in Port Huron is demolished. [MRC-6/1986]


 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