Marine City to Algonac

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  • States: Michigan   
  • Railroads: ATA   

The Algonac Transit Authority

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This short freight line was owned by the Chris-Craft boat company, who operated a manufacturing plant in Algonac.

By the late 1920s, Chris-Craft's large factory in Algonac was in need of rail service, and the Port Huron & Detroit's line to Marine City (now also abandoned), to the north, seemed like a good candidate. However, PH&D denied Chris-Craft's request to extend their line south another eight miles to reach the factory. Thus, Chris-Craft built their own railroad in 1930 and named it the Algonac Transit Authority.

The ATA paralleled MI Route 29 its entire length, and utilized two GE 40-ton switchers to haul rail cars back and forth between Marine City (and a connection with the PH&D) and their plant in Algonac.

The ATA was abandoned in the spring of 1957, and tracks removed in the fall of that year.

The two known photographs of Algonac Transit COMPANY locomotives are of a 35-ton 6 wheel Plymouth, and of a 7-ton 4 wheel Plymouth. The 7-ton probably spent most of its time at the plant in Algonac, and was later transferred to the Chris-Craft plant in Cadillac, MI. The locomotives were reported to be painted a solid blue with no numbers. The 7-ton is presently located on a farm near Cadillac, and is being restored for eventually use and display at the Buckley Old Engine show.

Steve Zuiderveen
Sykesville, MD
7/1/2013

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