Berry to Pentwater
— User Comments —
I had the pleasure of being able to work this line when I started with the C&O back in 78. The local went to Whitehall/Montague 3 days a week and to Fremont the other two days. We worked northward from Whitehall as needed. In Hart there was a major cannery that always got cars in the fall harvest season and the Co-op downtown recieved feed and fertilizers.
In Whitehall there were two MAJOR chemical plants, a DuPont that made Freon and a Hooker plant that made various chlorine based chemicals. DuPont was a very clean, well kept operation. Hooker looked like a German concentration camp and is the site of one of the countries largest super fund sites...think Hooker, think Love Canal..this is just as bad. A very nasty creepy place but they used a lot of rail back into the 198o's anyway.
The line is still in us to Berry Jct and Fremont. AT Berry there is a major sand deposit that will be mined in the near future and Fremont has one fairly decent customer, Fremont Co-op. Gernber baby Food has a MAJOR plant there and was rail served with products in and out but when they switched to plastic jars they quit rail. (you may ask why???) because they could never load a semi full enough with glass jars (scale out) and they could fill a rail car (weight didn't matter cause when it was full it was still underweight). With plastic all that changed
And all this trackage is run by a Genessee & Wyoming Company now, Michigan Shore Railroad.
Back in my early engineer days I did go as far as Whitehall to service Dupont just before they closed very neat ride up and back too bad its all gone!
The Hart depot was saved and moved away from its location to an historical park east of downtown.
Mears still has an interesting warehouse that was rail served and shows on an old plat map of Mears.
The Whitehall-Montague depot is saved as is what was called a "tunnel" in the employees timetable under Colby St. in Whitehall.