The Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad
The Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad was a approximately 7-mile long line that was constructed in the 1880s to transport limestone from the quarries of Marblehead to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway (later New York Central System) mainline at Danbury. The railroad provided passenger service until 1930. In the 1950s, trucks began to take over the job of hauling limestone, signaling the death of the already financially-strained railroad. In 1964, the railroad ceased operations as a common carrier, and subsequently came under ownership of the Standard Slag Company. From 1974 to 1977, the line had fell into disuse, until an order came to haul by rail in 1978. It turns out, this would be the last order ever carried by the railroad. The final load of limestone was carried in 1980, the line abandoned, and the remaining locomotive stored.
After the Lafarge Corporation took over the quarry in 1989, renovations took place almost immediately. Tracks were pulled up beginning in 1991, and completed in 1997. The remaining diesel locomotive was also pulled from storage and scrapped on-site in 1995. A small engine house at Marblehead was razed in 1992, and the depot in 2002.
Today, a portion of the railroad is now in use as a walking path. The depot at Lakeside was restored in 1995, and still stands today. Apparently, some rail still exists on company property.
Thanks to Aaron M. for contributing information.
The engine number for the L&M train was not 420. For a good resource, get a copy of "The Lakeside and Marblehead RR" by Dean Fick pub 2000. Copies avalable from www.mhpress.com.
I too have notice a "haze" that seems to hover over this section of track. It seems to be accompanied by a strange "tink"..."tink" sound. Train kept a rollin' all night long?
I worked for standard Slag in 1986 and while cleaning and reorginizing the "Round House" which is where the last engine was stored I found a box of old tickets That said
M.B.C. DEFECT CARD
"LAKESIDE MARBLEHEAD RAILROAD CO"
CAR No_________________________ Date_____________
Will Be Recieved At_________________________
With the following defects
Just a really cool piece of History to have..The Roundhouse was an amazing building. Too bad Marblehead couldnt have stepped in and saved some its wonderful pieces of History. Unfortunetly companies are only after what she has in her belley...Limestone..
I visited the depot at Lakeside and walked the track to Marblehead way back in 1963. There was a publishing company in the depot at Lakeside then and they graciously let me come in but there really wasn't a lot to see. At Marblehead, the enginehouse and depot were still there but all closed up and no sign of activity but I did talk to a man who told me he would see them run by about once a month.
I got to haul spikes etc. to section gangs, give some assistance to Joe and George Hudak helping them clean the boilers (pound the tubes with an air hammer) when I was 12 and 13. Many rides to school etc. Believe one of the largest tonnage per mile of any US RR. Best friend Geo. Danchisen helped preserve a slew of pics and records, passed away 3/1/18, believe Mary sent the info to MR & LE Museum.