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This line was intact into the late 80's as well but even then it was not used, remember crossing it as a kid. The only part left in use is from Grand Rapids to outside the city of Malta, Mi.. It's ran by a short line RR called the Grand Rapids Eastern. This was the original mainline of the Detroit,Milwaukee, and Grand Trunk RR. (gone from service in 88 map)
this was last owned by central michigan railway who bought it from gtrr in 1987 they abandoned it in 1989 and the tracks were removed less than a year later.the grand rapids to muskegon route was part of the grand rapids and indiana that gtw leased in the 50's and purchased when pc got out in 1976
This was purchased by GMGN fron GTW in the 80's. The last train down this track was in late 1992 or early 1993. It was tore up a year or so later. I lived in the town of Ovid in which this track ran through. We lived real close and could hear them loud and clear when they came through. One neat thing I remember was during Desert Storm. A train went through with tanks on flat cars. It was a neat thing to see in farm country. I currently live less than a 1/4 mile from the old rail bed. I remember the last train I saw run down the track. It was a single locomotive with just 2 box cars heading west through Ovid at about 10pm. I miss the trains.
I am somewhat familiar with this line, and michiganrailroads.com has many other contributors who have extensive knowledge about this line--in case anyone has any questions. I would love to read any first-hand observations of any trains on this line, if anyone has something to share. Didn't know about the National Guard train for Desert Storm. Interesting!
I remember in the Summer of '72 the GTW ran one through freight from Durand to Muskegon and a local that went to Ionia or Greenville. In August '89, Central Michigan ran a nine car local as far as Ionia. The tracks are now cut just outside of Owosso. The only Customer left is a Ford plant.