Sand Lake to Mackinaw City

  • Quick Info:
  • States: Michigan   
  • Railroads: PRR   

The Grand Rapids Branch

The abandoned railroad route between Sand Lake and Mackinaw City, known as The Grand Rapids Branch, of which 223.6 miles have been abandoned, was once operated in Michigan by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 22990 Date: 2/14/1964 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon their Grand Rapids Branch from Sand Lake, Mich., to Mackinaw City, Mich., including their Traverse City Branch from Walton Junction to Traverse City, Mich., a total number of 223.6 mi.
Length: 223.6 miles Citation:  
Also under this filing: The Traverse City Branch   

The mackinaw branch was not abandened by the pennsy. It went thru the PC merger and into conrail. It was mostly bought by the state. It was operated by michigan northern ry until about 1981 or so. Cadilliac sout to Grand rapids area was abandoned and pulled up.cadilliac to petoskey is operated by tsby rr with walton branch to Traverse city still being used.Track north of Petoskey to mackinaw city have been pulled up.

blake kearns
houghton lake , MI


the RRHX webpage has a very good history of "the Fishing Line"...the Grand Rapids and Indiana. This went from Richmond, IN to Mackinaw City. Later it was part of the Pennsy, then PennCentral, etc. Most of the entire line is gone ... and the White Pine Trail north of Grand Rapids is this right of way. Grand Elk south of Grand Rapids to White Pigeon is the last active part of the GRI. I went to college in Big Rapids, and the line was active when I was there. We often could hear the train blowing for the crossing east of the river. RRHX for Michigan is a great site to use for reference, maps, etc.

Sam Denn
Wauseon, OH


The line from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo is the ex GR&I/PRR and south of Kazoo they ran on the ex NYC/LS&MS line to Elkhart. The PRR line from south of Upjohn (Kalamazoo) thru Sturgis was abandoned a couple of years after Conrail came into being.

Daniel Gless
Rockford, MI


I remember riding a passenger train in Rockford north to Cedar Springs and returning in the late 70's.

Herb Theodore
Grandville, MI


Good memories Howard City Mi was my first agency to work where my seniority started. January 1964.

jack kinney
mcdonald, PA


Shortened Link:

Do you have any pictures or information about The Grand Rapids Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.