Clinton to Jackson

The Jackson Branch

Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

This line has a very interesting story to it. It starts in the early 80's, CR was still using it in 1981 in a book I have. I believe CR sold it in 82 or 83 to Michigan Southern Rail Society, a tourist line. Here's where the fun began, 2 miles north of Lenawee Jct. it crossed the Wabash main line. Well the N&W pulled a fast one and as soon as they heard CR sold it they pulled the diamond. Knowing that the new owners could not fight it in court. CR was going to help them but decided the money wasn't worth it. The SMS pulled out the line from Clinton, Mi. to Jackson first thing. The line is still there the rest of the way but is in the weeds and no ballast left. SMS is still around but having no loco any more that runs only dose a few track cart runs a year. The gone diamond is still signaled North and south. SMS has been land locked with no wye to the Wabash line so no hope of freight. I have pics of the south side of the diamond where the signal is falling over in the woods. The track is in the mud to Lenawee Jct. but unused but for a guy who's a rail fan a has some equipment on it.

Richard Roberts


That is incorrect. Southern Michigan Railroad Society operates the railroad from Clinton, Michigan to Raisin Center, Michigan a distance of 13.65 miles. We are a railroad historical society and operating museum. We do have a locomotive as well as a few cars to haul passengers down our line. The equipment at Lenawee Junction is SMRS equipment and belongs to the society, and NOT a private entity, exception being the GTW caboose.

James Byberg
Livonia, MI


Before some one puts information out there. It helps to make sure it is true.

I am a brakemen for the SMRS. We have have 2 44 tonner 1 CSS&SB number 1 a NYC bay window and a NH cupola caboose. a open air gon. a Plymouth switcher and the only one ever made GMDH-3. The line from jackson to clinton was taken out in the 60's by The NYC.

The railroad runs 13.5 miles from Clinton, Michigan, through Tecumseh, Michigan, to Lenawee Junction, Michigan. This line is the second railroad constructed in the State of Michigan, and the first branch line. It was originally the Palmyra Jacksonburgh Railroad, running between Palmyra (near Lenawee Junction) and Jackson, Michigan.

Southern Michigan Railroad route map

The railroad also runs 5 miles between the towns of Clinton and Tecumseh and 6.5 miles from Tecumseh to the rural railroad junction of Raisin Center, then two more miles to rural Lenawee Junction, an interchange with the freight and passenger Adrian and Blissfield Rail Road. Most trains operate between the two towns, permitting stopovers. In October, "Fall Color Tours" use the longer 6.5-mile segment to Raisin Center.

A notable feature of the line is Bridge 15, a Howe deck truss bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Jerry Murray
ypsilanti, MI


The SMRS did not pull out the section of track from Clinton to Jackson! This was abandoned ca. 1965, and scrapped by the NYC.

The last Conrail freight train on the line operated in March 1982.

Jeffrey Dobek
Tecumseh, MI


I would like to know what year did this line start up

Michael Bennett
Jackson, MI


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