The Monroe Branch
A bridge built by Lake Shore & Michigan Southern still stands just west of Petersburg MI, north of the Deerfield Road bridge, at Google Map coordinates 41.90225,-83.717772
This railroad had its beginnings during the 1830s. Swept up in the internal improvements fever, the territory and soon-to-be State of Michigan authorized three east-west railroads: the Northern, the Central, and the Southern. The Northern was never built. The Central was sold at a loss during the 1840s, and became the privately-owned Michigan Central Railroad. The Southern built west from Monroe, with the intention of terminating at a Lake Michigan port. After the state sold it (again at a loss), the newly-privatized railroad veered south into Indiana, intent on beating Michigan Central into Chicago. Both roads arrived there in 1852. After the Panic of 1873, both roads were under the control of "Vanderbilt interests" – LS&MS disappeared into New York Central Railroad in 1914. MC survived as a semi-independent entity within New York Central System until 1956.
This line crossed US 23 south of Ida West Rd via a grade crossing. I vividly remember this crossing and if you look at this area on Google earth the diamond at US 23 and a lot of where the line ran is still visible.
Mr. Roberts comment is not correct. The line from Lenawee Junction to at least Ida remained in place in the early 1970s and was operated by Penn Central. The line was not conveyed to Conrail, and was likely pulled out in 1976.
Mr Dobek is mostly correct. The Line to Ida operated at least until 1979 as I observed at least 1 flat car of farm equipment delivered then. The rails were in place until sometime in the 80's when they were pulled up.