This line was constructed between Petosky and Mackinaw City in 1882 by the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. After the merger with the New York Central to form the Penn Central, the Michigan Northern Railway acquired the line, who abandoned by 1990.
Petosky to Mackinaw City, MI
— User Comments —
Always thought this is a beautiful place for a Tourist Scenic Railroad. Although, now the Tracks are gone, so it will never happen, guess I am a dreamer.
Sometimes we are so quick to throw things away!
There were several attempts to run excursion trains along this line. When Michigan Northern Railroad (MIGN) operated the line they ran passenger excursions from the south. After MIGN lost the state of Michigan contract to operate their southern lines, they retreated to operate Petoskey to Mackinaw City and tried run excursion and ultimately went out of business. Afterwards, Little Traverse Scenic Railroad and Alanson & Petoskey Railroad tried excursions from Petoskey to Alanson in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The problems were money and dealing with hostile cottage owners in Bay View.
This line has been converted to the North Western State Trail. It's a multi-use trail; we rode it by tandem bike even before its recent resurfacing. See http://www.trailscouncil.org/north-western-state-trail-21/ and http://www.traillink.com/trail/north-western-state-trail.aspx.
It appears in Petoskey that the abandoned part of the line south of Spring Lake Park connected not only to the existing tracks terminating southeast of downtown, but also to a line that ran generally along the shoreline to Charlevoix. This appears to have been abandoned longer ago due to the property having been dispersed into multiple other uses. Possibly at some earlier time that line served the Penn-Dixie cement plant that from the late 1800s operated on the current Bay Harbor residential site south of Petoskey, until it was moved to south of Charlevoix in 1981-82. Is that surmise correct, and if so, who operated the Petoskey-Charlevoix line?
Mr. Schaefer, the line you speak of along the shore was operated at the end by the C&O/Chessie System. Their line ran from TC to Petoskey. After Chessie abandoned the line MN operated a portion southward from Petoskey until a major washout occured and finished that operation for good.
There were two cement operations on the C&O line, Penn Dixie and one down at Charlevoix, Huron Cement I believe.
The turn-table that was once in Petoskey is the fully-functioning man-powered turn-table that's at Greenfield Village's steam works. There's a depot in Alanson as well as a couple of "Crooked Scenic Railway" cars along US-31 north of Petoskey. And in Petoskey there are still some rails still present as well as R/R crossing signs. They've embraced some of this history well. Also a large depot in Petoskey (now a low office).