A post relating to history

  • Tecumseh's last freight train—35 years on

    Tecumseh’s last freight train—35 years on

    Before March ends, I thought it worth noting that March this year marks 35 years since the last freight train passed through Tecumseh, ending 145 years of continuous freight service on the Clinton Branch between Lenawee Junction and Tecumseh. It […]

  • Hillsdale 1908

    Hillsdale 1908

    Hillsdale was the “hub” of the network of New York Central secondary lines in southeastern Michigan. The Toledo-Elkhart “Old Road” ran through Hillsdale, and branch lines headed out in all directions. Here we find a nice vintage shot from Hillsdale, […]

  • The Artrain comes to Tecumseh

    The Artrain comes to Tecumseh

    The Michigan Artrain was founded in 1971, as a project to take art to the many small towns in Michigan where there was a railroad, but not an art museum. Over the next several years it toured the state, but later […]

  • Conrail camp car finale

    Conrail camp car finale

    Into the 1970s, camp cars were a railroad tradition. Often converted from old heavyweight passenger cars from the 1920s or 30s, camp cars were used by the railroad maintenance-of-way department for housing track crews (or “gangs”) which moved around the […]

  • Photo day—AApparation in the fog

    Photo day—AApparation in the fog

    On the foggy morning of 27 July 1986, the Southern Michigan Railroad Society’s ex-Ann Arbor Railroad RS-2 #303 has come to life. Pushing dead sister #301 and Jim Frye’s ex-GTW caboose, the veteran Alco has crept north for the first time […]

  • Photo day—Old and new at Air Line Yard

    Photo day—Old and new at Air Line Yard

    By 1982, Conrail “patch” units were becoming a rare species. Conrail was finally on top of their motive power woes, and new units coming online meant there was time for attention, including a paint job, for older units. Still, at […]

  • CR 5457 and the Clinton Branch

    CR 5457 and the Clinton Branch

    Throughout the first half of the 1970s, standard motive power on the Clinton Branch was a black EMD SW-7/8/9 switcher, leading the Clinton Local down and back the 13.5 miles between Clinton and Lenawee Junction, Michigan. With the arrival of Conrail in […]

  • Final freight in Clinton

    Final freight in Clinton

    Conrail’s days as the operator of the Clinton Branch from Lenawee Junction to Clinton, Michigan were coming to a close at the beginning of 1982. The company had already applied to abandon the line, and the only active shippers remaining […]

  • Photo day—the SMRS ICE train

    Photo day—the SMRS ICE train

    No, this was not a tour by the German ICE train, but rather a trip made by members of the Southern Michigan Railroad on an icy day in January 1988. Starting from Clinton, a group of members set out with […]

  • A walk along the DT&M Spur

    A walk along the DT&M Spur

    When the Southern Michigan Railroad Society purchased its line in the 1980s from Conrail, the sale included what was known as the DT&M Spur in Tecumseh. This was the last remnant of the former-Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Railroad (DT&M), which […]


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