This series of photos of the northbound Conrail local at Raisin Center, Michigan was taken by Edward Hodges in the late afternoon of 09 December 1981. On a banked curve, the train slowly approaches the home signal guarding the diamond crossing with the Norfolk & Western’s Detroit-Montpelier main line. The train receives a green signal and proceeds slowly onward towards Clinton.
In 3 months’ time, the line will be closed to freight service. Yet on this day there appears to be a decent amount of freight. Alas, the three covered hopper cars are just along for the ride, having been picked up along the way, and will be returned to Toledo on the southbound trip. Behind them are two gondolas of logs for Tri-County Logging and a flatcar of lumber for Pallox, both located in Clinton.
The locomotive today is Conrail #5999. This EMD GP-7 was built in May 1952 for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (#965), later serving as Erie-Lackawanna #1284 before being conveyed to Conrail. The caboose is CR 19834, a former-New Haven NE6.
The bleak landscape reflects the bleak future of the Clinton Branch.