In late 1981, Conrail operations on the Clinton Secondary Track (Toledo–Clinton via Lenawee Junction) were coming to an end. Trains were called on an as-needed basis, running on average about once a week. There was no schedule, and trains were hard to catch.

Just before Christmas, on 22 December 1981, we received information that a train was bound for Clinton. I grabbed my camera (at the time, my mum’s Kodak Instamatic), and my friend Ed Hodges drove us in his blue Ford Pinto over the icy roads following the line, looking for the train.

We found it in Blissfield, MI, where the crew had stopped for a meal. Once they resumed the trip, we followed the train to Lenawee Junction, where they interchanged cars with the Lenawee County Railroad, and then all the way to Clinton. Unfortunately, being a winter afternoon, the light had pretty much run out by the time the train left Lenawee Jct. So, my photographic coverage ends at Raisin Center, although we did shadow the train as far as Brown Street in Tecumseh.

At this point, the Clinton Secondary to Clinton had less than three months remaining as a freight operation.

Conrail 5626 pauses for dinner at Blissfield, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 waits while the crew eats dinner at Blissfield, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 arrives at Grosvenor, Michigan.

Conrail 5626 arrives at Grosvenor, Michigan. This was the junction with the former-NYC Morenci Branch, and now an interchange point with the Lenawee County Railroad. (12 December 1981)

A crew member sweeps the switch at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

A crew member sweeps the switch at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 prepares to enter the siding at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 prepares to enter the siding at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 enters to former Morenci Branch to pick up cars from the Lenawee County Railroad at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 enters the former Morenci Branch to pick up cars from the Lenawee County Railroad at Grosvenor, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 enters the former Morenci Branch at Grosvenor, Michigan. Frigid weather and ice meant that special care had to be taken at crossings. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 enters the former Morenci Branch at Grosvenor, Michigan. Frigid weather and ice meant that special care had to be taken at crossings. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 passes Palmyra, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 passes Palmyra, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 rides the curve on the "Old Road" side of the wye at Lenawee Junction, MI, to reach the Lenawee County Railroad interchange. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 rides the curve on the “Old Road” side of the wye at Lenawee Junction, MI, to reach the Lenawee County Railroad interchange. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 rides the curve on the "Old Road" side of the wye at Lenawee Junction, MI, to reach the Lenawee County Railroad interchange. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 5626 rides the curve on the “Old Road” side of the wye at Lenawee Junction, MI, to reach the Lenawee County Railroad interchange. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 19834 brings up the rear of the train at Lenawee Junction, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Conrail 19834, the ex-New Haven caboose regularly assigned to the Clinton Branch, brings up the rear of the train at Lenawee Junction, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

Having dropped off cars to the Lenawee County Railroad, the train heads north with just one car, here passing the approach signal to the N&W diamonds at Raisin Center, Michigan.. (12 December 1981)

Having dropped off cars to the Lenawee County Railroad, the train heads north with just one car, here passing the approach signal to the N&W diamonds at Raisin Center, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

The northbound train crosses N&W diamonds at Raisin Center, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

The northbound train crosses N&W diamonds at Raisin Center, Michigan. (12 December 1981)

 

 

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