Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad


Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad
Detroit, Lansing & Northern
Dates of operation 1876–1896
Predecessor Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan
Successor Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Length 338 mi (1895)
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts and Grand Rapids, Michigan
Detroit, Lansing & Northern
Legend
Abbreviated in this map
Michigan Central to Detroit
Station on track
0.0 West Detroit
Straight track Abbreviated in this map
Flint & Pere Marquette to Delray
Junction from left Track turning right
7.9 Oak
Station on track
19.2 Plymouth
Transverse abbreviated in this map Flat crossing Transverse abbreviated in this map
19.34 F&PM Toledo Division
Straight track Abbreviated in this map
Grand Trunk to Richmond
Junction from left Track turning right
Stop on track
30.86 South Lyon
Transverse abbreviated in this map Unknown BSicon "ABZdrf" Unknown BSicon "exSTRlg"
Grand Trunk to Jackson
Straight track Unknown BSicon "exLUECKE"
Ann Arbor to Toledo
Stop on track
39.94 Brighton
Transverse abbreviated in this map Flat crossing Transverse abbreviated in this map
47.62 Ann Arbor (ToledoOwosso)
Stop on track
48.94 Howell
Straight track Unknown BSicon "ENDEa"
College Spur (Michigan State University)
Junction from left Track turning right
Transverse abbreviated in this map Flat crossing Transverse abbreviated in this map
79.55 Chicago & Grand Trunk (Chicago–Port Huron)
Junction from left Transverse abbreviated in this map
Michigan Central to Jackson
Station on track
82.13 Lansing
Transverse abbreviated in this map Junction to right
83.03 Michigan Central to Bay City
Junction from left Transverse abbreviated in this map
83.53 Northern Michigan Central
Stop on track
94.05 Grand Ledge
Junction to left Track turning from right
94.8 North Grand Ledge
Straight track Abbreviated in this map
GRL&D to Grand Rapids
Transverse abbreviated in this map Flat crossing Transverse abbreviated in this map
120.2 DGH&M (Grand HavenDetroit)
Stop on track
120.93 Ionia
Transverse abbreviated in this map Junction to right
124.41 Branch to Big Rapids
Straight track Abbreviated in this map
Branch to Belding
Junction from left Track turning right
133.66 Kidd
Stop on track
138.79 Greenville
Transverse abbreviated in this map Station on flat crossing Transverse abbreviated in this map
139.89 TS&M (MuskegonAshley)
Transverse abbreviated in this map Junction to right
Branch to McBrides
Abbreviated in this map Straight track
S&W to Saginaw
Track turning left Junction from right
Transverse abbreviated in this map Middle end station of cross-platform interchange Transverse abbreviated in this map
158.35 Howard City for GR&I (Grand RapidsMackinaw City)
The above shows the main line of the Detroit, Lansing and Northern as of November 11, 1896, when it reformed as the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western, including crossings by other lines as they were then constituted. For clarity, most minor stops omitted. Italics indicate branches/crossings owned by other companies.

The Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad (DL&N) is a defunct railroad which was formed on December 27, 1876 as a reorganization of the foreclosed Detroit, Lansing and Lake Michigan Rail Road. The segment of its main line from Detroit to Lansing became an important component of the Pere Marquette Railroad, organized in 1900, and is still in use by CSX.

Contents

History

Corporate

The Detroit, Lansing and Lake Michigan (DL&LM) was incorporated April 11, 1871, as a consolidation of the Detroit, Howell and Lansing Railroad and the Ionia and Lansing Railroad. In 1872, the Ionia, Stanton and Northern Rail Road was added. By 1876 the railroad was obliged for more than $6 million in mortgages at 8%, much of it owed to men sitting on the Board of Directors, and had an operating deficit of more than $1.8 million, much of it representing unpaid interest.[1]

DL&LM's lenders foreclosed in April 1876. George O. Shauttuck and J. Lewis Stackpole of Boston--acting as trustees for the lenders--purchased the railroad for $60,000 at a mortgage sale in Detroit on December 14, 1876. A new corporation was organized on December 27, 1876 under the name Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad, with most of its stock going to the lenders in exchange for their forgiving the DL&LM's debts. The only Michigan resident among the eleven directors named to the first board was James Joy, formerly president of the BL&LM. Declared business objectives of the DL&N were:

  • to extend the mainline to Pentwater, on Lake Michigan
  • to extend the Stanton line to join the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad at Chippewa
  • to pay a 7% annual dividend on its preferred stock.[2]

In 1882, the principal officers were Alpheus Hardy, president; Thomas Fish, general superintendent; and J.J. McVean, engineer. The DL&N had over 1000 employees in Michigan, but none of its 438 stockholders or eleven directors were Michigan residents. Though profitable, the railroad had taken on debts equivalent to $15,897 for every mile of track over which it operated. [3]

The railroad withstood the Panic of 1893, and as late as 1895 was still profitable, with an expense-to-earnings ratio of 81.78. The principal mortgage of $2.67 million at 7% was payable in 1907. Total debt per mile owned and operated (221.57) had climbed to $19,158. President of the railroad as 1896 began was Nathaniel Thayer, general superintendent was J.K.V. Agnew, and chief engineer was J.J. McVean.[4]

The DL&N went into receivership on April 1, 1896, and was reorganized as the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad on January 1, 1897. The DGR&W also consolidated the Grand Rapids, Lansing & Detroit, Saginaw Valley & St. Louis, Saginaw & Grand Rapids, and the Saginaw & Western. On December 7, 1899, it became part of the new Pere Marquette Railway.[5]

Operational

DL&N route map from Gailbraith Service Map, 1897

At its inception in December 1876, the DL&N inherited 206 miles of track, more than 10,000 feet of wooden bridges and trestles, 26 locomotives, and more than 750 railcars of all types. In 1876, its predecessor had carried more than 250,000 passengers and 260,000 tons of freight. The tracks over which they ran had become operational as follows:

Main Line (160.6 miles)

  • Detroit to Lansing, August 1871
  • Lansing to Ionia, December 1869
  • Ionia to Greenville, September 1870
  • Greenville to Howard City, August 1871

Branch Line (20.9 miles)

  • Ionia to Stanton, February 1873[6]

At Howard City, the main line connected to the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad (GR&I).

The DL&N extended the Stanton branch to McBride in 1877 and the next year to Blanchard. In July 1880 the branch was completed to Big Rapids, Michigan, where the DL&N made a second connection to the GR&I.

In 1882, the DL&N acquired a lease in perpetuity to the assets of the Saginaw & Western Railroad, which had gone into receivership under the name Chicago, Saginaw and Canada Railroad. By this time, DL&N trains were logging more than 1.4 million miles a year over 225 miles of track, carrying more than 635,000 passengers and 743,000 tons of freight. [7]

The railroad reported 268 operating miles in 1886, with the most significant addition being the Saginaw & Western's 42 mile branch from Howard City to Alma, which provided an interchange with the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan Railroad. The freight traffic was overwhelmingly (62%) lumber and forest products, as the logging off of Michigan's old-growth forest continued to accelerate thanks to mechanization. A conversion to automatic couplers, mandated by an 1885 state law, was underway, and Westinghouse air brakes had appeared.[8]

In August, 1888, two new rail segments built by the Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit Railroad and immediately leased by the DL&N went into service. The first was a 53-mile line from Grand Ledge to Grand Rapids. The second was the Ramona Branch, a short extension from Oakdale Park Station to Reeds Lake, later East Grand Rapids, Michigan to serve the resorts there.[9] [10]

In the railroad's last full year of operation, it carried nearly 643,000 passengers, with the average trip 31 miles. Freight traffic had fallen to 541,000 tons, with 36% of it lumber and forest products, and another 13% coal.

Timetable

As of 1881, the DL&N main line served the following communities:

Notes

  1. ^ Fifth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1877
  2. ^ Articles of Incorporation, Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad, December 27, 1876
  3. ^ Eleventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1883
  4. ^ 23rd Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1895, pg 132
  5. ^ Meints (1992), 64-65.
  6. ^ Fifth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1877
  7. ^ Eleventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1883
  8. ^ Fifteenth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1887
  9. ^ Baxter, Albert (1974) [1891]. "CHAPTER XLV: NAVIGATION" (Google Books). History of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan : with an appendix--History of Lowell, Michigan. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Grand Rapids Historical Society. p. 522. OCLC 2841595. http://books.google.com/books?id=DWN5AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=%22grand+rapids+and+reeds+lake+street+railway%22&source=bl&ots=7Zh5nkVoMe&sig=MT96I33-_SIh9zsoryb2WfpovQE&hl=en&ei=9U7jSpjlIIauMKKk3cAB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CA4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22grand%20rapids%20and%20reeds%20lake%20street%20railway%22&f=false. Retrieved 24 October 2009. "The landings at Reeds Lake are now reached by street railway extensions and by the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad." 
  10. ^ Poor, Henry Varnum. Manual of the railroads of the United States. 27. New York: H.V. & H.W. Poor. p. 895. OCLC 6020508. http://books.google.com/books?id=XaooAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA895&lpg=RA1-PA895&dq=%22Reed's+Lake%22+%22Detroit,+Lansing+and+Northern%22&source=bl&ots=HyQ8m5ZG_9&sig=h_lCj2Mg2bMCf8VHICssxQAqjpQ&hl=en&ei=evfiSvb4IpDO8Qadk8zzAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22Reed's%20Lake%22%20%22Detroit%2C%20Lansing%20and%20Northern%22&f=false. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 

References


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