Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ann Arbor Railroad

Map by Liesel
Map of the Ann Arbor Railroad based on National Atlas of the USA 1970
  • red = Ann Arbor Railroad today
  • purple = Former Ann Arbor Railroad
  • blue = Ferrys
  • grey = Manistique & Lake Superior RR
"Ann Arbor" is another railroad name like TP&W and Wisconsin Central that is confusing because it was used by the original railroad that built the route, but then it disappeared from use because a bigger railroad bought it out. Then it came back in use as a shortline because the current really big railroads don't like switching operations.

"The company owned as many as six car ferries, each longer than a football field, which transported entire trains across Lake Michigan." (StudentsOnSite)

Toledo, Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk describes the early history of the AA. AA acquired this railroad in 1895. During periods of its existence, it was owned by DT&I and Wabash. It became an independent subsidiary of PRR in 1963 and was absorbed by Penn Central. When Conrail assumed ownership when it was formed April 1, 1976, it wanted to operate only the south end. Michigan acquired the whole line to keep it intact. "The state eventually privatized this entity, selling it off in pieces to several different short-line railroad companiesOn October 7, 1988 a new Ann Arbor Railroad began operating the portion south of Ann Arbor; the Great Lakes Central Railroad now serves the remaining portions of the line. Some sections have been abandoned: from Yuma to Elberta and Frankfort (approximately 45 miles), about 10 miles in Shiawassee County, Michigan (in three discontinuous sections), and the trackage around the now-demolished Cherry Street Station in Toledo."

I still have not figured out the relationship between AA and Watco.

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