Posts Tagged ‘short line railroads of Michigan’

Michigan Short Line Being Sold

June 4, 2021

A Michigan short line railroad is being sold.

Mark W. Dobronski, president of the Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road, recently informed employees that the sale will occur this summer, subject to regulatory approval.

The new operator of the 20-mile short line in Lenawee County will be a startup firm named Transportation Holdings and led by Christopher Bagwell.

The A&B will be this new company’s first acquisition. Dobronski said the jobs of current workers are secure. 

“ADBF will continue to be ADBF,” he told employees. “While there will be some inevitable changes, such as new officers and directors of ADBF, Holdings has made clear to me that they consider the existing ADBF employees to be essential to the continued operations of ADBF — indeed, ADBF’s employees are deemed to be one of its greatest assets.”

Lake State Honored by Railway Age

March 14, 2018

Lake State Railway has been named the Class III railroad of the year by Railway Age magazine.

The trade publication cited the short line, which is based in Saginaw, Michigan, for its efforts to reverse a traffic decline and rehabilitate worn out tracks.

In 2013, LSR traffic had fallen 27 percent on the former Detroit & Mackinac line that it had acquired in 1992.

The railroad faced diminishing carloads and customer closings. Further, the customers who remained were shifting business to trucks because they were convinced that abandonment of the 201-mile railroad was imminent.

More than 100 miles of track on the Huron Subdivision was classified as excepted track due to lack of maintenance.

With carloads having fallen to 3,606 annually, LSR drew up and implemented a five-year strategic plan to reverse the fortunes of the line.

The railroad sent representatives into the field to meet with customers to win back their confidence in rail service and win back their business. In the process it landed five new customers.

The track was rebuilt and more than a half-billion in on-line industrial projects are under way, some of them trans-loading facilities.

Twenty miles of new or relay rail was put down and five miles of industrial tracks were built as part of a $10 million capital program.

Service frequency was also increased to better serve customers. What had been a weekly to Grayling, Michigan, is now operating five days a week.

Local service in Grayling will expand to two shifts later this year.

The plan has led to the creation of new jobs and thousands of new rail carloads.

LSR acquired 190 aggregate cars to support its largest customer and a fleet of mill gondola cars to win back business that another customer had planned to divert to truck.

Leasing 60-foot Plate F 286K boxcars enabled LSR to win new business from an oriented strand board mill in Grayling.

Train Crew Alert Michigan Authorities to Whereabouts of Murder Suspect

March 12, 2018

Police say the crew of a Michigan short line railroad helped them apprehend a suspect wanted in the killing of his parents.

A Great Lake Central Railroad conductor and conductor trainee spotted the suspect, James Eric Davis Jr., standing near the company’s tracks in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, late at night.

They contacted the railroad’s dispatcher who in turn notified police. Davis was arrested about a half-hour later.

Authorities believe that Davis was planning to jump aboard the GLCR train, which was moving at 17 mph at the time.

Davis has been charged in connection with the killing of James and Diva Davis of Chicago. The elder Davis was a police officer in suburban Bellwood, Illinois, while the younger Davis was a student at Central Michigan University.

News stories have reported that Davis couple had come to Mt. Pleasant to pick up their son after he had been hospitalized following what authorities have termed erratic behavior.

The shooting occurred in the residence hall room of the younger Davis, who has been charged in Michigan with two counts of murder.