Train Rides


Michigan is a great railfanning state!  Detroit is not the only interesting place in Michigan to railfan, altho it is the largest and has the most going on.   Don't overlook the other great towns, places, and things Michigan has to offer!

In Detroit, you have Delrey Tower and the Ford Transportation Museum in Dearborn for starters.  Detroit is lucky and has many rail yards, altho a number of them are not very accessible for good photos.   All of the biggies" have at least one yard in the area: CSX, NS, CN.  Since the split, NS took over the River Rouge Conrail yard, and CN operates out of the former Grand Trunk yard on the NW side of town.  CSX has a yard by the Ford plant, and has an operation on the west side in Plymouth....

And speaking of Plymouth, there you have the Plymouth Diamond which always seems to be a favorite with railfans, but be warned against going into the diamond area, as CSX will call the local gendarmes for your pleasure!  There is also a former depot turned restaurant to chow down in after a day full of railfanning!

Not too far south from downtown Detroit, on the way to Toledo, is a spot where ALL of the major railines were within a quarter mile (or so) of each other, and I can easily picture this back in the steam era when freights were everywhere - people probably got really mad waiting for trains back in 1945 (supposedly the peak year for rail traffic) - it's still a neat place for pictures!

Windsor is just "on the other side" and is a OK place for railfanning according to two railfans I met in Owosso, but take along your passport!!!

Outside of the Detroit area, you have Saginaw, Flint, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Bay City, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and Lansing to name a few.....  Each town has it's attractions, and none should be overlooked if you are in the area of any of them.

To the south and across the state line from Detroit is Toledo and Walbridge, and if you've never been to Walbridge before, you have to stop there just to check out the plethora of tracks running all over the place, not to mention a diamond with the NS to the north.

One of my favorites is the depot in Durand, but almost all of the towns I have a guide for, have a depot and they are all great.

Going outside Michigan on the main map, you have places like Michigan City, South Bend, Gary, and Elkhart, all good spots with things like the National NYC RR Museum in Elkhart and the home to NICTD and the South Shore in Michigan City.

If you are into things like park trains and Live Diesel and Steam, we have lost two big attractions: Junction Valley RR in Bridgeport MI, which closed in 2018, and the Grand Traverse Steam Train in Traverse City.  There is still the White Creek RR north north of Grand Rapids, where you have over 6 miles of 1/8 scale track down (7 1/2" gauge)..... It's the second largest in the U.S. after Train Mountain in Oregon.  The Ford museum in Dearborn has an operating park train.

If you're looking for full size trains to ride a number of choices: the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, and the Coopersville and Marne Rwy in Coopersville MI to name just a few.

During the 2009 Train Festival weekend, I was able to visit Delray, Lansing, part of Saginaw, Bay City, Fostoria, some of Toledo, Berea, Junction Valley, and Walbridge in addition to Owosso and Durand, so we've had a chance to do guides for those areas.

Back in 2012, Amtrak's 40th Birthday/Anniversary Train stopped in Jackson MI, the only Michigan location.  I have pictures of it here.

Additional links to pages I've found will be listed below, associated with my maps if applicable.  Save those web pages if you want the info, as pages come and go faster than slicked lightening :-)

One of the best railfan sites I've seen anywhere is at: ..... they have a lot of good info and maps... the website is easy to navigate, and the website has a good look and feel to it.


Clinton MI:
Southern Michigan RR Society
320 South Division St,  Clinton MI 49236

Dearborn MI:
The Henry Ford Museum
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn MI 48124-5029

Durand MI:
Duran Union Station
P.O. Box 106, 200 Railroad Street, Durand MI 48429

Saginaw MI:
The Saginaw Railway Museum
900 Maple St, PO Box 20454, Saginaw MI 48602

Saint Johns MI:
Northern Michigan RR Museum
107 E Railroad St, Saint Johns MI 48879-1525

And outside Michigan, but close enough for a day ride to visit are:

Bellevue OH:
Mad River & NKP Railway Museum
253 Southwest St, Bellevue, OH 44811

Elkhart IN:
The National NYC RR Museum
721 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516

Noblesville IN:
The Indiana Transportation Museum


-- Blissfield MI
Adrian & Blissfield RR, ye Old Road Dinner Train
301 E. Adrian Street​, Blissfield, MI 49228

-- Cedar Springs MI
White Creek Railroad (1/8 Scale Trains)
2-80 Aspen St NE, Cedar Springs MI 49319

-- Clinton MI
Southern Michigan Railroad Society
P.O. Box A, Clinton, MI 49236-0001

-- Coldwater MI
Little River RR (Steam)
29 W. Park Ave, Coldwater, MI 49036

-- Dearborn MI
The Henry Ford Museum (Park Train)
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn MI 48124-5029

-- Fairview MI
Michigan AuSable Valley RR (Quarter Scale Railroad)
230 S. Abbe Road, Fairview MI 48621

-- Flint MI
The Huckleberry Railroad (Steam +)
6140 Bray Rd,  Flint MI 48505

-- Lake Linden, MI
Houghton County Historical Museum (Steam +) (Upper Peninsula)
Lake Linden, MI 49945

-- Iron Mountain, MI
Iron Mountain Iron Mine (Underground Mine Tour by Train) (Upper Peninsula)
9 miles East of Iron Mountain, W4852 Hwy U.S. 2, Vulcan MI 49892 (Located At)
Iron Mountain Iron Mine, P.O. Box 216, Iron Mountain MI 49801 (Mailing Address)

-- Mt Clemens MI
Michigan Transit Museum
200 Grand Ave, Mt Clemens MI 48043 (Depot)
24201 Henry B Joy Blvd, Clinton Twp, MI 48036 (Train Rides)

-- Owosso MI
Steam Railroad Institute
405 S Washington St, Owosso, MI 48867
P.O. Box 665, Owosso, MI 48867-0665

-- Tequamenon Falls MI
Wilderness Train Ride (Upper Peninsula)
7195 County Road 381, Soo Junction MI 49868
888-778-7246, or, 906-876-2311 (gift shop)


Ann Arbor MI:
the Gandy Dancer Restaurant
401 Depot St, Ann Arbor MI 48104

Battle Creek MI:
Clara's Restaurant
637 E Michigan Ave, Lansing MI 48912
Google has Clara's as being permanently closed, if true, it is a said loss, it was a beautiful restaurant!

-- Blissfield MI
Adrian & Blissfield RR, ye Old Road Dinner Train
301 E. Adrian Street​, Blissfield MI 49228

Lansing MI:
Clara's Restaurant
637 E Michigan Ave, Lansing MI 48912
It looks like this is also, no longer a Clara's restaurant, shame, for Google now has it listed as: the Lansing Union Railroad Depot

Mackinaw MI:
Historic Depot Restaurant
248 S Huron Ave, Mackinaw City MI 49701

Plymouth MI:
Stella's Trackside (formerly Station 885) (still works)
885 Starkweather Rd, Plymouth MI 48170

Traverse City MI:
Alas, the dinner train has not been with us since about 2010.... :-(

Additional Michigan Railfan Links:  Covering the Grand Rapids area and more, railroad freqs, etc  Where to Railfan in Michigan  Links for Michigan Railfans by DLW  Michigan Passenger Stations by Louis Van Winkle MI's Internet History Museum (by the decade)  Michigan Railfanning by Brian Plant (I think) with pics from him and Mike Spencer  A Frograil railfan guide for Michigan, contributions by many  Blog listing the frequencies shown below by Mackinac Mac  Chicago Area Rail Junctions by Bill Gustason  the Grand Trunk Western RR by Daniel Ward  A few Ann Arbor pix from Tim Vermande  Michigan Railroad and Railfan Websites  Mobile Scanner & Radar Detector Laws In The U.S. by Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH

Todd's Guides and Maps

I used to have a list of guides I've prepared for Michigan on this page, but it gets too complicated to update two or three pages every time I make a change or addition, so I will have to make you hit the back button and check out the main index page for my guides.  Sorry.







I found these on a blog, contributed by someone with the screen name Mackinac Mac, if anyone knows who he is, thank him for me, cause it took a long time to type this stuff into the blog

Since I was in Michigan last, they seemed to have changed the law concerning having a scanner with you in a car, effective 2006... But getting a ham radio license can still be a fun thing, and they are a lot more helpful than CB when you get into a strange town and are looking for help (as long as you have a repeater guide with you).  This is from the same blog.


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


New JUN2009, AUG09/2009, DEC22/2011, MAR20/2015, OCT14/2020
Last revised: 10/16/2020