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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
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
One of the best railfan sites I've seen anywhere is at:
http://www.michiganrailroads.com/ ..... 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.
-- Iron Mountain, MI
Iron Mountain Iron Mine (Underground Mine Tour by Train) (Upper Peninsula) www.ironmountainironmine.com
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 www.michigantransitmuseum.com
200 Grand Ave, Mt Clemens MI 48043 (Depot)
24201 Henry B Joy Blvd, Clinton Twp, MI 48036 (Train Rides)
Ann Arbor MI:
the Gandy Dancer Restaurant http://www.muer.com/
401 Depot St, Ann Arbor MI 48104
Battle Creek MI:
637 E Michigan Ave, Lansing MI 48912 http://www.claras.com/railroad/thedepot.html
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 www.oldroaddinnertrain.com
301 E. Adrian Street, Blissfield MI 49228
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
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.