Grand Trunk Western Railway Steam Feature for February 2018

Featured Grand Trunk Western Railway steam subjects for this February post include various locations in Illinois and Michigan:

  • GTW #6302 – Chicago, IL – 11/5/40
  • GTW #6312 – Battle Creek, MI – 8/53
  • GTW #6332 – Pontiac, MI – 7/56
  • GTW #6336 – Chicago, IL – 12/30/54
  • GTW #8318 – Battle Creek, MI – 7/50
  • GTW #8373 – Muskegon, MI – 7/19/57

All photos courtesy of www.rr-fallenflags.org.


Rock on Trains © 2018, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Valparaiso, IN / Durand, MI / Olivet, MI / Owosso, MI

Featured Grand Trunk Western depots on the blog this month are those in Valparaiso, Indiana and Durand, Olivet, and Owosso, Michigan:

Grand Trunk Western Herald

  • GTW – Valparaiso, IN – 9/24/12
  • GTW – Durand, MI – 3/69
  • GTW – Olivet, MI – Date unknown
  • GTW – Owosso, MI – 3/69

All photos courtesy of www.rr-fallenflags.org/.


Rock on Trains © 2016, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

 

Grand Trunk Western Railway Steam Feature for February 2016

Grand Trunk Western HeraldFeatured Grand Trunk Western Railway steam subjects for this February post include various locomotive classes around the Brush St. station in Detroit:

  • GTW #5630 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56
  • GTW #5631 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56
  • GTW #5633 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56
  • GTW #6038 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56
  • GTW #6335 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56
  • GTW #6407 – Detroit MI – 8/13/56

All photos courtesy of www.godfatherrails.com.


Rock on Trains © 2016, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

My Train Recollections: John Uhelski

Mr. John Uhelski, my friend and fellow train buff, shares his train recollections with us this month. Thanks for your memories, John!


johnuhelskiMy train watching addiction began at and early age; I, too, remember the trains at the Detroit Zoo, but also grew up with Grand Trunk Western steam at places like Brush Street Station and Eastern Market in Detroit. I also recall freight and passenger trains at the classic Birmingham Station with the high platforms.

My dad was a salaried Ford Motor Company employee, so he took my brother and me on a GTW steam-powered trip from Detroit to Pontiac in the late 1950s. Years later, I was at one of the meetings of the AATTW when Emery Gulash was showing his GTW steam slides and I saw the photos he’d taken. I mentioned that I was on this trip, and he replied, “This was a private Ford employees special; how did you get to ride on it?” I told him about my dad and it all made sense. Mr. Gulash and I remained friends for many years and stood side by side along the ROW in future train journeys over the years before his passing.

Not to dismiss the diesel engines that replaced the iron horses of my youth, my Dad often took us to the many junctions in the Detroit area. We spent much time at places like Wayne Jct, Romulus, Carleton, Milan and South Lyon, watching the growlers bounce over the diamonds in the 1960s. Great memories of climbing the tower steps to visit the operators, waiting for the bell announcing an upcoming train, throwing switch and semaphore levers to “help” the operator. All that’s left now are silver boxes trackside and memories.

In the late 50s and early 60s, we vacationed “up north” around the Petoskey, Michigan area of the northern lower peninsula. The C&O and EJ&S got the once-over by my family. I have vivid memories of C&O spotless E-Units on passenger trains and GP-30s on freights. Old #6 on the EJ&S was a treat for us steam-starved train nuts then.

My first real freight ride was in 1967 on the C&O from Petoskey to Central Lake, MI. We were at the Petoskey station and the train was about to depart southbound when a request was made to hitch a ride.  The friendly conductor told me, “You cannot ride in the caboose, but if you find an open box car, I will turn my head while you jump on.” To this day, I cannot believe that my parents allowed this trip. It was a perfect Michigan summer day with blue sky and lakeside breezes. The trip was magical for me and I only wish I had taken my Kodak Instamatic along for the ride. The crew dropped me off at the Drawbridge Road crossing, just north of Central Lake, MI, where I had a short walk back to my grandparents’ cabin on Benway Lake.  I was walking on air, a railfan for life!

I have countless more snapshot memories like this and could go on for days. My first ever train photo was of an eastbound NYC freight at the Henry Ruff Road crossing in Inkster, MI, led by a set of ALCO cab units. The B&W image is speed- and nerve-blurred , but I have it to this day. First color photos were of cigar band NYC E-Units on long passenger trains at the classic depot in Ann Arbor, MI. My aunt and uncle lived in this town , walking distance from the depot. Our tradition was as follows: visit with Ethyl and Rolland, eat dinner at the Old German Restaurant, then head to the depot in the late afternoon/evening for the passenger rush. I can remember the massive waiting room there, foot steps echoing on the tile floors. Then the show began, east and west bound varnish, pulled by sets of big E-Units. The spotless stainless steel cars hinted of exotic far away places and had to be documented with my trusty Instamatic camera — then, the wait for processing soon after.  All quaint memories in this digital age of instant gratification.


Rock on Trains © 2014, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Birmingham, MI / New Haven, MI / Richmond, MI / Clarkston, MI

Today’s featured depots are on the Grand Trunk Western Railway in Southeastern Michigan.  The Birmingham station (1979) has been restored and now houses a beautiful restaurant.  Amtrak still services Birmingham in a building adjacent to the station.  The New Haven station (1979) has been restored and currently houses a museum.  The Richmond station (1979) has been removed and I’m not quite sure if it has been moved to a new location or razed. The Clarkston station (1979) was vacated by the railroad in 1959. It is currently being used as a theater for a local acting group.


Rock on Trains © 2012, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Ft. Payne, AL / Durand, MI / Royal Oak, MI / Kingsville, Ont. / Essex, Ont. / Harrow, Ont.

Today’s featured Southern Railway depot is Ft. Payne, AL (1978); Grand Trunk Western depots are Durand, MI (1979) and Royal Oak, MI (1979); Michigan Central Railway depot is Essex, Ontario (1978); Pere Marquette Railway depots are Kingsville, Ontario and Harrow, Ontario (1979).

The Southern station at Ft. Payne, AL has been turned into a museum. The Grand Trunk station at Royal Oak, MI has been razed, while the station at Durand, MI now houses a museum. The Michigan Central station in Essex, Ontario has been saved and also now houses a museum. The Pere Marquette station at Harrow, Ontario has been razed, while the Kingsville station has been restored and now houses a fine restaurant, the Mettawas Station.

Rock on Trains © 2012, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.