A Midwest Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad


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The Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I), a U.S. railroad offering service from Marquette, Michigan, to nearby locations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, began operations in 1896. Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway was organized in 1892-3 as a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources, the iron ore mining company. The railroad's primary objective was the transport of iron ore from the Marquette Iron Range, located west of Marquette, to docks on Lake Superior from which the ore could be shipped to steel mills on the lower Great Lakes. The primary towns on the iron range are Ishpeming and Negaunee, Michigan. The LS&I, in its prime, ran from Munising, Michigan and the timber resources on the east to Princeton, Marquette, Ishpeming, Big Bay and the iron mines on the west. Passenger operations were never a major function of the LS&I, It did, however, grow it's services from the early 1900's to the early 30's between its major towns and cities of Munising, Cusino, Lawson, Princeton, Marquette, Ishpeming and Big Bay. The passenger services began to reduce gradually, as ridership declined, until by 1957 only one mixed train ran from Munising to Lawson. By 1960 the LS&I was freight only. The LS&I built new branches as new mines and resources opened up, but then began to spin off unused portions of its lines starting about 1957. The LS&I continues to transport ore on a short line near Ishpeming, 16 miles, to its Lake Superior port. It is headquartered in Marquette.
Short History of the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad
1892 - Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway was organized as a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources, the iron ore mining company.
1895 - The Munising Railway Company (MRR) was organized with lines from Princeton to Munising and Stillman to Cusino.
1896 - The LS&I line was completed and ran from Presque Isle (north side of Marquette) west to Ishpeming.
1896-97 - A wooden ore dock in Presque Isle was completed.
1900 - The Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company operates a line from Big Bay through Marquette to Lawson.
1910 - Presque Isle ore dock becomes obsolete.
1911-12 - New concrete ore docks built.
c 1912 - The Munising Railway Company and the Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company were consolidated to form the Munising,


LS&I
Lake Superior & Ishpeming
January 27, 1957

LS&I57
Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company (MM&SE).
1923 - The MM&SE Company merged with the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway Company to form the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad Company. The LS&I contributed 33 miles of the total of 173 miles of mainline of the new company. The LS&I's now ran through a section of the Upper Peninsula thickly forested with pulpwood, adding a second commodity to the LS&I's workload. The LS&I also operated the former M&SE line from Marquette northwest to Big Bay.
1931 - Two passenger trains a day ran each way from Munising to Lawson, Marquette and Princeton. One train ran from Marquette to Big Bay and one on the East branch from Munising to Cusino.
1939 - Construction completed on breakwater in Presque Isle harbor to protect ships at the dock.
1940-50 - The Munising-to-Princeton and Lawton-to-Marquette passenger service had been reduced to one train a day each way, and Big Bay service was operating 3 times a week.
1949 - The LS&I acquired one-half interest in the C&NW Michegamme Branch.
1950-1982 - LS&I dieselizes with first generation Alco's and second generation GE locomotives.
1952 - Construction of a new line from Duncan to Humboldt Mine and Republic Mine was completed.
1954-55 - Construction of a new line to the Eagle Mills Pellet Plant was completed. This was the first large volume production of pellets on the Marquette Range.
1955 - The only passenger service remaining was a single daily mixed train from Munising to Princeton. Marquette and Big Bay were no longer served.
1958 - The line to Big Bay was abandoned; 24 miles.
1960 - All passenger service had been discontinued.
1961 - Construction of a line to Empire Mine began.
1963 - The Big Bay Branch was sold to the Marquette & Huron Mountain Railroad Company.
1972-74 - Further construction on the Empire Mine tracks completed.
1980 - Munising operations ended.
2007 - The Lake Superior & Ishpeming's primary remaining business continued to be the transport of iron ore over a 16 miles short line from the Empire-Tilden Mine, operated by Cliffs Natural Resources, south of Ishpeming, to Lake Superior for transport.

LS&Imap
Lake Superior & Ishpeming - 1957


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions
http://www.i2k.com/~dpierce/LSI/history.html
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009. revised June 15, 2011