A Chicago Hub Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
Grand Trunk Western Railway

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Grand Trunk Western
Grand Trunk Western
April 24, 1941
The Grand Trunk Western Railway Incorporated (GTW) is the American arm of Canadian National operating in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The Grand Trunk Western was one of the last North American railroads to use steam locomotives in regular service; until 1960. Since a corporate restructuring by CN in 1971 the railroad has been under a subsidiary holding company known as the Grand Trunk Corporation.
The Grand Trunk Western's mainline, known as its Chicago Division, runs between Chicago, Illinois and Port Huron, Michigan. It serves as a connection between the railroad interchanges in Chicago and the rail lines in eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. The railroad also has extensive trackage in Detroit, Michigan, and Ohio. Its presence in Detroit has made the railroad an essential link for the automotive industry. GTW has become known as a major hauler of parts and autos from manufacturing plants around Detroit and across Michigan.(wik)
During the 30's and 40's the GTW ran three passenger trains a day, each way on it's double track main line, between Chicago and Port Huron, Michigan where it connected with, it's parent, the Canadian National, for through Pullman service to Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec on the "Canadian" and the

Grand Trunk Western
Grand Trunk Western CN System
September 1955
"Overseas". The GTW and CN also collaborated with the Lehigh Valley Railroad to run a luxury train, the "Maple Leaf", from Chicago to New York. As late as 1947 the Maple Leaf was headed by U4b 4-8-4 Northern steam locomotives. From Pontiac, Michigan connections were made to Detroit. Service was also provided from Detroit to Muskegon, Michigan where Muskegon-Milwaukee Car Ferry Service brought riders across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. The GTW also operated passenger service on several branch lines in Michigan, and provided suburban service from Detroit to Pontiac (rp).
History of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW)

1880 - The Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway was created by Canada's Grand Trunk Railway System, GTR, predecessor of Canadian National Railway, to build a line linking Canada to Chicago across lower Michigan. The GTW was eventually, made up of several smaller railroads in Michigan including the following:
Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway.
Chicago, Detroit and Grand Trunk Junction Railroad
Michigan Air-Line Railway
Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway
Toledo, Saginaw and Muskegon Railroad
Detroit and Huron Railroad
Detroit and Pontiac Railroad
Peninsular Railroad Company
Pontiac, Oxford and Northern Railroad
The route eventually became the Grand Trunk Western Railway
1891 - Tunnel from Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario connects GTW with it's parent Canadian National
1923 - GTW amalgamated into the Canadian National Railway
1928 - Canadian National consolidated all of its rail lines in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana and formed the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a separate company owned by CNR that operated its routes in the United States.
Post 1928 - GTW takes control of Detroit and Toledo Shore Line, formerly shared with the Nickel Plate. The DTSL served heavily industrialized areas
1947 - U4b 4-8-4 Northern steam locomotive on the "Maple Leaf" Chicago to New York passenger train.
1949 - GTW receives F3 freight diesels.
1960 - GTW all dieselized.
1975 - GTW obtains trackage rights with Penn-Central to use Detroit River tunnel from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario
1980-1983 - GTW purchases and merges Detroit Toledo and Ironton Railroad
1995 - New Port Huron-Sarnia tunnel can handle double stack intermodal and tri-stack auto cars

Grand Truck Western

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Americas Colerful Railroads - Don Ball Jr. (dbj)
Diesel Victory-Kalmbach Publishing Co.
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 31, 2011