A Chicago Hub Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
Pere Marquette Railroad

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The Pere Marquette Railway (PM) was a railroad that operated in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The railroad had trackage in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and the Canadian province of Ontario. Its primary connections included Buffalo, New York, Toledo, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois(wik)
In the 1920s the Pere Marquette came under the control of Cleveland financiers Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen who also controlled the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, Erie Railroad and Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and planned to merge the four railroads. The ICC did not approve the merger and the Van Sweringen brothers sold their interest in the Pere Marquette to the C&O, with which it formally merged on June 6, 1947. The C&O has since become part of CSX. In 1984, Amtrak named their passenger rail service between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago the Pere Marquette (wik). During the twentieth century the Pere Marquette was, primarily a regional railroad in Lower Michigan, noted for it's car ferry services across Lake Michigan and also across the rivers at Port Huron and Detroit. During the 40's it operated trains from Chicago and Detroit to Petoskey and Bay View and from Detroit to Bay City. A name train, the Resort Special, carried Pullman sleepers, diners and coaches. It also provided service to the port of Ludington, Michigan, from Chicago and Detroit, where its car ferry embarked for Manitowoc, Wisconsin. By the late 40's all other ferry services had been discontinued and most of the PM's remaining branch lines provided freight service only. The Pere Marquette operated out of the Grand Central Terminal in Chicago, along with the B&O, the Chicago Great Western and the Soo Line.(rp)
Pere Marquette
Pere Marquette
June 23, 1947
PM Logo

History of the Pere Marquette Railroad

The Pere Marquette Railroadwas formed in 1900 as the merger of the Chicago and West Michigan Railway, the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad.

Chicago and West Michigan Railway (C&WM)
1868 - The Allegan and Hollaand Railroad incorporated.
1869 - The Muskegon and Ferrysburg Railroad is organized.
1869 - The Michigan Lake Shore Railroad is formed as a merger of the A&H aand the M&F.
1870 - MLS completes 57.5 mile line from Allegan to Muskegon.
1872 - MLS in receivership.
1878 - MLS reorganized as the Grand Haven Rai;road
1881 - GH consolidated into the C&WM.
1869 - The Grand Rapids, Newaygo and Lake Shore Railroad was chartered in 1869 to build from Grand Rapids to White Cloud to connect with the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore.
1872-75 - GRN&LS completed.
1881 - GRN&LS consolidated into the C&WM.
1869 - The Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Rai;road was chartered in 1869.
1870-72 - C&MLS completes line from New
Buffalo to St. Joseph (1870), Montague (1871) and Pentwater (1872), partially built by the Montague, Pentwater and Manistee Railroad.
1872 - C&MLS opens branch lines Holland-Grand Rapids (built by Grand Rapids & Holland Rr), and Muskegon-Big Rapids (built by Nuskegon & Big Rapids Rr).
1876 - C&MLS In receivership.
1878 - C&MLS emerges as the Chicago and West Michigan Railroad
1881 - C&WM Rr consolidated as the Chicago and West Michigan Railway (C&WM).
1897 - The Grand Rapids, Kalkaska and Southeastern Railroad is founded and builds from northern Missaukee County to Rapid City, 40.7 miles.
cir 1898 - C&WM leases GRK&S for ten years, later extended by Pere Marquette.

Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad (F&PM)
1857 - Flint and Pere Marquette Railway is chartered to build on land grant land from Flint to Pere Marquette (now Ludington) on the shores of Lake Michigan.
1859 - Construction started in East Saginaw.
1862 - Service started Saginaw to Mount Morris 26.1 miles.
1864 - F&PM gains trackage rights to Detroit over the Flint and Holly Railroad and the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad.
1866-67 - 20 mile western section completed to Midland.
1863 - Flint and Holly Railroad chartered.
1864 - F&H completed Flint to Holly,
1868 - F&H bought by the F&PM.
1868 - F&PM extended from Midland to Averill.
1870-71 - West lines extended to Reed City and connection with Grand Rapids aand Indiana.
1864 - The Bay City and East Saginaw Railroad is chartered.
1867 - BC&ES completed Bay City to East Saginaw.
1868 - F&PM leases BC&ES.
11865 - The Holly, Wayne & Monroe Railway is chartered.
1870-72 - HW&M reaches Milford, Plymouth and Monroe.
1871 - Cass River Railroad chartered
1872 - CR completed East Saginaw to Vassar.
1871 - Flint River Railroad is chartered.
1872 - FR completed Horton to Otter Lake.
1872 - BC&ES, HW&M, CR and FR bought by F&PM.
1874 - F&PM completed to Ludington.
1875 - Leased steamboat runs from Lidington to Sheboygan, Wis.
1876 - Steamer switched to Milwaukee, Wis.
1876-83 - Goodrich Transportation operates lake steamers for F&PM.
1879 - F&PM in receivership.
1879 - Two branch lines built Cole to Mt. Pleasant (by Saginaw and Mt. Pleasant) and from Clare to Harrison (by Saginaw and Clare County).
1880 - F&PM reorganized as the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad.
1880 - F&PM subsidiary the Manistee Railroad built from Manistee Junction (now Walhalla) to Manistee.
1882 - F&PM steamers now running from Ludingtonto Milwaukee.
1890 - Steamer service to Manitowoc, Wis. imaugerated.
1889 - F&PM consolidated with the ES&SC, S&CC, S&MP and the Manistee Railroads.
1878 - The Port Huron and Northwestern Railway was chartered.
1879-82 - PH&NW completes main and ranch lines giving better accessto Port Huron from F&PM. 1889 - FP&M buys PH&NW and converts to standard gauge.
cir 1896-97 - The Monroe and Toledo Railway built a line from Monroe to Alexis in Ohio at the outskirts of Toledo.
1897 - The F&PM buys the M&T.
1897 - F&PM leases trackage from Alexis to Toledo from the Ann Arbor Railroad.
1899 - F&PM rebuilds grain elevator that had been destroyed by fire in Ludington.
1897 - Car ferry service from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wis proves to be higjly successful and interchanges with the Wisconsin Central and Chicago and Northwestern grow.
1899-1900 - The F&PM join the Chicago and West Michigan and the Detroit Grand Rapids and Western to form the Pere Marquette Railroad.

Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad (DGR&W)
1864 - The Detroit and Howell Railroad was incorporated to build a line from Detroit to Howell 48 miles.
1867 - Construction started in Plymouth, Mich.
1870 - 52 miles of D&H completed.
1868 - The Howell and Lansing Railroad is incorporated to build from Howell to Lansing 33 miles.
1870 - With no track laid the H&L merged with the D&H to form the Detroit, Howell and Lansing Railroad.
1865 - The Ionia and Lansing Rail Road was incorporated to build from Lansing to Ionia and Portland.
1869 - Charter of I&L enlarged to include an extension to Pentwater on Lake Michigan.
1869 - I&L line to Ionia opened.
1870 - Line extended northwest past Belding to Greenville.
1871 - I&L and DH&L consolidated to form the Detroit, Lansing and Lake Michigan Rai; Road
1871 - DL&LM expands line from Greenville to Howard City.
1872 - The Ionia Stanton and Northern was added to this consolidation into the DL&LM.
1876 - DL&LM in foreclosure.
1876 - DL&LM emerges as Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad.
1877-80 - The DL&N extended the Stanton Branch to McBride in 1877, to Blanchard in 1878 and Big Rapids in 1880 wheere it connected for the second time to the Grand Rapids and Indiana
1882 - DL&N leases Saginaw and Western Railroad, a logging road with 42 mile branch from Howard City to Alma.
1888 - The Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit Railroad built two lines, one from Grand Ledge to Grand Rapids and one from Oakdale Park Station to Reeds Lake (East Grand Rapids) which were both immediately leased y the DL&N.
1896 - DL&N in receivership
1897 - DL&N emerges as Detroit, Gland Rapids and Western Railroad.
1897 - Also included in the DGR&W consolidation were the GRL&D, the SW, the Saginaw Valley and St. Louis, and the Saginaw and Grand Rapids.

Pere Marquette Railroad
1900 - Pere Marquette Railroad formed by merger of Chicago & West Michigan, Flint & Pere Marquette and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western.
1900 - PM entered into agreement with the Pennsylvania and Michigan Central for operation and maintenance of Grand Rapids Union Station.
1901 - Car ferry Pere Marquette 17 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1901 - New 12-stall roundhouse built at Saginaw.
1902 - Car ferry (first) Pere Marquette 18 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1902 - River ferry service begun between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
1902 - At end of summer season steamship service between Ottawa Beach (Holland) and Milwaukee ended.
1903 - Lake Erie & Detroit River RR acquired (across Canada). River ferry service begun between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
PM jointly formed Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Company with Bessemer & Lake Erie RR to haul coal hoppers from Conneaut, Ohio to Erieau, Ontario and Port Stanley, Ontario via car ferry. 1903 - Car ferries Pere Marquette 19 and Pere Marquette 20 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1903 - Harbor Beach and Port Hope R.R. Co. completed between namesake villages.
1903 - Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron R.R., Bay City Belt Line R.R., Sanilac R.R., are merged into P.M. on same day.
1903 - Car ferry service begun between Ludington and Kewaunee, Wisconsin.
1903 - Trackage completed from New Buffalo to Michigan Central RR at Porter, Indiana- direct service to Chicago begun.
1903 - Harbor Beach and Port Hope R.R. Co. merged into the Pere Marquette.
1904 - PM leased to Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton RR.
1904 - PM river ferry Pere Marquette 14 launched.
1904 - Coach shops constructed in Saginaw.
1905 - New shops complex built at Wyoming.
1905 - St. Thomas, Ontario shop facilities constructed.
1905 - Car ferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) placed into service on Lake Erie.
1905 - PM gained control of Toledo Rwy & Terminal Co.
1905-1907 - First receivership
1907 - PM relinquished control of Toledo Rwy & Terminal Co.
1909 - Car ferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) lost on Lake Erie.
1910 - Car ferrry (First) Pere Marquette 18 sunk 20 miles off of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
1910 - Car ferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (2nd) placed into service on Lake Erie.
1911 - Car ferry (second) Pere Marquette 18 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1911 - PM sold to J. P. Morgan. 20 new, larger stalls added to Saginaw roundhouse. Major upgrading of facilities in the Port Huron area began.
1912 - Second receivership began. Control of PM by Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton ended.
1912 - Ludington roundhouse constructed.
1913 - Rail service between Holland and Ottawa Beach ended.
1913 - Port Huron roundhouse and coal dock are completed, as well as the bascule bridge over the Black River.
1914 - PM lease of London & Port Stanley RR (acquired with Lessor in 1903) ends.
1915 - Line from Stratford to Spencer abandoned.
1917 - Car ferry Pere Marquette 16 sold.
1917 - PM sold to Pere Marquette Railway Company in foreclosure sale.
1917-1929 - New or improved yard and/or engine facilities completed at Flint, New Buffalo, Plymouth, Saginaw, Ottawa and Wyoming
1918-1928 - Several branch lines and/or ferry's abandoned, including line to Benton Harbor
1921 - PM incorporated Flint Belt RR Co.
1924 - Van Sweringen's take control of PM, NKP and Erie Railroads
1924 - Car ferries Pere Marquette 21 and Pere Marquette 22 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1924 - New coach yard and engine terminals built for Union Belt Railway of Detroit (PM, Pennsylvania and Wabash) in Detroit.
1927 - PM river ferry Pere Marquette 12 launched.
1929 Chesapeake & Ohio acquired controlling interest in the PM.
1929 - Car ferry City of Saginaw 31 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1929-1930 - Used locomotives purchased in quantity
1930 - Car ferry City of Flint 32 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1931 - Saginaw coach shops renovated.
1931 - PM acquired control of Manistee & North Eastern RR
1932 Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Company formally abandoned-- all sailings discontinued.
1932 - River ferry service suspended at Port Huron. (Resumed by C&O in the 1950s)
1932-1934 - More branch line and ferry services abandoned
1937 - First N-class Berkshire locomotives received from Lima.
1939 First diesel switcher, EMC SW1 #10, arrived on property.
1938-1942 - Several car ferries sold
1941 - Car ferry City of Midland 41 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1941-1944 - More line abandonment's. St. Thomas, Ontario shop facilities upgraded.
1942 - Second diesel switcher, EMD SW1 #11, delivered to PM.
1945 - PM river ferry Pere Marquette 10 launched.
1946 - Two EMD E7A passenger diesels delivered to PM for use on new Pere Marquette streamliner. Train is inaugurated between Grand Rapids and Detroit, as the nationís first all-new postwar streamlined passenger train.
1947 - Pere Marquette Railway merged into the Chesapeake & Ohio.
1972 - C&O becomes part of Chessie System which includes the Baltimore and Ohio, and the Western Maryland.
1980 - Chessie and Seaboard Coast Line combine as CSX Corporation.
1987 - CSX merges all railroad subsidiaries into CSX Transportation, one of seven class 1 railroads operating in North America at beginning of 21st Century.

Pere Marquette map

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940 Pere Marquette Historical Society(pmh)
Americas Colerful Railroads - Don Ball Jr. (dbj)
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 30, 2009, revised Sept. 30, 2011