Any Railroad themed carnivals in Michigan

Are there any railroad sponsored open houses or carnivals in Michigan? I recently moved back to the Metro-Detroit area after living in Central Illinois. An hour from my old home in Illinois was Galesburg, where BNSF was the largest employer & had a large yard. Every June, the town would have a carnival called “Galesburg Railroad Days” & BNSF, rarely Amtrak, would exhibit their trains. I have photos of my daughter in front of a new BNSF locomotive, each year, since she was born until last year.

I see CN, CP, CSX, Norfolk Southern & possibly others, have yards in the metro-Detroit area. I have seen Hi-Rail equipment with these railroad logos on the roads, around here. I also see carnival-like events in the towns around me. But are there any carnivals that these railroads participate in, where public could get close to the actual trains? Possibly in communities around Detroit, where some railroad has a large yard.

Thanks,

Naveen

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Original Post

Nothing class 1 related that I know of.  I believe the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, MI does a railfan weekend each year (already happened this year I think).  

If you're interested in historical equipment, you can see and ride behind steam locomotives at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.  We have three operable steam locomotives, a roundhouse you can tour as well as a lot of other historical buildings.  Obviously that's an everyday museum vs. the festivals you mentioned, but it might be an option for you.

Only thing I can think of is The Polar Express during the holiday season. North west of Detroit 2 hours.  I'm sure somebody here can give you more information.  Also The Canadian Pacific decorated Holiday train comes through Detroit from Windsor. Greenfield Village is always good  

"Welcome home".  

I think the line outside of the Airforce base is doing it's short excursions again.

Greenfield Villiage/Henry Ford Museum has greatly improved for RR content inside and out, over the more recent years. (With all that maize &blue, you kinda gotta know where that is )

During the winter the CN & CP holiday trains have both made passes by us and unscheduled stops Downriver  (depending on if they are on time for Ill. or Ind. I think)

Owosso still has things going. I think that would be the largest.

But thats all I know of. I.e., not much for the big names and big modern locos around metro that I've ever heard of. 

There is one railfan site frequented by some Detroiters that is pretty savy on the sweet spots but I can't recall the name right now.....I was thinking about them a lot lately. Give me time and wish real hard for some faster replies, lol. I don't get out much so don't give up hope. I'd bet Detroit Model Railroad Club and the 3railers are your best bets for more info outside of your asking here.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Hi Naveen: I would recommend the operating locomotives at Greenfield Village.  They have several historic locomotives that operated every day until October 31, 2017 & will reopen in the spring of 2018.  

Click here for more formationGreenfield Village

I also do a lot of rail-fanning at Durand Station.   http://www.durandstation.org/  

Gary

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SantaFe158 posted:

Nothing class 1 related that I know of.  I believe the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, MI does a railfan weekend each year (already happened this year I think).  

If you're interested in historical equipment, you can see and ride behind steam locomotives at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.  We have three operable steam locomotives, a roundhouse you can tour as well as a lot of other historical buildings.  Obviously that's an everyday museum vs. the festivals you mentioned, but it might be an option for you.

Jake,

Thanks for the leads on the historical equipment. Before moving to America, I grew up riding electric & diesel trains, in India & I have always liked modern trains. I even visited the Henry Ford museum in 2007 & looked at the steam locomotive(s), stored indoors, but it didn’t motivate me to get to know them better. But based on the replies to my original post, there appears to be more opportunities to get closer to historical equipment, than to contemporary trains. My daughter, unlike me, seems to like all trains. So, I might pay another visit to the Henry Ford museum, later this year, if she wants to see trains again.

Thanks,

Naveen

clem k posted:

Only thing I can think of is The Polar Express during the holiday season. North west of Detroit 2 hours.  I'm sure somebody here can give you more information.  Also The Canadian Pacific decorated Holiday train comes through Detroit from Windsor. Greenfield Village is always good  

Clem,

I was aware of the Polar Express & I plan to ride it with my daughter, preferably, when there is snow, on the ground. My daughter, loved the movie & when I told her that I was moving to a place where the real Polar Express is, she was excited. But she told me that unlike the kids in the movie, who rode the trains without their parents, she wouldn’t want to ride on it, unless I was with her.

Thanks for the lead on the Canadian Pacific holiday train. I went to their website & they are planning to have the 2017 schedule uploaded, next month. But looking at the 2016 schedule, even though the map, shows the route through Michigan, there weren’t any events / stops, listed for Michigan. The map appeared to suggest that it went through Michigan, but only stopped at Windsor, before entering, & at Chicago, after leaving.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

naveenrajan posted:
clem k posted:

Only thing I can think of is The Polar Express during the holiday season. North west of Detroit 2 hours.  I'm sure somebody here can give you more information.  Also The Canadian Pacific decorated Holiday train comes through Detroit from Windsor. Greenfield Village is always good  

Clem,

I was aware of the Polar Express & I plan to ride it with my daughter, preferably, when there is snow, on the ground. My daughter, loved the movie & when I told her that I was moving to a place where the real Polar Express is, she was excited. But she told me that unlike the kids in the movie, who rode the trains without their parents, she wouldn’t want to ride on it, unless I was with her.

Thanks for the lead on the Canadian Pacific holiday train. I went to their website & they are planning to have the 2017 schedule uploaded, next month. But looking at the 2016 schedule, even though the map, shows the route through Michigan, there weren’t any events / stops, listed for Michigan. The map appeared to suggest that it went through Michigan, but only stopped at Windsor, before entering, & at Chicago, after leaving.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

A small suggestion if you do plan on riding onboard one of the North Pole express trips with 1225, I'd recommend getting tickets sooner than later. Cocoa class, coach class, and caboose seating are all sold out. The only remaining seating is economy class.  

Adriatic posted:

"Welcome home".  

I think the line outside of the Airforce base is doing it's short excursions again.

Greenfield Villiage/Henry Ford Museum has greatly improved for RR content inside and out, over the more recent years. (With all that maize &blue, you kinda gotta know where that is )

During the winter the CN & CP holiday trains have both made passes by us and unscheduled stops Downriver  (depending on if they are on time for Ill. or Ind. I think)

Owosso still has things going. I think that would be the largest.

But thats all I know of. I.e., not much for the big names and big modern locos around metro that I've ever heard of. 

There is one railfan site frequented by some Detroiters that is pretty savy on the sweet spots but I can't recall the name right now.....I was thinking about them a lot lately. Give me time and wish real hard for some faster replies, lol. I don't get out much so don't give up hope. I'd bet Detroit Model Railroad Club and the 3railers are your best bets for more info outside of your asking here.

Adriatic,

I had seen videos of CP Holiday Trains on these forums, but I didn’t know that CN also had a holiday train.

With so many automotive assembly plants located around Detroit, are there any parking lots / bridges where one could get a good view of the operations, while not trespassing?

I always enjoy watching the BMW loading / unloading operations at the Port of Charleston, from the upper decks of the Charleston aquarium, when I go to South Carolina. I assume that there would be more automotive loading activity happening around Detroit.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

Hello Naveen,

I know exactly what you are talking about.  When I read your post I would have sworn that I written it five years ago.  I too am from Central Illinois, CAT Country, as I lived in Washington which is 10-12 miles east of Peoria.  Indeed welcome home to the land of the Maze and Blue!!!!!!!!!!

I'm very familiar with the Galesburg and unfortunately you will not find anything here in Michigan that comes close to Galesburg Days nor an overpass that overlooks a massive freight and passenger yard.   I used to attend that weekend with my family as well and we always had a great time. 

On the plus side, you'll find a LOT more train shows in this area which easily surpass the one at ICC and the one at Galesburg.  Much more variety available. 

Peoria has only the one train store, and it is a great shop given its size, and community that it serves.  We have a few good ones left here and they should meet your needs no matter the scale you may be in.

There are several clubs in the area as well in various scales if you are inclined to being with others with a similar passion for the hobby.

Attached are some photos from Peoria and Galesburg that you'll immediately recognize!

Feel free to contact me directly anytime, just ck out my email address.

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090

313

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322

324345

Kazar

C&O H8 Allegheny The heaviest & most powerful bad boy to ever traverse any rail!!

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naveenrajan posted:

Thanks for the leads on the historical equipment. Before moving to America, I grew up riding electric & diesel trains, in India & I have always liked modern trains. I even visited the Henry Ford museum in 2007 & looked at the steam locomotive(s), stored indoors, but it didn’t motivate me to get to know them better. But based on the replies to my original post, there appears to be more opportunities to get closer to historical equipment, than to contemporary trains. My daughter, unlike me, seems to like all trains. So, I might pay another visit to the Henry Ford museum, later this year, if she wants to see trains again.

Thanks,

Naveen

No problem.  I can't say there aren't opportunities to see class 1 and other modern equipment out there, but I don't know of any up close and personal opportunities like the festival you mentioned.  A friend of mine does a lot of rail fanning in the Detroit area, but I've never really done anything like that around here.  Unfortunately I can't really give you a good direction on where to go for that.

The Henry Ford Museum (and it's outdoor portion, Greenfield Village, where I work) have a lot of opportunities to be up close to things.  Obviously you saw everything in the museum, where you can climb in the cab of C&O Allegheny 1601, but in the village you can ride behind one of our three operating locomotives, check out our roundhouse where we maintain them, and take a peek underneath a 100 ton 1902 ALCO 4-4-2 from the Michigan Central railroad.  

If you come in October, our 1873 Mason 0-6-4T "Torch Lake" is scheduled to be pulling trains to finish out our operating season for 2017.  It's unofficially the oldest operating steam locomotive in the country (I can't find any older ones running at this time) and is one of only two Mason built locomotives left in the world.  Obviously this is subject to change if any mechanical issues arise.

There is a railroad weekend called Railroad Days, up in Durand Mich.  Down in Adrian there is the Adrian and Blissfield you can ride,   There is also a small steam operation out around Jonesville, below Jackson Mich....Junction Valley had a neat operation up past Birch Run but I heard they went out of business...

Marty

 

   I am truly not up to date on railfaning spots.*

 I don't think you can see most loading areas for the autos anymore. I recall a  driver I knew (RIP last month) mentioning that.

  I really only railfanned switching on the 75 Rouge bridge or the DT&I Flatrock tracks as a kid. Offhand I'm not even sure what road that was anymore, lol.

   The steel mill hot car switchers still run in Rouge and they have to take cold steel out across Jefferson. Last I saw they had new blue paint and was told "robotic" or remote operated (?)  Wyandotte is mostly automated now too I think.

   I live a few hundred yards off the GT line paralleling 94 so I just walk the dog there on occasion. *Three or four long blocks, and thats about my physical limits the last 10 years; injury (training "Puppi" to sit for bells then go home .....hopefully. It will be my third success if he gets loose and it works. At 140lbs I use him to get up to a stand at times)

CN? I didn't either till I talked with an ho guy waiting on the CP. He had his club jacket on, so I knew whom I wanted to hang out near

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





trainroomgary posted:

Hi Naveen: I would recommend the operating locomotives at Greenfield Village.  They have several historic locomotives that operated every day until October 31, 2017 & will reopen in the spring of 2018.  

Click here for more formationGreenfield Village

I also do a lot of rail-fanning at Durand Station.   http://www.durandstation.org/  

Gary

Gary,

I live less than an hour from Durand & I will definitely plan a visit there. I also came across Durand when I was searching for railroad festivals, before I moved back here. The festival, back in Galesburg, IL, was called “Railroad Days” & when I searched online for “Railroad Days” in Michigan, the Durand Railroad Days festival came up. I hope on being there, next May, if they still have it.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

J Daddy posted:

You just missed the Howell Mellon festival with rides on the 1225!

Howell%20Flyer%203

 

J Daddy,

Thanks for the information on the Howell festival. I live close to Howell. I might have missed it this year, but I will certainly keep it in mind & try to ride it next year.

On another note, I came across a news article recently about Ann Arbor’s plans to relocate their current Amtrak station. I might have read on these forums that you designed the handicap-accessible ramp at the current Amtrak station. Would you be consulted for any future station plans?

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

rattler21 posted:

You might enjoy the Hesston Steam Museum 1/2 mile south of the Michigan-Indiana state line just east of I-94.  John in Lansing, ILL

John,

Thanks for the lead on the Hesston Steam Museum. I take I-94 back to Illinois to visit my family, every other weekend. But I always seem to be in a hurry. I might try to arrange a visit, if I am driving along that way, during the next long weekend.

I missed this year’s Chicago March meet but maybe I will see you at next year’s March Meet.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

The Bellcaptain posted:
naveenrajan posted:
clem k posted:

Only thing I can think of is The Polar Express during the holiday season. North west of Detroit 2 hours.  I'm sure somebody here can give you more information.  Also The Canadian Pacific decorated Holiday train comes through Detroit from Windsor. Greenfield Village is always good  

Clem,

I was aware of the Polar Express & I plan to ride it with my daughter, preferably, when there is snow, on the ground. My daughter, loved the movie & when I told her that I was moving to a place where the real Polar Express is, she was excited. But she told me that unlike the kids in the movie, who rode the trains without their parents, she wouldn’t want to ride on it, unless I was with her.

Thanks for the lead on the Canadian Pacific holiday train. I went to their website & they are planning to have the 2017 schedule uploaded, next month. But looking at the 2016 schedule, even though the map, shows the route through Michigan, there weren’t any events / stops, listed for Michigan. The map appeared to suggest that it went through Michigan, but only stopped at Windsor, before entering, & at Chicago, after leaving.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen

A small suggestion if you do plan on riding onboard one of the North Pole express trips with 1225, I'd recommend getting tickets sooner than later. Cocoa class, coach class, and caboose seating are all sold out. The only remaining seating is economy class.  

Thanks for the advice to reserve the tickets, well in advance. I will definitely keep that in mind when I plan my visit.

Thanks,

Naveen

Hello! I don't know of any railroad festivals of events but as someone living in downtown Detroit I can say there is plenty of train action going on. Downtown and the surrounding areas you can see Norfolk Southern, CSX, Conrail, Canadian National/GTW, Canadian Pacific, as well as there Delray Connecting RR and Detroit Connecting RR. My favorite spot is Delray, off of I-75. You get all major movements through the city, except for a couple CN trains and Amtrak. This is a very broad overview, shoot me a PM or email for specifics. Some pics of these locations can be seen on my flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/ogauge47/

 

Norfolk Southern:

Wabash RR- starting at Oakwood Yard in Melvindale and heading west to Elkhart, IN where it connects with the NYC. About 10-15 trains a day. Canadian Pacific uses this line as well as NS

Michigan Line- Old Michigan Central. Detroit-Chicago line for Amtrak. Not many trains besides Amtrak

 

CSX:

Detroit Sub- CSX Rougemere Yard in Dearborn to Plymouth, MI

Saginaw Sub- Old Pere Marquette line from Plymouth south to Toledo

Plymouth Sub- Plymouth west to GR. Virtually no trains

 

Conrail operates as the local terminal/switching agent in Detroit. They will use NS/CSX equipment but have their own crews, trackage and dispatching:

Conrail Detroit Line- main line into Detroit fro, Ohio. Starts at the end of NS trackage in Trenton and parallels the GTW Shoreline north, passing through Delray and ending at North yard in Hamtramck, MI. The Sterling Secondary splits off there to up to the auto plants in Sterling Heights.

Conrail Lincoln Secondary- Old PRR line connecting CSX in Carleton to NS just east of Oakwood Yard. Mainly used by CSX as a shortcut to Toledo, instead of running train on the Detroit Sub through Plymouth. Tracks are owned by Conrail but dispatched by CSX and maintained by NS....

Canadian National/GTW:

CN Shoreline- Old DT&SL line starts at Lang Yard in Toledo and ends at Milwaukee Junction, on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck. Seems about 10-15 trains daily. 

CN Holly Sub- starts at Milwaukee Junction and ends in Durand, MI where it intersects with the CN Flint Sub. 

CN Mt Clemens Sub- starts at Milwaukee Junction and goes to Port Huron, MI. This single track line operates on Track Authority so there are no signals.

CN Dearborn Sub- Ex-DT&I from Dearborn Ford to Flat Rock, MI. A couple daily trains for the auto plants as well as coke trains for the steel mills.

 

Delray Connecting RR: operates in and around Zug Island hauling hot metal

 

Detroit Connecting RR: operates on old GTW trackage south from Milwaukee Junction and switches a few industries. Owned by the Adrian & Blissfield.

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