Lake Region Mainline Review


Lake Region (Michigan) Mainline Review

Attraction notes, suggestions and places to visit in the Lake State

By Giles Kennedy

Founder/Chief Editor The Ohio Railroader Website

Chief Administrator The Ohio Valley Railroad Gang

(Additional info and links provided by Denver Todd, ‘The Gregarious Railfan”)


Michigan itself is essentially two states in one. The Mainline or Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. Both have great rail history; but offer more than just railroads to visit.

This journey will cover the Lower Peninsula aka the Glove aka the Mitten or to our Scarlet and Gray members….that state up North.

We did an extensive article on Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Village outside of Flint.

Please read this review and visit this great historical park when you have the chance.

Mainline Tour: Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad


Flint also offers many railfan spots to check out the autorack trains rolling out of the GM plant as well as Michigan Amtrak Service….

Just north of Flint is Frankenmuth. Although known for its German and Christmas attractions, it does have some railroad ties. The Junction Valley Model Railroad (1/4 scale) was a attraction for 23 years.

Alas, October 31st will be its last day of operations. The patriarch of the operation, William Stenger Jr; passed in 2012. The family has done their best to operate the hobby shop, scale railroad and diesel shop. It appears the diesel truck shop will remain; but if you have a chance before Halloween 2017 to visit..please do so.

Model Train Store in Bridgeport, MI

Heading north to Mackinaw City; again, a great surprise that this resort town has deep railroad ties.

The Detroit and Mackinaw Railway( a NYC road) operated for many years a ferry car shop moving cargo and freight to Mackinac Island. The Union Depot is one of the cornerstones of a shopping center themed around the railroad history.

The Historic Depot Restaurant has dozens upon dozens of railroad artifacts form Michigan railroads as well as the Detroit and Mackinaw. A great place to eat and visit.

Moving south of the Mackinaw Straits to the western shores of Lake Michigan; Grand Haven is in a great resort town with a small town feel.

I could not even do this town justice; however long time friend and fellow Ohio Railroader contributor Denver Todd can share more on his “Railfan Mini Guide”

Grand Haven used to have the Pere Marquette Railroad; a division of the mighty Chesapeake and Ohio. Denver’s father was a station agent in his home town. There are many shops to visit as well as the Tri Cities Historical Museum. The gem of this Lake Michigan hamlet is Pere Marquette 1223, a former steam giant with several other static display cars.


Other places of interest (besides the Henry Ford in Dearborn….which you should go at least once)

Owosso Home of the Steam Railroading Institute and Pere Marquette #1225

Durand; the other end of the 1225’s regular steam excursion line and a beatifully restored station where the Amtrak ‘Blue Water” service stops

These are merely a few spots myself and Denver Todd have visited. If you wish to learn more; check out Denver’s website on more places in Michigan to visit.








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