The Detroit Division consisted of the former NYC and PRR lines from Detroit to Toledo, along with all trackage in Detroit, and the ex-NYC Mackinaw Branch from Detroit to Mackinaw City, including trackage around Saginaw and Bay City.
Livernois Yard, Detroit
SW8 8614 is seen at Livernois Yard in June 1974. This unit displays its NYC heritage with the white safety stripe along the frame. This wasnít then and probably still isnít a good area to leave a vehicle unattended for long. Just down the street was a disabled VW parked at the side of the road with its hood open. I left the immediate vicinity to check the action at the nearby C&O yard. When I came back less than an hour later, the VW was still by the curb, but this time it was sitting on its frame as all four of its wheels were missing--and this was in broad daylight. Photo by Pete Bloom. (65 K)
Sterling Yard, Sterling Heights
GP7 5634 is pitching in to help with the MoW chores near the south entrance to Sterling Yard, in Sterling Heights, MI. Although the quality of the photo isnít real good I thought the PC paint job on that Chevy van might be of interest to modelers. Also the NYC heritage of the 5634 is obvious with the white safety stripe along the frame and the yellow handrails. Photo by Pete Bloom, October, 1974. (71 K)
A set of light engines pulls up next to the tower at North Yard in Detroit in December 1973. North Yard was located north of Detroit (obviously) on the ex-NYC line to Mackinaw City. Photo by Mark Hinsdale.
PC GP38 7821 creeps across Dequindre Road at twilight between Rochester and Utica (Michigan, not New York) with a short 5-car southbound freight in July 1974. The roadbed is now all that's left of what was, in better times, the Bay City Subdivision of the New York Central. This line actually lasted into the Conrail era but was abandoned in the late 1970's or early 1980's. Fortunately much of the roadbed in the area has been preserved as a trail. Photo by Pete Bloom. (55 K)
PC operated unit coal trains over the Ann Arbor between Owosso, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio. Here is an example of one rolling past the Durand station on Ann Arbor rails, led by GP38 7902, two U23Bs, and two more GP38s, on March 28, 1976. In four more days, PC would vanish into Conrail. (The blue noise in the picture was some deterioration on the original print.) Photo by Dennis Bydash. (130 K)
The Michigan Division included the rest of Penn Central's trackage in Michigan, including all ex-NYC lines west of Detroit and Saginaw, and the ex-PRR Grand Rapids & Indiana line from Mackinaw City south into Indiana.
Detroit-Chicago Main Line
Battle Creek, Michigan
On a cold, damp and miserable late winter day in Battle Creek, SW1 8427 is idling through the lunch hour while the crew is off at a nearby restaurant. Note the old NYC oval on the handrail. Photo taken in March 1975 by Pete Bloom. (58 K)
PC E8 4273 leads eastbound passenger train 360 away from its station stop at Niles on May 28, 1972. The 4273 was one of three former PRR E8s which were painted Tuscan Red and wore PC emblems, although judging by the nose of the engine, by this time it was in need of a new paint job. Photo by Stephen Foster. (78 K)
Grand Rapids & Indiana Branch
Geeps 5647 and 7420 were switching in Cadillac, Michigan, on the GR&I Branch in July 1975. The locomotives were putting the caboose on the rear end and were about to run around the train so as to take it north about 125 miles to Mackinaw City. Due to speed restrictions on the line for the 5647 from Walton Junction to Mackinaw City of only 15mph, and 10mph for the 7420, the average one way trip from Cadillac to Mackinaw City with those two engines about 12-14 hours, assuming there were no derailments, mechanical failures, switching en route, or cows on the tracks. The train ahead of the gondola consisted of about 30 cars, mostly empty lumber loads, which was typical of northbound PC freights along this line, although there might have been a load or two to drop off on the siding at Walton Junction bound for Traverse City. Eventually many of the cars in the train would have gone for a boat ride across the Straits of Mackinac to St. Ignace courtesy of the Chief Wawatum. Today, all that's left of the GR&I line north of Grand Rapids is the 90 mile segment from Cadillac to Petoskey, plus the 25-mile branchline from Walton Junction to Traverse City, now operated by the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay. The segment from Mackinaw City to Petoskey was removed in the late 80's, the segment south of Cadillac to Grand Rapids was rail banked for a while but it's probably now gone. Photo and commentary by Pete Bloom. (56 K)
The Canada Division encompassed the Canada Southern line from Detroit to Buffalo and all associated trackage. The CASO was a subsidiary of the NYC, which was sold in Conrail days to Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.
St. Thomas, Ontario
PC 8849 is seen in 1972 at the St. Thomas, Ontario, shop where Penn Central had program where swithchers were rebuilt for Detroit for a few years. After rebuilding, the locomotives would be used in St.Thomas yard service for a while before being sent to Detroit. Photo by Larry Broadbent. (121 K)
PC GP7 5827 at the St. Thomas Diesel Shop Fuel track in 1971. This is WX-2's power in from its trip from Windsor. The shop crew is preparing it for its nightly trip on the Hagersville turn. Photo by Larry Broadbent. (115 K)
This a picture from the overhead crane in the St. Thomas shop of PC 7437 is in for heavy overhaul after a fire with the first Conrail painted unit on the Canada Division in the background, still waiting for the new Conrail decals to arrive. Note the original application of the PC logo under the cab on the 7437, and black paint under the cab and on the battery boxes on the 7436. (When the 7436 was completed with decals it had red paint applied to its bell and horn and whitewall tires!) The workers on the Canada Divison had a habit of doing things a little differently, but this only lasted until a visit from Conrail brass. Photo by Larry Broadbent. (129 K)
PC 7432 is seen fresh from overhaul in 1973 at St. Thomas shop. The Canada Division's 7400 series locos were probably the only PC locos that were built in Canada at the GM Diesel Division plant in nearby London, Ontario. They were originally numbered in the 6000 series when bought new by the NYC in 1957. Photo by Larry Broadbent. (120 K)
Coming off the former New York Central line across Canada, Canadian built GP-9 7440 is heading for the Chesapeake & Ohio yard on the south side of St. Thomas, Ontario. To the left of the photographer is BX Tower where the London & Port Stanley crossed Penn Central and running rights to the C&O for interchange purpose had been granted. Karl Bury photo, collection of Dale A. DeVene Jr. (105 K)