Michigan Railway Company: The Northern and Southern Divisions (Hardcover)

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Michigan Railway Company: The Northern and Southern Divisions, the first comprehensive history of the Michigan United Railway Company, traces the rise and fall of Michigan’s most significant electric railway. This volume covers the company’s founding in local rail-based public transportation systems in Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Owosso-Corunna and ends with its eventual demise, abandoned prior to the stock market crash of 1929. Norman L. Krentel follows the fragments of lines in lower Michigan, which came together to form the MUR. He examines the interurban lines, which were broken down into five divisions, each with a separate superintendent. These divisions were Northern and Southern, which had formerly been Michigan United Railways; Northwestern, which had been Grand Rapids, Holland, and Chicago Railway; Western; and Northeastern. 
This also explores how electric railway history is intertwined with the state of Michigan. The interurban electric rail system supported automobile manufacturing, allowing for the shipment of parts supplies, and finished automobiles through Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Major auto plants like REO and Oldsmobile had rail sidetracks served by Michigan Railway’s interurban freight trains. Electric railway history is thus an essential, previously overlooked factor in Michigan’s industrial development.

About the Author

Norman L. Krentel is past president of the Illinois Railway Museum. He is a volunteer organizer for the Michigan Railroad History Conference and a member of the Central Electric Railfans’ Association, the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, the Pere Marquette Historical Society, and the Illinois Traction Historical Society. He has written rail history articles for the Illinois Railway Museum’s Rail and Wire and for the First and Fastest.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781611864984
ISBN-10: 1611864984
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication Date: December 1st, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English