MichiganRailroads.com - Lower Peninsula Railroads
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Posted by Elba Steve
on 3/7/2023, 11:21 am
The last load of coal to Consumers Energy Essexville plant was delivered about three weeks ago. The company is shuttering the Karn coal fired plant in the next few months. This has been a good source of income for Lake State Railroad. Rail fans across Michigan have been treated to a variety of foreign power on these trains over the years. I recall back in the mid 70's when this coal was diverted off the Penn Central to Ann Arbor RR thru Owosso north on the NYC/PC trackage to Saginaw/Bay City. Then it was sent thru Utica, Lapeer, and north, until those tracks went kaput. When those tracks faltered, these coal trains were rerouted thru Durand on the former GTW Saginaw sub. These trains had a bunch of different locomotives for power under such names as Penn Central, Lehigh Valley, Reading, Jersey Central, and Erie Lackawana just to name a few. Over time, Central Michigan power was seen on these trains also, and then Huron Eastern, until the coal was again shifted to CSX, and now Lake State RR. Kansas City Southern, Canadian Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Union Pacific power have also plied the rails to Essexville of late. It is sad to see these trains go, but, the times they are a changin'! They will be missed.