Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Boyne City Gaylord & Alpena Railroad

Boyne City, MI's railroad operations began in 1893 with the creation of the Boyne City Southeastern Railroad, running 7 miles east to Boyne Falls. The line was owned by the W.H. White Lumber Company to tap into northern Michigan's logging industry.

Image: Detroit Public Library
In 1905, the Boyne City Gaylord & Alpena Railroad was chartered to succeed the line and extend it to Alpena, MI, 91 miles east of Boyne City. (Right-of-Way)

Image: Railroad Michigan
While expansion took longer than expected, the railroad finally reached Alpena in 1918. Included in the expansion were three branch lines, each of which was used to expand the WH White Lumber Company's land holdings.

The land was purchased, cut down, and then marketed to farmers once cleared, who would then benefit from having the BC G & A as a transportation system to the rest of the US railroad network.

Unfortunately, Michigan's short growing season, and the lack of fertile soils along the route would prove too much for the line to bear, and the company faced bankruptcy in 1935, abandoning most of the route in the process.

The original 7 mile line persisted however, under the flag of the Boyne City Railroad post-bankruptcy. This allowed Boyne City to connect with the PRR at Boyne Falls.

Image: "Boyne City Railroad Company 70" November, 1966. Forgotten Railways, Roads & Places photo collection.
This line remained in service until 1976. For two years afterwards, the Boyne Valley Railroad operated a heritage operation along the line.

Formal abandonment took place in 1982.

Thanks as always for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment