RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

Todd's Railfan Guide to:
DURAND  MI
 
In General
Map
Sights
Signals
Crossings & Stuff
Train Pix
Floobydust
 

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In General

Durand has one of my favorite depots, bar none, but that isn't the only reason to visit Durand.  The Depot houses the Michigan Railroad Museum, the Durand Union Station Model Railroad Engineers, and last but not least, a small Amtrak facility.

The Museum has a nice display of Michigan railroad artifacts, as well as many nice displays in their spacious rooms (they are indeed lucky in this respect).  They also have a well stocked gift shop, and had a run of special 4449 t-shirts printed up for the Owosso Train Fest 2009.  You also have access to the turret, which offers a great view of almost everything, and used to be the command center for the Grand Trunk and Ann Arbor! 

Their phone number is 989-288-3561, and their address is 200 Railroad Street, Durand MI, 48429.

The museum hours are 1 to 5pm on Tue, Wed, Thu, and Sun.  Friday and Saturdays, they open at 10am.  They're closed on Mondays and holidays.

They also have a library which is open on Saturdays or by appointment.

Their website is: www.durandstation.org .

The Depot is the focal point of the Durand Railroad Days, which is the first weekend after Mother's Day.  Featured are a parade, carnival, demonstrations, and a craft show.  For more info, check: www.durandrailroaddays.com .

The model railroad layout features a pike with over 1300 feet of track on two levels (close to 21 miles scale), and is fully DCC'd.  It is modeled after the area, and the layout contains great replica of the Durand Depot.  The club is open on Saturdays, 1-4pm.

The depot sits on a fairly active diamond, and almost everything coming thru Durand can be shot from the platforms.

Across the tracks from the depot sits GT caboose #75003, and not too far away in the Kiwanis Park is GT steamer #5632, baggage car #8812, and a well preserved WRRS wig-wig crossing signal.

The yard is now gated, so access is not possible without going to a lot of trouble and trespassing.  Darn.

Durand is in close proximity to Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Owosso, and Bridgeport, so don't pass up the opportunity to railfan those places.

More info:
     http://www.durandnow.com/Stories-The-Pride-of-the-Railroad-City-A-Look-Back-At-2013-Durand-Union-Station.html


Map


the above map in PDF format is available here


Sights


   The Durand Union Station & the Michigan Railroad History Museum

              

                       

                    




   The Durand Union Station Model Railroad Engineers

                 




   at the Kiwanis Park & Across the Tracks

              

                 
The Western RR Supply Wig-Wag



 Signals




              
Coming in from the interstate, this is the first signal you come to, a two head searchlight signal for the approach into the yard on the ex CM line from Saginaw.



                             
Off the end of Russell at the interchange track are these two signals, this dwarf is the only one protected by a cage, it controls the siding.






     
Looking "south" down the double track towards Oak from the depot, and then looking further south from Oak (below at 4).  If you love searchlight signals, this is your place.  Finally on the right, a CN freight heading towards the depot at Oak Rd.  They are all US&S signals.






  





       
Looking from Main St towards the depot.







Looking north towards Flint from Main St.



Crossings and Stuff


  
Crossing signals and equipment detectors on the single track at Main Street.

     
Forced hot air heaters are used in wintertime to keep the turnouts clear.

                          
Looking both ways from Oak Rd on the left, and looking into the yard from the depot on the right.

             
The grade crossing signal as you come out of Russell onto Main St, and a "no horn" warning sign at most of the crossings.

     
Two sets of these signals protect the crossings by the bank on Oak and Monroe, these are on Oak.

     
The coaling tower buried inside the yard, and the double track main grade crossing on Oak Rd.


A Few Train Pictures


           
A GT geep passes the depot, picks up a few cars, then heads north towards Flint... a find buried in the yard, wish we coulda gotten closer.

  
You can't be everywhere at the same time, these two freights came thru town while we were getting shots of the GT geep above.  Looking down Oak.

The pictures below are not mine, and were found via Google Images.





 


Back in 2009, Southern Pacific #4449 travelled cross-country to take part in the Owosso Steam Days celebration.  The map above shows the route 4449 took in getting to Durand.









  7FEB2009 - picture by traingirl21

  7FEB2009 - picture by traingirl21

  7FEB2009 - picture by traingirl21












       
Back on November 2nd, 2015, a train derailed several cars right in front of the station.  Pictures are screen shots from the ABC12 video.
http://www.abc12.com/news/headlines/Train-derails-in-Durand-338791852.html


Floobydust


        
At the Fire Station.

     
You pass by this sign coming into Durand from Lansing on the interstate, because of funding by the state, the future of the train is unsure.

     
These unsavory characters watch you as you make the turn from Oak onto Main St (or vice-versa  :-).


Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

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NEW 08/16/2009
Last Modified 25-Feb-2016