Todd's Railfan Guide to
Flint has a number of attractions for the railfan: two yards and a nice diamond between the CSX and CN.
Pictures of the western end of the CN yard are easy to be had from Bristol Road, the east end gets progressively harder to shoot due to it's inaccessibility.
The CSX yard is fairly accessible from Dort Hwy.
I didn't have enough time to find out if there is a safe way to gain access to the diamond, but if your just shooting the signals there, access from public property is sufficient.
I only had about an hour to shoot what I have here, you need a lot more time than that to do a good job.
Michigan has a very active
Live Steam and Live Diesel
community with places like the White Creek RR, Junction Valley RR, and the
Traverse City Steam engine. Michigan is also home to several
manufacturers of 1/8 scale equipment, and one is here in Flint: Big Joe
Their website is at: http://www.easyhandlingcompany.com/OutdoorTrains/OutdoorTrains.html
Aerial shots were taken from www.bing.com/maps (it used to be maps.live.com).
The snap-shots off of Bing are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! Give it a try!
My RSUS philosophy: Pictures (oh yea, my maps too) 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 (or a GPS). 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.
As always, if you have something to add or correct, contact info is here...... Thanks!
Flint is easy to get to, for it is right off of I-75, with a loop (I-475) off the east side to take you pretty close to the downtown area and most of the interesting places to visit. I-69 going east and west kind of bi-sects Flint, and hits I-475 in the middle.
Being almost due north from Detroit, I-75 from the south brings you in from just about anywhere from the east, south, and south-east, if you want to stop in Detroit, otherwise, I would recommend taking US23 up from the Toledo area to bypass the Detroit area.... it's much quicker and traffic moves along fine, even going around Ann Arbor (where you may want to stop for lunch or dinner at the very nice train station/restaurant).
From Indiana, I would recommend coming into town via I-69, which passes through Lansing and Fort Wayne.
Click here for the map in PDF format.
1 The Amtrak Station
The Flint Amtrak depot is a simple modern facility. The station is located in a huge MTA plot, and you have to pass thru a gate. I was there on Labor Day, so it wasn't active, I guess it is at other times or maybe at night... dunno. Pictures taken the summer of 2010.
2 2 The CSX/CN Diamond and it's Signals
Barely visible from the Amtrak station is the CSX/CN diamond, it's slightly east of there. You can get a few shots of the CN signals shooting thru the fence the MTA or Amtrak has put up, that's the upper set of photos. The yellow arrows point to the signals. Signal pictures taken the summer of 2010.
Signal pix taken from Court Street. These are the CSX signals you can see from the crossing. If you have any pictures of the ones from south of the diamond, it would be much appreciated, as I didn't have enough time to get there. All of them are looking south across the diamond except for the far right picture, which is looking north from Court Street.
3 The CN (Ex GT) Flint Yard
4 The CSX Flint Yard
The following pictures were taken from Carpenter Road in October 2011.
5 The Huckleberry Railroad
The Huckleberry RR is a great little railroad, and you have to give the county kudos for putting on a show like this. We only wish more local governments had this much energy to do the same.
They run May thru the Labor Day weekend plus they're open for special events like Halloween and Christmas. During the regular season they are open Wednesday thru Sundays plus Holidays.
I finally got the chance to stop by during the Halloween season, once before they opened up on my way to upper Michigan (and they let me wander - so weird with no-one around), and then on the way home once they opened for Halloween.
The link to their page is: http://www.geneseecountyparks.org/huckleberry_railroad.htm
The two serial shots from http://www.bing.com/maps show the main visitors part of the Huckleberry RR, and the shops, just up the driveway where the circle with the minus sign is in the top photo.
6 Big Joe Trains
Big Joe Trains is located on the south side of Flint, just south of where US23 and I-75 join. There is an exit for Hill Rd off of US23 (exit 90) and I-475 (exit 2), but not I-75. In addition to the photos below of the engines they make, they also offer my favorite "new" engine, the SD-70.
1 Longway Blvd
3 Signal Bridge south of Lapeer
This signal bridge, I was determined to
get pictures of it. It took me about 20 minutes of riding around and
narrowing down the search till I finally found out where the access to it
was off of Chambers St. Once there, I was very glad I did. This
is a beautiful example of a classic two track signal bridge. The
searchlight signals themselves are well maintained, and look recently
painted, and not just the signals and backgrounds, but everything that
supports them (except the bridge itself).
Taken from Court St.
4 Between Hemphill and Bristol Roads
Again, all of these signals appear to be recently painted. The arrows point to the signals.
5 Just north of Maple Road
6 Where Bristol Rd goes over the Tracks
This one was a pain in the kazoo to find a way in and get a picture of :-)
8 Van Slyke Rd and W 12th St
This set of signals is conveniently placed adjacent to this intersection, and I took pictures here at the height of the morning rush hour... I'm surprised I didn't have all sorts of cars with flashing red and blue lights around me with as paranoid as Americans are these days :-) The right most picture is looking east, the one next to it is looking back west towards the yard.
9 Signals in CSX's Flint Yard
10 Northside CSX's Flint Yard Throat
Last Modified 15-Jun-2013