RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
 

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
FLINT MI
 

In General
Getting Here
Map
Sights
Signals
Floobydust

 

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In General

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 Trains, Inc.
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!


Getting Here

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).

If you're coming from the west, I think I would take I-94 through Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo, and just after Battle Creek, I would then jump onto I-69.

From Indiana, I would recommend coming into town via I-69, which passes through Lansing and Fort Wayne.


Map

Click here for the map in PDF format.


Sights


    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.

       

  GT overpass over Dort, just outside the entrance to the MTA complex.


    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.

 

              The two on the right are from 2011, others, 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

   Going over the yard on Bristol.

           

         The CN yard as seen from the air.

      A couple of scenes from the entrance to the yard facility (2010).

    A LORAM maintenance train was in the yard over the Labor Day weekend 2010.

       Taken from Bristol Rd (2010).


    4       The CSX Flint Yard

  A crummy picture at best while driving over the yard on I475.... yeech!

The following pictures were taken from Carpenter Road in October 2011.

         

          Flint Terminal office building.

  Looking south.


    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

            Before opening for the Halloween weekends.

          Riding that train.....

            The week before Halloween.

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.

 


Signals


    1     Longway Blvd

  Taken from Court St.

             

               

      The southbound signals.

      The grade crossing.

  Looking south towards the diamond.

   

    Abandoned signal bridge, pointed to by the green arrow.


    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.

    Pictures taken from the signal bridge at location 3.

   


    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 :-)

      Taken from where Bristol Road goes over the tracks, a lone GRS searchlight at the throat of the yard.


    7      In the CN (Ex GT) Flint Yard

    This unique signal with LED's controls vehicular movement across the yard throat tracks.


    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

    The signals from the overpass.

  Looking towards the signals from ground level where the street now ends, the reason for the overpass.

    Looking towards the yard from the bridge (L), and  from ground level (R).


Floobydust


         Following the abandoned R-O-W along Kearsley.

  Across from the CN yard is the entrance to the Flint airport.

  Fire hydrant at the CSX yard off of Carpenter Rd.


  

NEW 08/12/2009
Last Modified 15-Jun-2013