RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd and Denver Todd's Railfan Guide to
GRAND HAVEN MI
Ex Grand Trunk Western Coal TowerA video that contains a number of pictures from the construction of the coal tower is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmIoyOJIO84&feature=youtu.be
Ex Pere Marquette Steam Engine #1223Pere Marquette Berkshire (2-8-4) Class N-1 #1223, was built in 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, OH. It is the sister engine to #1225, a restored locomotive owned and operated by the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, MI
Bridge 2 - SwingbridgeGPS Coordinates: 43.07582, -86.21961
Brass MapGPS Coordinates: 43.064995, -86.234385
On the north side of the bridges for the SB approach, the signal is just to the north of 3rd Street, adjacent to the bottom of the exit ramp from US-31.
Meanwhile, Back in the Park.....
GTW Bridge Approach Signal
tThis signal for many years guarded the east-west approach to the Grand Trunk Western swing bridge over the entrance to the Spring Lake channel. This electrified signal with it's colored lights indicated to the engineer of the train wheteher the bridge was open to water traffic or closed and lined up for the railroad and was safe to bring the train across the bridge. The tracks and swing bridge were removed in the 1970's. The signal was donated by the Village of Spring Lake to the city of Grand Haven in 1981. It could display red over red, or green over red.
WRRS Model 5 Autoflag "Wig-Wag"
This disappearing Banner type Autoflag was designed to be placed at the side of the road, with the banner overhanging the roadway, plainly visible to approaching traffic. This signal was installed at the Pennoyer Street grade crossing in Grand Haven in the 1920's by the Pere Marquette RR. It was replaced by more modern type signals in 1978. The signal is now electrically activated and operates for one minute on the hour from 9am to 9pm daily, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was donated to the city of Grand Haven by the Chessie System in 1982.
The Michigan Shore RR at Washington & 7th Streets. Picture by Mike Kamys of Chicago on 7/14/2015 around 11:45am.
This is a bit unusual, for Denver tells me this train usually runs at night.
A couple of shots of a day freight at Fillmore Rd on April 18th, 2016, also by Mike Kamys.
The maps below come from the Genesee & Wyoming's website for the Michigan Shore RR: http://www.gwrr.com/operations/railroads/north_america/michigan_shore_railroad
The map of Michigan comes from their PDF of the state.
Click on the thumbnail if you want a higher resolution version of the whole state map as shown above.
Unique Grade Crossings
A lot of the grade crossings in Grand Haven are quite unique as you can see from the picture below. It's not too often that we see traffic lights mounted to the railroad grade crossing structures. The top view is only a half a block away from the hobby store on Washington.
The Grade Crossing below is at Washington and 7th Street, near the hobby shop. This is the same intersection as above with the picture of the MS train, looking the other way (the train is coming from the left).
Another typical grade crossing in the downtown area, this one is at Washington and 7th looking south, near the Harbourfront Hobbies & Craft shop.
Along the Boardwalk
A beautiful place to take a walk at almost anytime of the year.
Found on Washington near N Harbor Drive
Harbourfront Hobbies and Crafts
707 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417, (616) 842-2910
the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
Built in 1963, it was the largest water
fountain at the time. Shows run Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Check out the Grand Haven website here for the latest information:
Station Like Building
Over in Spring Lake, at first glance,
it may appear like a real railroad structure, but it is not.
Nevertheless, it's interesting to take a picture of.
The building is a modern, state of the art office
building built in recent years for a medical group. It is situated near
the path of the old GTW Tracks that headed into GH but were pulled up years
and years ago. Perhaps that's why they adopted a RR theme.
It is on 104 off my map to the
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.
Last Modified 24-Oct-2016