In General
Getting Here
Map
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Floobydust

 

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In General

Jackson is home to a former Michigan Central depot that now services Amtrak, and Norfolk Southern's East Yard.

Most of the tracks through Jackson have grade level crossings.  There are three places where roads avoid the tracks: Jackson St goes under, and over at West Ave and US127

On the east side of town, just east of of US127, East Yard ends and joins up with the mainline, and shortly after that, the line goes into a single track to head east to Ann Arbor.

On the west side of town, the track does the single to double thing between Wildwood Ave and Laurence Ave, across from Oakgrove Ave when you're on Michigan Ave.

On October 8th and 9th, 2011, Amtrak's 40th Anniversary train visited Jackson.  One of the reasons Jackson was picked for Michigan, is because they had two tracks in town to allow NS freights to pass, and Amtrak owns the track.  Pictures from the day are located here

As you can see from the county map below, the New York Central, Michigan Central, and the Grand Trunk all came into or through Jackson prior to the 1970's.

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 consise 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, click here


Getting Here


The easiest way to get to the depot is to take exit 139 off of interstate 94 and head south on Cooper.  Jackson is about 80 miles west of Detroit, and 37 miles south of Lansing via US127. 

If you're really game for punishment, it's about two and a half hours to/from Deschler via a multitude of backroads, knowledge gained from doing it myself, ugh.... the only plus is that you cross the NS main in Stryker (or Bryan if you wanna go a little further out of your way), which is a very active mainline.  According to the Toledo map there are about 90 to 120 trains a day on the line.


Map

Click here for the map in PDF format.




Sites


   The Amtrak Station

The Jackson Amtrak depot was built in 1872 by the Michigan Central as a replacement for an earlier one built in 1841.

Today the depot services 6 trains a day, going between Detroit (Pontiac) and Chicago.

The depot was host to Amtrak's 40th Anniversary train on October 8th and 9th, 2011, and was the best place I've been to (so far) to view the train because it was so well displayed with nothing in the way.

More information at: http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Stations/CountyStations/JacksonStations/Jackson/JacksonMIUnionStation.htm
A little history is at:
http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Stations/CountyStations/JacksonStations/Jackson/JacksonMI.htm

               

       
Happy 40th Amtrak!
Additional pictures of the train are on my page at: http://www.railroadsignals.us/amtrak40th/JAC.htm

 
Looking at the station and Amtrak Birthday train from Pearl and Francis.


   East Yard


Signals


  WB Dual head searchlight at the end of the station

         


  WB Dwarf signals adjacent to the station

         


  EB Interlocking signals near the corner of Pearl and Francis

               
High searchlights protect the EB main, while a 3 color colorlight dwarf handles the job for reverse traffic.

       
A two head searchlight signal controls the Lansing line entering the mainline.... notice the smaller backgrounds.

 
Looking at the signals from the depot.


The grade crossing gates at Pearl and Francis.


Floobydust

 
Jackson police car.

 
One of the few places the line is grade separated, at Jackson St.  Another one on the west side is where West Ave goes over.  On the east side of town, US1127 goes over the tracks.



Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  I do these pages because I love spending my time doing them - although I do a reasonable amount of research to make sure the information presented is accurate! :-)  :-)

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, myindexa 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, oooooooops, oh well! :-)

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.

BTW, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

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 10/10/2011
Last Modified 04-Dec-2016