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Railroading in Michigan

By Linda Tancs

Railroading has a venerable history in Michigan, beginning with the grant of a charter to the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad Company in 1833 to build the first railroad in what was then the Michigan Territory.  When Michigan became a state in 1837, construction had already commenced on a branch line from Palmyra to Jacksonburgh, a line put into service during the Civil War.  Numerous industry consolidations and a reduction in passenger and freight traffic nearly obliterated the branch line, but the Southern Michigan Railroad Society purchased the remaining track and transformed it into an operating railroad museum.  The Society offers train tours over the remaining track of the early Palmyra and Jacksonburgh Railroad.  Easily accessible from Toledo and Detroit, the route takes a nostalgic turn between Clinton and Tecumseh.  Make your reservations now for the popular Fall Color Tours in October.

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