Bah, this whole updating a blog thing is hard . Anyway, news and happenings around the state:
A busy weekend in the Kalamazoo area for trains! The CK&S rail festival in Delton on Saturday, and yesterday the Southern Pacific 4449 passed through town on the way to Owosso via Durand and Battle Creek. I hope to have pictures up later today. In the news:
- Coverage in the Battle Creek Enquirer and Kalamazoo Gazette about the 4449′s trip through yesterday.
- An interesting item in the Detroit News about an abandoned stretch of railway (the “Dequindre Cut“) being turned into a greenway. From the description it sounds like old Grand Trunk. More information here.
News and happenings for July 17, 2009:
- The Grand Rapids Press reports that Holland’s train station will be closed for the next two weeks because of construction at Lincoln and 7th.
- Police have recovered the black box from the Ford Fusion involved in last week’s accident in Canton.
Just a reminder that tomorrow is the first annual CK&S rail festival in Delton, which I previously blogged about yesterday.
News and happenings for July 16, 2009:
- Mlive reports that an illicit campfire in the Flint area damaged tracks owned by the Canadian National. No injuries reported. In other fire-related news in Flint, a homeowner set his garage afire attempting to disperse unwanted rats with a smoke bomb.
- The Kalamazoo Gazette has a good write-up of events happening this week to commemorate the Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railway. Yesterday a memorial was held in Delton on the 100th anniversary of a fatal rail crash, and on Saturday will occur the first annual CK&S Railfan Festival in Barry Township Park, noon to 5. Yours truly will be on hand to see what’s up.
- Two stories on hometownlife.com about the Canton crash: one about efforts to find the Fusion’s “black box” to determine whether the driver attempted to stop and one about the first responders on the scene.
- Hometownlife.com also reports that the U.S. House Appropriations committee approved $1.3 million for a new multi-modal transportation center in Birmingham. You can read more about this project at 15 Mile Transit.
The car was traveling north on Hannan Road in Canton Township, near Wayne. The Wolverine was traveling west and up to speed (~70 mph). Looking at the Google street view it seems possible that the driver couldn’t see the train behind the trees (at right), but surely he heard the horn and saw the gates. At least one eyewitness saw the same, and Amtrak says the in-cab video proves the safety devices were working. The stretch is Norfolk Southern and sees plenty of freights; maybe the driver thought that he was trying to beat a slow freight. Certainly I’ve played tag with a Grand Elk slow freight in Kalamazoo before, but the difference there is (a) I don’t run around crossings and (b) I’ve seen the freight and verified it’s doing about 5-10 mph. Big difference.
Greenville has formally protested Mid-Michigan Railroad’s abandonment of the Greenville-Belding-Lowell line. ((story)