Traces of the Ann Arbor Railroad – by D. C. Jesse Burkhardt


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Featuring 150 photographs, maps, and postcards, Traces of the Ann Arbor Railroad chronicles vital aspects of this unique railroad’s history, with a primary focus on what has transpired from the 1960s to 2020.

The book’s pages reflect on the years (1963-1973) the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton controlled the Ann Arbor Railroad, which served shippers along a 292-mile mainline almost entirely in Michigan (the AA operated several miles in northern Ohio); the demise of the AA’s Lake Michigan car ferries; the new carriers that have sprung up to handle operations on the former Ann Arbor line in the wake of the company’s bankruptcy in 1973; the disposition of the fleet of ten new GP35s that were delivered to the Ann Arbor “direct from the factory” in 1964; and the “new” Ann Arbor, a shortline operating between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio, that was created out of the remains of the old “Annie.”  The final chapter highlights the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail between Elberta-Frankfort and Thompsonville, a “rails-to-trails” corridor that opened in 2005 along an abandoned segment of the historic Ann Arbor Railroad.


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