Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

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Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:18 pm

A short-line trying to rebuild long abandoned ROW to Toledo: Toledo Blade

Line pushes to rebuild Mich. track
Railroad says direct route to Toledo makes fiscal sense


LISSFIELD, Mich. — Rebuilding seven miles of railroad track between Riga, Mich., and Ottawa Lake that was torn up three decades ago could save Lenawee County rail shippers millions of dollars in annual freight charges, the president of a local “short line” railroad says.

But Mark Dobronski, who heads the Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, said last week that while such a project “makes financial sense,” his small company can’t finance it on its own. And while the Michigan Department of Transportation included two phases of the track reconstruction in a long-range rail development plan it adopted last year, it listed the project — and several others in southeast Michigan — in a “good-projects” category for which no funding is set aside.

The route involved is part of the old Erie & Kalamazoo, the first railroad built in the Toledo area and often cited as the first west of the Allegheny Mountains.

...

But for two large agricultural shippers in the Blissfield area, Mr. Dobronski said, delivering cargo bound for the eastern United States to Norfolk Southern at Adrian starts a nearly 600-mile detour that could be eliminated if a direct route into Toledo were available.

Instead of going east right away, the A&B president said, grain shipments from Michigan Agricultural Commodities in Blissfield and Green Plains Ethanol is transferred to Montpelier, Ohio, then Fort Wayne, 0cand finally Elkhart, Ind., before being marshalled into eastbound trains.

The roundabout route adds about four days’ travel time and about $500 in extra cost for every carload, he said. Michigan Agricultural ships out thousands of carloads of grain annually, and more than 90 percent of that goes east.


http://www.abrailroad.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_and ... _Rail_Road
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby jimnorthwood » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:25 pm

A bigger reason for this proposed project is not noted in the article. Currently ADBF interchanges with NS in Adrian, and with Indiana and Ohio at Riga. Hardly any traffic is interchanged with the I&O in Riga, which is all farmland, meaning everything happens in the city of Adrian. The arrangement there is unsatisfactory, with a very short interchange track that is not well adapted to the long grain trains that are the norm there. Automobile traffic tie ups can be long ones, to the point that ADBF notifies Adrian city officials prior to any interchange taking place, in order that police and fire know to take an alternate route. Re-installation of the seven miles of track between Riga and Ottawa Lake would mean that ADBF could either interchange with NS in rural Ottawa Lake, or obtain trackage rights on the NS branch from Ottawa Lake to Toledo so that ADBF could interchange with NS in Toledo. There is also talk that if the Riga-Ottawa Lake line is re-laid, NS would sell its Toledo-Ottawa Lake branch to ADBF. The only customer on the Toledo-Ottawa Lake branch is a very large elevator in Ottawa Lake, which ships several thousand carloads per year. Between Ottawa Lake and Riga the right of way is intact, and NS owns most of it, having inherited it from Conrail, which abandoned the track in 1982 following the closure of the Budd Company's plant in Clinton. The state of Michigan's most recent "rail plan" listed this proposed Riga-Ottawa Lake project as a priority, but no money has been allocated to it.
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Re: Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:52 pm

^Sounds like a worthy proposal then. I wish fed $$ would go to such rather than endless studies.
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Re: Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby bluestreak81 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:43 am

Any new developments on rebuilding the line between Riga and Ottawa Lake?
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Re: Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby jimnorthwood » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:16 pm

The only news I've read recently regarding this proposed project is that the citizens of Sylvania, OH, a posh suburb of Toledo, are opposed to it. NS runs seasonal grain trains from Toledo through Sylvania to the current end of track in Ottawa Lake, MI. All of the "new" track would be installed in Michigan, so I don't believe the Sylvania folks would have any say in this matter. Regardless, some entity, either the state of Michigan or the shortline operator, would have to come up with a fair amount of money in order to make this happen.
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Re: Adrian & Blissfield Railroad

Postby FLRailFan1 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:43 am

jimnorthwood wrote:The only news I've read recently regarding this proposed project is that the citizens of Sylvania, OH, a posh suburb of Toledo, are opposed to it. NS runs seasonal grain trains from Toledo through Sylvania to the current end of track in Ottawa Lake, MI. All of the "new" track would be installed in Michigan, so I don't believe the Sylvania folks would have any say in this matter. Regardless, some entity, either the state of Michigan or the shortline operator, would have to come up with a fair amount of money in order to make this happen.


Typical NIMBY opposing something that would save $$$. A friend of mine wanted to reopen a 3 mile branch line, so he could expand his business, but the NIMBYers uses the line as storage, walking area and generally for other non-rail uses. The rails are intact, so all he has to do is to cut the trees in the ROW, but the town (listening to the NIMBYers) said the line can't be used, so he decided to move out of town. (He wasn't a big employer, but he employed 60 people.) He moved to a town where there were happy to have him...and the town build him a line.
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