Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

Return to the Frank Passic
Home Page  

Return to the Albion Michigan Home Page

Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

I-94 RAILROAD CROSSING

Morning Star, June 18, 2000, pg. 23.

We continue with our topic of the 40th anniversary of the opening of Interstate-94 (July 1, 1960). When construction on the route began in the late 1950s, officials had to decide how to cross the old Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad tracks which still ran from Albion to Springport. Then owned by the New York Central Railroad, local cars serviced the Springport grain elevator and also made stops in the metropolis of Devereaux when needed. Coal was still shipped by rail to help heat homes in the aforementioned communities.

The railroad tracks were somewhat close enough to the M-99 bridge over the highway on the east, that erecting a bridge over the tracks would have been expensive along with approaching exit and entrance ramps. Instead, highway officials decided on a regular grade crossing in hopes that the railroad would eventually be abandoned.

The highway level was lowered for several hundred feet in approaching directions down to the level of the tracks. Asphalt was used for this approach, in contrast with the concrete surface of the rest of the highway. The entrance ramp onto westbound I-94 from M-99 was fashioned so it ended just short of the tracks. This situation no doubt created a traffic hazard whenever trains cross the highway, usually once a week. Engineers would manually turn on the railroad crossing signals, cross the highway, and turn off the signals on the other side.

In the late 1960s the railroad hauled a large shipment of natural gas pipes which were subsequently laid to Springport. This caused railroad business to decline as coal shipments to Springport were no longer needed. Needless to say, no prospects were on the horizon in Devereaux, either. Only the grain elevator in Springport could utilize the railroad. The railroad then petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the line.

The stretch of tracks from Albion to Springport were officially abandoned in 1969, and the tracks were removed to a point just east of N. Clark St. The railroad used that remaining portion to store unused railroad cars for several years. A reconstruction project ensued, and the level of the highway was raised to match the rest, and concrete was laid. The westbound entrance off M-99 was reconfigured and lengthened. The adjoining farmer on the north removed all evidences of the railroad bed, as well as the boundary trees. Thus today you can hardly tell that a railroad once crossed here.

From our Historical Notebook we present a 1959 photo taken during the construction of the highway showing the new railroad crossing being installed. In the distance (east) is the M-99 bridge. How many of our readers remember the railroad crossing on I-94 east of town?


When the train tracks used to cross I-94

Next: EXITS ON I-94


Back to the Top of this Page

All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

Did you enjoy this page?

If you've enjoyed learning about Albion history from this site, please write us a note in the Albion Guestbook. We hope you will take the time to share your interest and stories related to Albion history, especially if you have any ancestors from Albion, please let us know.

Learn more about Albion Michigan!
Visit the Albion home page.

Search the AlbionMich.com website

Albion History Articles

Historical Notebook  |  From the Archives  |  Subject List  |  100 Years Ago


Kept current by: Robin James

Indices Unlimited Indexing Services


And now a word from our sponsors

See prints of Albion Michigan , by Maggie LaNoue, the owner of the Albion Home Page.

Help to sponsor these web pages and this site.

Albion Design and Carlson Craft have worked together to offer an amazing selection of wedding invitations online. From invites, to rsvps, gifts and more, Carlson Craft has an outstanding 60 year history of creating wedding stationery packages designed to the personal tastes of each bride and groom. With their easy online ordering service and quick turn around, you will appreciate the ease of ordering and the prices also! You can order a sample card of any invitation to see the quality, and proof the wording of the invitations online.
View wedding invitations online: Design.carlsoncraft.com

wedding invitations michigan