Riding behind the 1225 to Yuma - August 15, 2004

The main excursion, behind Pere Marquette steamer 1225, started in Owosso and went to Cadillac, arriving Saturday afternoon. The riders stayed overnight in Cadillac. On Sunday morning, a side trip from Cadillac to Yuma was offered, prior to the return to Owosso.  

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Early Sunday morning, an hour before the start of the ride to Yuma, Pere Marquette 1225 steams gently in Downtown Cadillac.

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1225, an American classic, was built by the Lima Locomotive Works, the developer of the concept of "Super Power" steam locomotives. This Berkshire type has a 2-8-4 wheel arrangement,  an engine weight of 442,500 pounds, a firebox grate area of 90.3 square feet and boiler pressure of 245 pounds per square inch, Standing on 69-inch diameter drivers, 1225 could handle any freight train dispatched on a passenger train schedule.

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For more on the 1225, check out the website for the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation at http://www.mstrp.com/ 

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I'm guessing that this car behind the tender is the water supply for the 1225.

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Here is the 1225 from another angle. The weather was just beautiful on this August day.

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Part of the excursion car fleet used by the TSB and Lake Central Rail Tours. These are ex-CN cars, still in good shape. 

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Another ex-CN car. These are now stenciled for TSB and Lake Central Rail Tours.

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Another ex-CN car. When I ride in these cars I think about the extreme conditions that they must have operated in.

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This car contains a snack bar, supplied with all the basic necessities for an excursion trip. 

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I overheard somebody say that this car was a new arrival. I never made it in here to see what it is being used for.

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Another ex-CN car.

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This is the "Hummingbird", maybe First Class?

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 This is the private car "Beaver Valley", supplying First Class travel.

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Two TSB diesels, 391 and 392, were on the rear of the train. They were operating, to help pull the excursion out to Yuma.  

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Here we are on one of the first curves in Cadillac. Not too much competition for the vestibules yet.

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Approaching Selma Yard, the track off to the left is the wye, which was used to turn the 1225 the previous day. All the track that the 1225 operated on today is ex-Ann Arbor Railroad. 

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Selma Yard, Cadillac. The cover hoppers are all for the sand traffic out of Yuma. This sand is used in the automobile industry for casting parts like engine blocks. 

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Also in Selma Yard is a coke transload. There were a total of 5 open hoppers present for this traffic.

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West of Cadillac, we slipped into some delightful countryside. The line runs arrow straight for a long distance, then curves through the hills. 

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The 1225 was working, even though the diesels were taking most of the load.

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Perhaps my best shot of the 1225 from the vestibule.

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Just before the Yuma sand pit itself, we stopped next to the passing siding, which has recently been extended. It's also a pleasure to ride on TSB track because it's in such great shape. Class 1's could learn a lesson from the TSB.

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The day before, a new type of coal had been tried in the 1225 and it was so hot that part of the firebox collapsed. This resulted in full power not being available, so to help out, the 1225 pulled ahead from the train and left space for a diesel to be right behind her and help pull the train. 

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Here is TSB 391 swopping from the rear to the front of the train....

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...and coupling up to the 1225. Even though this delayed us a little, the operation was slickly done and we were on our way again, returning to Cadillac. My experience of TSB/Lake Central excursions is that they always have their act together.

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Diesel 392 dropped off the excursion train and followed us back to Cadillac, but whereas we took the main line into town, it went north to the engine house and was powered down. 

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Just before Boon. There were plenty of chasers on the ground with cameras and video gear on this day. 

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Arriving back in downtown Cadillac. Congrats to the TSB and Lake Central Rail Tours for giving us a great experience. Do yourself a favor and ride on one of these excursions. Go to the Lake Central Rail Tours website

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I stopped by the commercial strip north of town and bought some lunch to eat by the engine house. It still stands, looking just like it has for many years.

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Here is 392, coupled up to a box car next to the engine house, engine shut off. 

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The "Shore Line" box car next to the engine house, it's identification fading as the years go by.

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Looking north from the engine house towards Cadillac North Yard.

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Looking south, this spur goes only a couple of blocks and is the lead from the engine house. It used to be the GR&I main line south to Grand Rapids and Indiana.

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The connector from North Yard to the ex-Ann Arbor line, which sees daily use.

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 Last Edited 22 August, 2004