Where's the train go?

Robert of Grand Haven asked, "As a lifelong resident of the city, each day I hear a train going through town. How far north does it go? And who gets all these railcars going through? I'd love to hop the train for my answer, but this is safer."
Mark Brooky
Aug 21, 2013

ANSWER:

I don't advise hopping trains, Robert. I'm sure it's both unsafe and illegal.

So, our railroad-working Tribune online commenter who calls himself Signal Master will provide the safer alternative.

"The railroad runs as far north as Fremont," said Signal Master, who otherwise remains anonymous to keep his job. "Most of what is hauled is sand coming from Nugent Sand in Muskegon. Webb Chemical gets shipments, as well as Bay Logistics in Norton Shores. Up in Fremont, the Co-Op ships grain out by rail. There are a couple other industries as well, but I cannot remember who they are off the top of my head."

A PDF of the state's railroad track map can be downloaded from the Related File below.

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Comments

Carl Shaver

The train you see going through Grand Haven runs only as far north as Muskegon. Or, more correctly, it runs from Muskegon to Waverly (Holland) and back. Muskegon is the base of operations for this railroad; from there it makes its daily run to Waverly, services local industries, and runs up toward Fremont as necessary.

christopher

SAPPI Papermill used to be a fairly substantial customer ... but that is done now.

christopher

Every once in a while scrap metal will leave Muskegon and travel through Grand Haven from the Mart Dock when they are doing some type of scrapping operation.

Also, Gerber in Fremont and the Fremont Coop grain elevator are customers further north.

Bayer Crop Science in North Muskegon has been known to take advantage of tanker cars.

There are also a few other minor customers from time to time.

SignalMaintainer

Gerber no longer has rail service; in fact, they paved right over the rails without letting the proper people know.

gordbzz231

dont forget the coal that runs through port sheldon, grand rapids and chicago, but dont run thru town,fuels for consumers

SignalMaintainer

That is handled by CSX. The Mid-Michigan RR ends just north of the switch.

GH Cyclist

Trains are cool but annoying as all get out when they are blasting their horn(s) in the middle of the night! I can understand wailing on the horn a couple times coming through town but most conductors seem to be going a bit overboard this summer.

SignalMaintainer

It is federal law and has been that way for a LONG time. Two longs, a short and a long whenever approaching the crossing.

There are a few whistle-free towns out there, but I am sure the tax payers here in GH would LOVE to fund all the required crossing upgrades to make GH whistle-free.

ghresident

No worries Signal, I actually like the sound of the train horns. Haven't heard one blown loud in a long time and I hear them every night.

Boycotter

I like hearing the train go thru town blowing its whistle at night. Its the sound of a by gone era when railroads were so prominent.

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