ALCos, MLWs and Bombardiers of the Lake State Railroad

Two old ladies switch their train at Bay City's Wenona yard: MK-RS-3 975 and RS-2 469. June 7th, 1999.

Rolf Stumpf photo

According to the Kalmbach Shortline Guide (published 96), the Lake State operates freight service from Bay City, MI to La Rocque and from Pinconning to Gaylord plus three branch lines.

After my visit in June 99 I can tell that the LSRC operates mainly to Alpena and to Grayling. The principal shops are at Alpena. The company operates a small yard at Bay City where the units are serviced. The LSRC shares the bigger Wenona yard with the Central Michigan Railway.
During the day there's usually some switching at Bay City before the two trains leave on their northbound journey. The Alpena train meets its southbound counterpart between 11 pm and midnight at Tawas City where crews are exchanged. A single unit does the Grayling 6 day/week switch job and stays there.

RS-2 # 468 (rebuilt by ALCo 2-59, receiving new b/n 74986) and 4610 are still around at Alpena but are rather stripped as a parts source for 469. These are the original RS-2s that the Detroit & Mackinac dieselized with back in 1946. 4610 was the last one purchased until the 481 in 1948. The original group of RS-2s consisted of 466, 467, 468, 469, and the 4610. The 4610 has been hanging around the property all these years offering its parts to keep the others running. I believe it may have last been operational in the early 1980s. Since that time it has lost most of its valuable parts. These last few years it has sat off in the brush and trees near the enginehouse at Alpena, MI. It was to meet the scrapper in late 2000 but it would seem 4610 is like a cat with nine lives. Apparently, falling scrap prices have stopped any interest in scrapping the old RS-2 for the moment.
Thanks to Paul Cameron for the insight.

The 977 was sold to Morris Leasing in White Pidgeon, Mich. end of July 99.

CMO Mike Wood reports (8-26-99): 181 is back to work. We have dubbed our new engine an C 425 M/AC. We named the unit BIG BERTHA, this is working out so well , that we will start on the 1280 sometime in October.

1280 was finished on Ausgust 3rd 2000, it's officially named "City of Grayling". Nickname is "Blue Devil" however.

Paul J. Cameron about the 646 (14.11.99): This is the first locomotive the former Detroit & Mackinac Railway acquired in 1946. Lately the locomotive had been stored for a number of years at the Alpena shops. Just recently the GE center-cab at National Gypsum at Port Gypsum ( just south of Tawas ) suffered an ailment that had rendered it inactive. So until repairs can be made to the GE, National has leased the 646 to switch the gypsum trains at the port. Sure is good to hear the sounds of the 539 echoing in the woods.

LSRC roster (by Andy Inserra, Nov. 98), updated since
181 C425M/AC 2500 ex CR #5077, exx PC #2443, nee PRR #2443, named "Bay City"
281 C425M 2500 ex CR #5076, exx PC #2442, nee PRR #2442
381 C425M 2500 ex CR #5078, exx PC #2444, nee PRR #2444
468 RS2u 1600 bought new, retired, parts source
469 RS2u 1600 bought new
4610 RS2u 1600 bought new, retired, parts source
646 S1 660 bought new, overhauled in 1999, leased to National Gypsum
798 M420 2000 ex CN #3577, named "City of Alpena"
698 HR412 2000 ex CN #3583
974 RS3mk 2000 ex B+M #1512, nose chopped and 12-251C engine put in by Morrison Knudsen
975 RS3mk 2000 ex B+M #1517, nose chopped and 12-251C engine put in by Morrison Knudsen
976 C420 2000 ex LI #208, chop nosed
1195 RS11 1800 ex NH+V, nee N+W; named "City of East Tawas"
1280 C425M/AC 2500 ex CR #5073, exx PC #2439, nee PRR #2439, named "City of Grayling"
Lake State's engine facility at Bay City: 798, 975, 469, 1195 and 381 have their Sunday rest on June 6th, 1999.

Rolf Stumpf photo
lsrc1195.jpg 1195 "City of East Tawas" looks like a mix of Century and RS-11. The solution: the unit was RS-11 but rebuilt by the LSRC shop forces to C-420 specifications, note the short hood... Bay City, June 7th, 1999.

Rolf Stumpf photo
798 "City of Alpena", Bay City, June 7th, 1999.

Rolf Stumpf photo

More LSRC pictures

Back to USA page


Last update 24.02.01