Dinner train out of Charlotte, MI. July 16, 2011.

Left click on any item below for a much larger version

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The track above goes from Battle Creek to Lansing. Photograph "1" shows a freight train heading in the direction of Lansing. Photograph "6" shows the track heading for Battle Creek. The depot shown above is in very poor condition. Vandals are busily converting it to rubble. When it was abandoned is unclear. Photographs "2" and "3" show a turnoff, where trains would have then taking the track from Grand Rapids to Jackson. Formerly a New York Central track, it was abandoned in 1984 for most of its length, as one will be able to see in maps at the bottom. The length through Charlotte apparently serves industrial areas, although traffic is apparently very light in year 2011. In times past the New York Central track crossed the Battle Creek, Lansing track at the turnoff, and headed for Hastings, Caledonia, and Grand Rapids. The dinner train is on the remaining New York Central track.

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Photograph "13" again shows the turnoff from the Battle Creek to Lansing track on to the old New York Central track. Photograph "14" then shows the track looking the opposite way, showing the back of the dinner train. Photograph "20" shows the Charlotte, MI, depot on the old New York Central track. A pizza restaurant for a while, the inside still contains much of the interior of the old depot, which shows the elegance of the depots of 100 or so years ago. Taken from the depot, photographs "25" and "26" look back at the front of the dinner train while photograph "23" looks in the direction the train will take, which is roughly southeast. The track bed was laid in 1870. Today it only goes out a few miles, and the train makes about a dozen trips back and forth during the course of dinner.

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The photographs above show the general ambiance of the dinner car. The couple across from us is Marcy and Andy Reinhart, of Charlotte, MI. The elderly dude behind them is from Lake Odessa, near Clarksville. The woman in the strange hat was part of the entertainment, as is the dude in the plaid jacket. They apparently make their living in part by doing these shows. To the back of the car one can see the bar area.

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In images 31 to 35 one can see satellite and other images of the Battle Creek to Lansing track, as well as the active part of the New York Central track, and In images 31 and 32 one can see the remnants of the abandoned New York Central track going to the upper left, and the somewhat active part of the track going to the lower right. Maps 33 through 35 shows the track arrangement in year 2011, and make it appear that the old New York Central line is just a spur track of the Lansing to Battle Creek line.