Huckleberry Railroad

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Huckleberry Railroad
Ex-D&RGW 464 on the Huckleberry Railroad, Flint, Michigan.jpg
Reporting markHRR
LocaleGenesee Township, Michigan
Dates of operation1976 (1976)–present
Track gauge3 ft (914 mm)
HeadquartersCrossroads Village, a county park in Genesee Township, Michigan
Websitewww.geneseecountyparks.org/pages/huckleberry

The Huckleberry Railroad is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railroad located in Genesee Township, Michigan, near Flint. The railroad operates alongside Crossroads Village, both of which are owned and maintained by the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission.

The railroad received its name due to the story that a person could jump off the train, pick wild huckleberries, and re-board the train without difficulty, as it traveled so slowly.[1]

History[edit]

What is now the Huckleberry Railroad began operating in 1872 as part of the Flint River Railroad. The Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad later extended the branch line from Flint to Otter Lake. It later came to be known as the Otter Lake Branch. Eventually the track was extended by another 4.5 miles from Otter Lake to Fostoria, for a total of 19.5 miles from Flint to Fostoria.

The Pere Marquette Railway abandoned the Otter Lake to Fostoria line in 1932, and the Otisville to Otter Lake line a year later.[2][3] The Huckleberry Railroad began operations in 1976 on the remaining line when the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission opened Crossroads Village.[4]

The train station used by the Huckleberry Railroad at Crossroads Village is the former Grand Trunk Western Railroad station from nearby Davison.[5]

Locomotives[edit]

The Huckleberry Railroad owns several locomotives and many pieces of rolling stock. Two locomotives have even been restored to operating condition. Former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad 464,[6] a K-27 class, known as "mudhens", 2-8-2 steam locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1903, pulls vintage wooden passenger cars along the shores of Mott Lake. The other engine used is former Alaska Railroad #152, a ten-wheeler built in 1920 at the Baldwin Locomotive Works.[7] #152 underwent restoration starting in 2016 and went back into service in late July 2018.[8]

Locomotive Roster[edit]

In Service[edit]

  • 464: Former Denver & Rio Grande Western 1903 Baldwin K-27 #464
  • 5: Former American Smelting and Refining Co. Plymouth JCD #5
  • 7: Former National Tube Works General-Electric 50 ton #7
  • 11: Former Badger Army Ammunition Plymouth HSG #585
  • 571: Former Badger Army Ammunition Plymouth HSG #571
  • 152: Former Alaska Railroad 1920 Baldwin 4-6-0 #152

Out of Service[edit]

  • 3: Former Quincy & Torch Lake 1894 Brooks 2-6-0 #3 (On 99-Year Lease from The Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Hancock, MI.)
  • 4: Former Potosi & Rio Verde 1904 Baldwin 2-8-0 #4 (On Display by the Main Line)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°05′36″N 83°39′05″W / 43.09336°N 83.65137°W / 43.09336; -83.65137