Great Lakes Central Railroad
|Dates of operation||2006–present|
|Predecessor||Michigan Northern Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||400 miles (640 km)|
The Great Lakes Central Railroad (reporting mark GLC) is a Class II regional railroad, originally called the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay Railway (reporting mark TSBY), that was formed on August 26, 1977 to operate over former Penn Central lines from Millington to Munger, Michigan, and Vassar to Colling, Michigan. Its name was derived from the three Michigan counties it operated in: Tuscola, Saginaw and Bay.
In October 1982, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracted the TSBY to operate the former Ann Arbor Railroad line from Osmer siding just north of Ann Arbor to Alma, Michigan. On October 1, 1984, MDOT cancelled its contract with the Michigan Northern Railway and the TSBY assumed operation of the rest of the Ann Arbor Railroad mainline from Alma to Thompsonville, former Grand Rapids and Indiana Railway (GR&I) trackage from Reed City to Petoskey (crossing in Cadillac, Michigan) and Walton to Traverse City and former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Grawn to Williamsburg (through Traverse City). The track from Cadillac to Comstock Park was removed in the 1991. On January 22, 1991, the TSBY sold its original lines to the Huron and Eastern Railway, now owned by Rail America. Today the GLC operates former Ann Arbor track from Osmer to Yuma, Michigan (just west of Cadillac), former PRR from Cadillac to Petoskey and Walton to Traverse City, former C&O from Grawn to Williamsburg, former NYC from Owosso to Fergus, and former Grand Trunk Western from Ashley to Middleton. The GLC also operates a small portion of the abandoned CSX (C&O) Ludington Subdivision in Clare, Michigan, to serve a local plastics factory.
In March 2006 the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay Railway was purchased by Federated Railways, Inc. and has changed their name to Great Lakes Central Railroad. Mike Bagwell, President and CEO of Great Lakes Central Railroad, announced that the railway will be starting a commuter rail service between the restored Howell Depot Museum and downtown Ann Arbor because of construction on US-23. The service, now called WALLY, was initially projected to start in 2007 but has encountered delays.
GLC interchanges with Class I railroads Canadian National in Durand and CSX at Annpere, and shortlines Huron and Eastern Railway in Durand and Owosso. Mid-Michigan Railroad in Alma, Michigan and the Ann Arbor Railroad at Osmer.
Great Lakes Central Railroad is the largest regional railroad in the state of Michigan covering 400 miles (640 km) of track.
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