More Michigan State

Inspired by the story of working the railroad at Michigan State University I spent some more time looking for information on their railroad. That photo of the MSU 45 ton diesel was fairly recent and I thought maybe someone else had gone looking for it.

Then I found this terrific video on Youtube posted by Alternity Studio:

I wish there was so more video showing the unloading process. Regardless, the video was enjoyable to watch.

Where last night my search was focussed directly on MSU, this morning’s looked more closely at the T.B. Simon Powerplant. Thanks to that shift I also found this terrific aerial view from Google:

Check out the neat track layout at the University. In addition to the powerplant trackage there’s also a siding for what looks like a University-run bakery.

I understand that the little 45 ton diesel that attracted me to this property has now been replaced by a larger GM diesel but the property is still one to refer back to.

With the first tea enjoyed, it’s time to get on with some other odds and ends that I should get done this morning. I’d like to get some bread started – the other day I made some based on oats that I quite liked and I’d like to make that again.

We promised we’d take down the Christmas tree today before I left for Montreal but it’s just such a fine looking tree that we’ve decided to become “those people” and leave it up just a bit longer.

There’s finally enough snow on the ground to get in some runs at the Island’s only ski hill: Brookvale. They have one run open right now and my kid is aching to carve it up. Though I promised myself, and her, that I’d try snowboarding I don’t think today is that day. Rather, I think Krista and I might just wander off on some cross-country ski trails. We went last weekend and it was beautiful. It should be as nice today.

Speaking of Montreal, I’m off on the road to return my oldest to university. I’m really looking forward to the trip and spending the trip with her. On the way home I have a few train-related destinations in mind so perhaps I’ll close this post with the promise of some more lousy train photography – can’t wait eh?!




  1. Or Kingston for that matter. If you only make it to Montreal, I suggest you open a dispensary. I don’t mean a pharmacy. Let me be more specific: a model railway dispensary. People come to you, shaky, unbalanced, perhaps incoherent, “Give me something, I need something.” Presumably this would be prototype advice, modelling advice, etc. You calmly and reasonably dispense information, perhaps a video link, some tidbit of experience, a suggestion. All thoughtfully and dispatched within a few minutes. A paper bag of modelling salve dispensed and taken. Here – take MSU. Here, have a coal hopper to unload. (I don’t mean this halfheartedly or flippantly, though I am known for my superficiality and glibness.) No, I really mean it, Chris! The last little while reading Prince Street has convinced me of the wisdom and necessity of this.

    There is way too much slap-it-together, the Quick & Dirty RR out there. Throw down some ballast and run some trains with absolutely zero thought given to the process. Zilch. “I’m modelling Winnipeg to Vancouver on CN. Help me.” Do your best to slow them down, guide them, focus them. Give them something that will help them.

    Perhaps it’s the second Lindt ball and the Tennent’s from Scotland that’s making this comment come out this way. No, not really.

    Hope you have a great trip to La Belle Province, land of my birth, and home again. I bet you spend at least some of that time in deep thought. Deep thought useful at the dispensary!


    1. That sounds like the sort of place that I’d go, just to hang out and soak in the atmosphere. I get the feeling that this dispensary would fit right in line in a city that already has such classic stores as Van Horne Hobbies and Hobby Jonction. Who knows. Maybe it needs to be a bit further east – by the time you make it to the Island you’ll be ready grasshopper…ha!

      Thanks for the really kind words and thoughts Eric. They mean a lot to me and I appreciate them.

      As for Lindt: I thought I could never have enough and it seems like I’ve been challenging that volume. I think I’ve found the limit.

      I’d almost been the whole holiday without whiskey but a late party this weekend closed that gap. For the first time I tried the Crown Royal variety that has gained so much noteriety and at least one other variety. Instead of the wines and whiskeys of Christmas, this was a year punctuated with glass after glass of truly terrific beer and most of that from this corner of the world. Of them all, it was Charlottetown’s own Upstreet Brewing that I’ve been enjoying most of all.

      Back to the last few things we need to get done before heading out tomorrow morning. It’ll be an early one but I’m really looking forward to it.


      -p.s. While browsing the VIA site to try and test the “quick side trip to Toronto” theory I noticed that several trains had layovers in Kingston that would provide us a chance for a get meetup. I don’t think I can make this work for this trip but at some point this year we need to grab that coffee and pastry we’ve been talking about for far too long.

      1. Indeed. Kingston has lots of departures both ways. We can photograph some of those Kingston Platform Scenes.

        You closed the whiskey gap. Googling, revealed as expect, it’s a place in Alberta. Whiskey Gap!
        Thanks Chris,

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