By Dave Stroebe

Our mission statement is “Preserving Muskegon’s Rail Heritage”. This included REAL trains. Soon after our founding in 1982, Ken Kadrovich wanted to acquire two cabooses. One metal and the other wood. A call to CSX in Grand Rapids Wyoming yard resulted in Ex PM/C&O A 950 and a wooden plywood covered caboose being donated.

We had run the equipment once a month on private city owned trackage at Union Depot using 5208 as power. Our Santa Train was operated by current railroad employees. Mechanical inspection and servicing was done by me. There was a legitimate concern over liability from MRHS rail operations without insurance. My effort to obtain this was useless! It was then decided not to run the equipment. We ran 5208 only idling for the public to view an operating locomotive and cab for education purposes. The lack of a permanent home and lack of member interest resulted in the final disposition of the equipment.


1= Union Depot

2- GTW Western Ave 9th street freight house

3=Central Michigan RR /GTW Henry Street Yard Center engine house

Here is the list of the long-gone equipment. I do not have an exact date of acquisition.

  1. PM /C&O/ Chessie System A950. Donated to the City of Muskegon, then donated to us. Then donated to Muskegon County. It was used on our Santa Train. It is currently on display at Union Depot
  2. Wooden caboose. Sold to the White Lake Chamber of Commerce. Resided in tongue & grove and repainted in red. It is lettered Chesapeake & Ohio. Displayed at White Lake depot.
  3. C&O EMD NW2 5208. Bought from CSX as serviceable (railroad for it runs) It pulled our Santa Train to “Lumber Town” {Now Fricanos Pizza} with a bonified CSX Engineer Dave McCormick. A businessman donated $10,000 to buy 5208. It was taken out of service (running only the prime mover EMD 12V567A) due to water leaks. It was sold to Coopersville & Marne. It has been cannibalized for parts and is stored in downtown Coopersville.
  4. Whitcomb 20 ton= Built by Whitcomb Locomotive works in 1941.It was used by the US Army Corps of Engineers in Burma during WW2. After the war, it was sold to a Banana Plantation in South America. It then was sold to Shaw Crane in Muskegon Heights to replace their shay locomotive. It was used to shuttle flatcars and dollies around the shop with I beams for overhead cranes. It also was used to interchange flat cars with the PRR/PC & GTW by sixth street. Shaw Crane became Dressor Industries and then Lift Tech. In 1986 Lift Tech donated the Whitcomb to us. It was sold to engineer Brad Anderson to whom sold it the C&M. It is stored near Continental Dairy in Coopersville. The engine is seized.
  5. Tank car. Amway donated it. Useless to us, it was scrapped at Fisher (now Padnos) junk yard
  6. Lift Tech Truss Rod Flat car. Used to move large beams for overhead cranes. Its journal boxes were packed with grease instead of oil. Scrapped at Fisher Junk Yard
  7. Dresser 4-wheel Dollies. Originally one, but we got 3 more. These were used to move beams around the shop. Donated to C&M
  8. C&O RoadRailer. Known as Railvans by the C&O. These ran on passenger trains between GR-Chicago, GR- Detroit and GR- Traverses City. All Aluminum, these are THE original Road Railers and are not like the ones that ran on NS. They wound up at a scrap yard near Plaster Creek/ Wyoming Yard. One was donated to us. It is one of only two Railvans preserved. It was used by MRHS for storage. Later donated to the West Michigan Historical Society in Sparta where it is today.
  9. ACF C&O Extended vision Caboose. Donated by CSX. It is on display at the West Michigan Historical Society in Sparta
  10. GTW Carferry Idler flat cars. These were used as a “Handle” to move cars off the Carferry to keep the heavy locomotive off the apron. Might be at Manistee on the City of Milwaukee
  11. Lifeboat off the GTW Carferry Madison. Donated to LST 393 where it serves as the LST Lifeboat
  12. C&O Derrick car. Donated by CSX and sold to a business on M120. When the owner couldn’t get the price he wanted, he scrapped them
  13. Ann Arbor Box. Sold to a business on M120. When the owner couldn’t get the price he wanted, he scrapped them. The AA caboose he had was not from us.
  14. Brown Hoist 10-ton electric crane. Used at PM/C&O North Yard “Rip Track” {repair in place}. It was used by the car department to lift wheel sets. It ran on 440 three phase. It was donated to a museum.

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