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Michigan Division Speed

From: "Loren"
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010

My questioned is concerning the Marion branch between Wabash and Marion.
This is a line that has been signaled since the 80's and is well kept up in shape as a class "A" line yet the speed is not 60 mph.

Thank you.

To: Loren
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010
Subject: speed


I was an fireman, engineer on the Michigan Branch for 30 years, this included the up grade to the track it is now. (1950-1981).

This is my reason and I don't know of any other. The track is level and from the top of Marion Hill to the top of Wabash Hill is certainly in good enough condition for 60 mph. But other things must be considered.

With big trains you would almost be to Lafontaine and the speed reduction to 35 starts at the top of the Wabash hill. The short run at 60 would not overcome the wear and tear on the track for the extra 10 mph and add to this the extra fuel for a year and other items not mentioned.

I don't know about government regulations at this time but upkeep and other regulations may be a higher standard.

There are many locations on the branch that could be 60 mph but 50 mph is a comfortable speed on the branch from the engineers standpoint as well as the company's. The Bee-line from Avon to Crestline Ohio is 50 mph for freight although in the 60s it was 60 mph.

I hope this answers your question.

Maurice Lewman

Maurice worked the Michigan Division from 1947-1981. He then worked on the Bee Line from 1981-1992. From 1947 until august 1950, he worked on the section at Shirley and Markleville. In 1950 he started firing on steam and then on through the diesels. Maurice said, "I had the pleasure of working with C. C. Staley and Ron Buser many times."

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