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Ludington Daily News Feb. 16, 1919


OWOSSO, Mich., Feb. 15 – Because of slack business said to be general the Ann Arbor railroad has laid off a number of men and has put men who have been conductors for 10 years back at braking. Working hours at their shops have been cut from 48 to 44 a week. Officials say the road is operating at a big deficit as the other roads, and that this deficit can only be taken care of by transferring it to the government to be paid by further issues of Liberty bonds. Retrenchment is possible only on orders from the regional directors, they say.

The Owosso Argus-Press March 24, 1919 (AD)


The Grand Trunk Western and the Ann Arbor Railroads will buy, at prices posted in their stations, all the ties you can produce along their lines. Payments can be made within 15 days after inspection. For further particulars and orders write to

W. C. ATHERTON, Purchasing Agent Detroit

The Owosso Argus-Press July 23, 1919


From 30 to 60 Minutes Cut from Scheduled Time; Results Gratifying


A speeding up process of train schedules on the Ann Arbor railroad that has been going on for some little time, has resulted in train service, both freight and passenger, that is highly gratifying to the public and to the officials of the road.

A full hour has been clipped off the schedule of the train leaving here at 2:55 p. m. for Toledo, between Frankfort and the Ohio city. It leaves Frankfort half an hour later in the morning and reaches Toledo half an hour earlier or at 7 o'clock. Forty minutes have been lopped off the schedule of the morning train leaving here at 8:15 southbound, and it now arrives in Toledo at 12:10 o'clock; while No. 53, which leaves here northbound at 7:30 p. m. makes the trip to Mt. Pleasant in 30 minutes less time than formerly.

Improved track conditions have been one of the big factors in the speeding up process. All along the line, the tracks have been greatly improved, while from Durand to Toledo the track is made up of heavy rails entirely. Prior to recent improvements, there was an intervals a stretch of heavy rails and a stretch of light rails, making it unsafe to maintain a uniformly high speed.

The freight service has been greatly improved and shippers generally are well pleased with the service now being given.

The train crews are co-operating in every way with the officials in keeping on schedule and the result is that, despite the shorter running times, it is very seldom that an Ann Arbor train is late now, unless it is the result of an accident.

The Owosso Argus-Press Sept. 13, 1919


Twenty-two Cars Filled With Merchandise Wrecked on Ann Arbor Road

Twenty two freight cars, all loaded, were smashed and piled up in a great heap yesterday afternoon when train No. 92, southbound on the Ann Arbor road, was wrecked between Ashley and North Star. No one was injured.

The cause of the wreck is believed to have been a swinging car of lumber which overturned. Before the train could be stopped, the cars behind the one overturned had piled up and several rods of track had been torn up.

The merchandise in the cars were scatted and scrambled and a heavy loss will result from this.

The wreck blocked the track completely and passengers on trains were compelled to transfer. Two wrecking crews were immediately put at work and it was hoped to get the wreckage out of the way and the track repaired by noon. The Ann Arbor wrecking crew was on the north end, and it came from that way while the Grand Trunk crew was summoned from Durand.

The Owosso Argus-Press Sept. 24, 1919


Ann Arbor Official Points Out Vital Need of Economy

J. E. Osmer, superintendent of Motive Power for the Ann Arbor Railroad, has issued the following statement to the employes of the road, showing the enormous consumption of coal by the railroads in 1918:

Owosso, Mich., Sept. 23.

“During the year 1918 the Railroad Administration in its various departments caused to be burned 163,971,000 tons of coal, 33 per cent of which was used in the fire boxes of locomotives, and 12 per cent in power plants.

It required 3,339,000 fifty-ton coal cars to carry this amount of coal, and if coupled together in one train and run by a given point at a rate of one mile per minute it would require twenty days and twenty nights before the way car would pass this given point, and would require a terminal fifty miles long with 576 tracks to store the coal upon or thirty-one tracks of coal side by side that would occupy a distance from Chicago to New Orleans.

It cost the Railroad Administration $1,600,00 for every calendar day for fuel at the mine, not including the haulage and handling charges. There is at this time a shortage in this country amounting to 68,000,000 tons of coal, and the figure is growing daily.

Foreign countries, including Great Britain, are now placing orders for coal in this country, and it behooves each and every employe to do all possible in saving every lb. Of coal, as we will before spring time arrives face a great shortage of coal, not only on the railroads, but in some of our homes.

The Owosso Argus-Press Nov. 29, 1919


2,000 Gallons of Lubricating Oil at Ann Arbor Shops Food for Flames


A loss estimated at $7,000 was entailed last night when the two oil houses containing 2,000 gallons of oil, in the Ann Arbor yards, were consumed with their contents by fire. Quick and effective work by the fire department prevented the flames from spreading to any other buildings.

The origin of the fire is not known. Arthur Sternaman, night oil house tender, was not in the oil house at the time, but was working in the office of the store. Suddenly, workmen saw flames shoot from the oil houses and in seconds, both structures were wrapped in flames. An alarm calling out both the east and west side fire departments was rung in, and within a remarkably short time two stream of water were being played on the fire.

Stubborn Blaze

When the department arrived, the two buildings formed a seething furnace. The flames shot high into the air lighting up the sky so that the reflection could be seen for miles. The heat was intense, but the firemen braving it, literally deluged the buildings with water. However, the fire was so stubborn that it was over two hours before it was out, despite the fact that hundreds of gallons of water had been dumped onto the ruined buildings, fire broke out again at 3 o'clock this morning, and firemen worked until nearly noon to put it out.

The timbers of the burned buildings were soaked in oil and it was almost impossible to extinguish the flames. Several big metal barrels of oil exploded during the fire, but luckily no one was burned. The firemen and Ann Arbor employes succeeded in rolling out many barrels of oil after the flames had been subdued last night and the salvage will amount to considerable as the oil is worth 54 cents a gallon. Most of the oil in the buildings was lubricating oil.

Insured by Government

One of the buildings destroyed was 40 by 60 feet in dimensions and the other 30 by 40 feet. A box car demounted from its trucks and also used as an oil house was wrecked by the flames.

The government, it is understood, carries its own fire insurance.

The Owosso Argus-Press Nov. 29, 1919


Replace Gigantic Locomotives Recently Put Into Service by Road

The four big locomotives recently purchased by the Ann Arbor railroad from the Baldwin locomotive works at Philadelphia, and put into services have been disposed of and have been replaced by five engines of the same type but smaller.

The big engines proved impractical on the Ann Arbor simply because they were too large. There was virtually no limit to their pulling power, and could not be run economically unless they drew exceedingly long trains. As a result considerable trouble was experienced in draw bars being pulled out of cars on the road. Another difficulty was that the freight trains were so long that there were no siding long enough for them to back into and it became necessary when a freight and passenger train met to sidetrack the passenger train instead of the freight. This caused a loss of time in the schedule of the passenger trains.

The new engines are combined with automatic strokers and all other modern labor saving devices and are very satisfactory to the engine men.

The new engines come from the Pennsylvania lines while those disposed of went to the Canadian Pacific.

The motor car which was wrecked some time ago in a collision at Marion, has been overhauled and will soon be put back into service. She will burn kerosene making three out of the five motors to kerosene instead of gasoline.