Michigan Northern Railroad

The railroad is a bridge route between the car ferry at Mackinaw City and Comstock Park (Grand Rapids), Michigan. The mainline runs north and south in the State of Michigan. Most of the revenue for the railroad comes from the movement of general freight, lumber, grain, and chemicals from the northwestern part of the United States as well as coal and manufactured equipment from eastern and mid-Atlantic states. On-line traffic is generated by: food processing plants, paper mill, sawmill, stone and gravel quarry, grain elevators, steel mill, refinery, sand loading, and light manufacturing companies.

Operation sessions are every two months.


Layout located in home basement; stair climbing required.

Division or Location: 

Western Lower Michigan


A "what-if" model railroad based on the Michigan Northern Railway


HO standard gauge

Size of Railroad: 

17 x 26, around the walls; 250+ cars


1976 to 1986


Track 80%; Scenery 30%; Electrical 80%

Control System: 

Digitrax DCC, infrared, radio

Number of Crew: 

Minimum: 4; Maximum: 12

Length of Session: 

2.5 to 3 hours

Scale Clock Speed: 

No clock

Traffic Control: 

JMRI, Train Orders and Train Manifests

Radios Required: 

No radios

Listed Jobs: 

Usually 10 trains per session - mainline freights, local switching, and passenger jobs.

Engineer (or 2-person crew), Yardmaster, Dispatcher

Additional Information: