A Short History of the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad
This is a short chronological history of the LS&I. There are
many more details within the references listed below.
The Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway Company was organized. This is
the basis for the name of the current railroad as well as the majority
of the current operation. The line was completed in 1896 and ran
from Presque Isle (north side of Marquette) to Ishpeming.
The Munising Railway Company was organized with lines from Princeton to
Munising and Stillman to Cusino.
Construction begins on a wooden ore dock in Presque Isle harbor.
It was completed in 1897. The dock was 54 feet in height, 1200 feet
long, and had 200 pockets 160 ton capacity each. By 1910 it became
The Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company with a line from Big Bay
Purchase of 8 Class C-5 steam lomotives from Alco-Pittsburgh at a cost
of $14,335. They were renumbered in 1924 to 18 through 25.
Construction begins on a new concrete ore dock and was completed in 1912.
This new dock was 75 feet high, 1250 feet long, 60 feet wide, and had 200
pockets of 250 tons each. The Munising Railway Company and the Marquette
and South Eastern Railway Company were consolidated to form the Munising,
Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company.
The Dead River bridge was rebuilt. It has a height of 104 feet above the
Dead River and a length of 565 feet. It has a Cooper's Rating of
E-60 and a grade of 1.63%. Purchase of SC-1 steam locomotive number 35.
The Munising, Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company merged with the
Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway Company and the name Lake Superior
and Ishpeming Railroad Company was created. The LS&I contributed 33
miles of the total of 173 miles of mainline of the new company.
End of passenger traffic on the LS&I.
Construction completed on breakwater in Presque Isle harbor to protect
ships at the dock. The completed length is 2816 feet long.
The name was changed from Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad Company
to Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad Company. Also this year, the
LS&I acquired one-half interest in the C&NW Michegamme Branch.
Construction of a new line from Duncan to Humboldt Mine and Republic Mine
and was completed in 1952.
Purchase of Alco RS-3 number 1604.
Construction of a new line to the Eagle Mills Pellet Plant which was completed
the next year. This was the first large volume production of pellets
on the Marquette Range. Purchase of Alco RS-3 number 1608.
Purchase of Alco RSD-12 number 1801.
Purchase of Alco RSD-12 number 1802. Purchase of 200 taper side ore
The line to Big Bay was abandoned, which consisted of 24 miles of mainline.
Purchase of Alco RSD-12 number 1803.
Construction of a line to Empire Mine began.
The Big Bay Branch was sold to the Marquette & Huron Mountain Railroad
Company. Purchase of Alco RSD-12 number 1804.
Purchase of 2 GE U25C numbers 2500 and 2501. Purchase of 100 hopper
style ore cars.
Purchase of 2 GE U23C numbers 2300 and 2301.
Purchase of GE U23C number 2502.
Purchase of 2 GE U23C numbers 2303 and 2304.
Further construction on the Empire Mine tracks, which completed in 1974.
Purchase of 4 Alco RSD-12 numbers 1850, 1851, 1852, and 1853, from the
Baltimore & Ohio.
Purchase of 6 Alco RSD-15 numbers 2400, 2401, 2402, 2403, 2404, and 2405
from the Santa Fe.
Purchase of 8 GE U30C locomotives, numbered 3000 - 3013.
Sandy Burton, Alligators in the North Woods, Railfan & Railroad,
pp. 48-55, July 1985.
Iron Country Steam 83, U.P. Shortlines Model Railroad Club,
Mark Simonson, Lake Superior & Ishpeming, CTC Board, pp.
24-37, January 1990.
Patrick C. Dorin, The Lake Superior Iron Ore Railroads, Bonanza
Books, New York, 1969.