Sunday, August 29, 2010


While visiting family and attending a wedding in Michigan, we cruised through many small towns, searching for old railroad depots, locomotives and unusual rolling stock.

In Clinton MI we didn't find the building that we were looking for...that we could verify as being the former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern freight depot. But we did come across this unusual little engine sitting on an old siding with a several other pieces of rolling stock.

This is GMDH-3 Locomotive #275. This is a one of a kind demonstrator, (re: sales sample), built by General Motors Diesel in Canada in 1950. It's a 37.5 ton diesel hydraulic locomotive with a 6-wheel chassis. This unit spent some time in Egypt and in it's role as a 'sample' unit, but no sales resulted. Engine #275 subsequently spent 30 years in service as a factory switcher in St. Catherine's Ontario, Canada.

We also noted these 2 units in this small town rail yard: a GE 44-ton 4-axle switcher...built somewhere between 1940 and 1956 and; a 1920 Coach from the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.

All of this rolling stock and more, is owned by the Southern Michigan Railroad Society. The Society is based in Clinton and it owns about 14 miles of track and it operates some excursion trains. The overall goal of this group is to build an operating museum railroad using the first branch lines that had been built into Michigan. For more information, go to

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