Chesapeake & Ohio / Ann Arbor: Clare Michigan, 1974

last addition 7-31-19
C&O in Michigan Index
Antediluvian Bicycle Railfanning

One benefit of running a non-commercial Web site is that you can talk about what you darn well please. Thus we present for your infotainment a nuts and bolts (heavy on the nuts) description of how Wx4 staff railfanned North America by the stupidest method possible: via bicycle (please note the details of the photo below. Click on the sidetrack logo to take you there.

Back in the days when America had lots of railroads and tracks, the humble but comely building that sat at the C&O / AA diamond at Clare was (and possibly, still is?) one of Michigan's best-known depots, amongst railfans anyway. A modeling magazines even ran a set of plans for the depot many years ago, and several generations of railfans have visited the place in the vain hope of photographing a rare freight train (passenger service on both lines ended in mid-century).

The C&O line is gone, but Ann Arbor successor Tuscola & Saginaw Bay called at Clare depot until recently. For a brief history, and some photos circa 1999, visit Michigan Passenger Stations. More vintage photos can be found at the Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum.

A note about the photos: Yep, these images will not be confused with anything that ever came out of Ansel Adams' darkroom, except perhaps whatever his cat mangled in the corner under the print dryer. We must confess that many of our bicycle journey's images sat as rolls of exposed film for five years before the Wx4 lab got around to developing them. We are very very bad railfans. Tsk, tsk. Thus we were faced with the dilemma: do we hide them away in the closet next to Uncle Fester, or do we place them here for all of you C&O fans, Michigunnites and M.R.'s (that's Model Railroaders) to absorb? Well folks, Wx4 figured that the latter was our God-given duty, so here they are. Besides, the quality on much of Wx4 is even suckier, so it's not like we have standards to uphold. - cEO
above: Ann Arbor tracks looking south

below: C&O tracks looking east

below: C&O tracks looking west
below: north side of depot
below: Ann Arbor freight house

Much Earlier Times

7-31-19 Roughly sixty years before the Wx4 visit, a pair of Ann Arbor McKeen Cars lined up nose to nose in front of the depot for some unknown reason. Note that Clare sported an interlocking tower and water plug (suitable for use by either railroad, it appears) back then. - postcard photo

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