Blissfield & Charlotte
The Blissfield Train travels on a segment of the original Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad Line that began operations in 1836, making this one of the very first railroads west of the Allegheny Mountains. Along the way you will travel through the rich farmland of of Southeastern Michigan, which is thought to have been, in prehistoric times, the bottom of an ancient lake we call Lake Erie.
Upon arrival at Lenawee Junction, try to imagine what it must have been like when more than forty trains a day there to exchange goods and passengers bound for such places as Chicago, Jackson, Monroe, and Toledo.
Once you arrive back in Blissfield you will be able to casually browse the many shops and attractions in the historic business district.
Our Charlotte Train
The Charlotte Train is part of the Grand Valley Rail Road that ran from Jackson to Grand Rapids and was completed January 1, 1870. At that time two major railroads controlled rail traffic between Chicago and Detroit: the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern (controlled by 'Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt in New York), and the Michigan Central (controlled by a consortium of Boston bankers). When the Southern built a feeder line to Grand Rapids from their mainline in Kalamazoo, the Michigan Central leased the Grand Valley line to compete for the same trade. Six years later, the Commodore bought the Michigan Central, gaining a monopoly on all rail transportation in the Detroit/Chicago area.
Vanderbilt's company became the New York Central and later Penn Central and Conrail. Conrail sold it to the Charlotte Southern in 1999. Charlotte Southern provides freight service between Grand Trunk and the Eaton Farm Bureau Cooperative. The Old Road Dinner Train makes a leisurely 2-hour round trip through historic Charlotte and the countryside of east town.