Rochester in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Disaster Strikes at Rochester Depot
Clinton River Trail
In March 1879, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW)—Michigan Air Line Division made its way to Rochester. This rail line eventually extended from Jackson to Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester, and on to Richmond for a total distance of 106 miles. The Rochester GTW Depot served as a station until July 9, 1971, when a train derailed and destroyed a large portion of the building.
The Rochester GTW Depot continued to service freight after passenger service ended in December 1955.
Far left upper image and near left lower image:
A 56-Car Train (above and right) carrying a load of new General Motors trucks and Pontiac cars derailed on July 9, 1971 due to a faulty wheel.
Far left lower image:
The Rochester GTW Depot (left) was never rebuilt after the derailment. It was determined that the fourteenth car in the train caused the accident.
Near left upper image:
Rochester Grand Trunk Western Depot (above) was located about 60 feet north of this location.
Near right lower image:
The last passenger train to leave the Rochester GTW Depot was in December
Far right upper image:
The Michigan Railroad Club (right) ran a number of special excursion train trips in the 1950s.
Far right middle image:
A Whistle Post (left) is a sign marking the location where a locomotive engineer is required to sound the horn or whistle. They are typically 1/4 mile in advance of a road crossing.
Erected by City of Rochester, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, Rochester Avon Historical Society, SEMCOG, Oakland County Michigan Economic Development & Community Affairs.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1879.
Location. 42° 40.532′ N, 83° 8.127′ W. Marker is in Rochester, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker can be reached from Diversion Street south of First Street/Mill Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is on the Clinton River Trail, about 200 feet west of Diversion Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester MI 48307, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Vandeventer House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rollin Sprague Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); City of Rochester, Michigan (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mount Avon Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Three-faced Clock (approx. 0.4 miles away); Rochester Opera House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Township Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); Masonic Block (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester.
Also see . . . This month in Rochester History. July 2, 2009 Remembering Rochester blog post about the Grand Trunk Western Railroad derailment. (Submitted on November 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.