dtslman on 31
The mill was switched by the Grand Trunk Western's (GTW)
Train #521/520 the "Kalamazoo Turn," which departed Battle Creek
early in the morning and switched the mill on what would be
considered the "day-shift." The NYC or CK&S switched the mill on
afternoons and the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) provided service
at night. In steam days, the GTW normally used one of the 3500
series 2-8-2's...not one of the 0-8-2's! The NYC usually used
one of their 0-6-0's and the PRR furnished an H-6 2-8-0. When
the diesels arrived I would guess the GTW used one of the
switchers or a GP-9. The NYC probably an SW-1, and the PRR an
Baldwin or EMD switcher.
Until the late 1930's, the GTW (former C&KT) had a single-stall
engine house at Mill Street Yard, which would have housed an
engine that would have served all of Kalamazoo. Former GTW Ass't
Supt. Cliff Rose, recalled the engine house being there into the
late 1930's. It was located on what became Track #4 at Mill
Street Yard. The foundation was still there in 1979. This
facility also had a coaling facility located slightly to the
north of the yard, which utilized a block and tackle equipped
hoist to raise baskets of coal to the engines! After the engine
house was closed and the coal-hoist dismantled, the GTW would go
to the NYC's Botsford yard if they needed coal...this did not
happen very often. Believe it or not, I have the blueprints for
both structures. I also have detailed maps from the 1920's for
the entire facility and have always thought that the mill itself
would make quite an interesting focal point on a model railroad.
Each railroad would spot and pull cars on its assigned shift.
The cars for the other two railroads would be left within the
confines of the plant to be pulled by each individual carrier.
It is correct that the GTW would turn their engine and have it
heading south to switch the mill...so the engineer would be on
the inside of the curve to see hand signals. The NYC's engine
would also work headed south. There was a turning-loop at the
mill. The south leg of the loop came off the NYC's CK&S main
track and crossed the GTW main on a diamond in the vicinity of
Vine Street. This portion of the loop was owned and maintained
by the NYC (CK&S). The north portion of the loop belonged to the
GTW and actually began as the yard lead at the north end of Mill
Street Yard. It was owned and maintained by the GTW. Each
railroad used each others leg of the loop and each others Main
Track between pavilion Jct. and the cross-overs at the north end
of Mill Street Yard. all of this mainline trackage on both
railroads was controlled by the tower operator at the NYC's BO
tower. The Pennsy too had authority to use each end of the loop;
but did not enter either GTW or NYC main track.
Allied Paper - King Mill production data for 1955 was:
340,000 lbs. of paper produced in 24 hours.
- Four 1200-ld. and nine 2000-lb. beaters and eight Jordans.
- One 120, one 125, one 134 and one 144 - inch Fourdriniers;
widest trimmed sheets,
105, 108, 115, and 128 inches.
- Super Calendars, 35 inches min. to 123 inches max.
King Mill closed in 1970. The last of the mill structures were still
standing as late as 1979 but by 1980 they were all gone.