Northern Arrow
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
StatusDiscontinued
LocaleMidwestern United States
PredecessorNorthland Express
First service1935
Last service1961
Former operator(s)Pennsylvania Railroad
Route
StartCincinnati, Ohio, additional sections originating from Chicago and St. Louis
Stops21
EndMackinaw City, Michigan, additional sections to Harbor Springs
Distance travelled533.5 miles (858.6 km) (1950)
Average journey timeNorthbound: 15 hrs 5 min
Southbound: 14 hrs 40 min (1950)
Service frequencyDaily (1950;1961)
Train number(s)Northbound: 519
Southbound: 520
On-board services
Seating arrangementsReserved seat coach
Sleeping arrangementsSections and double bedrooms, drawing rooms and compartments (1950)
Catering facilitiesDining car
Entertainment facilitiesLounge car
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)

Northern Arrow was one of the named passenger trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad,[1] starting at Cincinnati, Ohio and ending at Mackinaw City, Michigan. It had merging branches originating from Chicago, Illinois, converging in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a train from St. Louis, Missouri from the west, converging at Richmond, Indiana.[2] Carrying the number #519 northbound and #520 southbound, it used the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, a leased subsidiary of the Pennsylvania system.

The train was frequented by northbound travelers to popular Northern Michigan resort destinations north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, such as Petoskey, Bay View (only northbound trains stopped there; it was the stop after Petoskey), Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. One section of the Northern Arrow was a seasonal summer-only weekly service between Chicago and Mackinaw City.[3] Additional northbound sleeper sections after leaving Petoskey diverged west to Harbor Springs.[4]

The Northern Arrow ran express from Grand Rapids to Cadillac (albeit, available for flagstops and Reed City). The PRR ran a local counterpart from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw City (later cut back to Petoskey)[5] which served the bypassed stations.[6] The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway operated the Resort Special that served the Chicago to Petoskey market. For the Grand Rapids to Petoskey route, the Resort Special was a competitor with the Northern Arrow.[7]

During World War II and immediately after, 1942–1946, the Northern Arrow was one of the named trains dropped from service.[8] On May 26, 1950, the Northern Arrow was re-equipped with a lightweight lounge and sleeping cars plus a dining car decorated with Northern Michigan photomurals.[9] It did not operate outside of the summer months, as there were no trains on the route north of Grand Rapids during the colder months.[10]

The PRR ended its local counterpart service between 1954 and 1955.[11][12]

Northern Arrow service was ended in 1961. In 1976, the Michigan Department of Transportation initiated the Michigan Northern Railway, which operated passenger service from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw City until 1986.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ "RRHX - Named Train Menu". michiganrailroads.com.
  2. ^ Maiken, Peter. Night Trains, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, p. 351, drawing from a 1952 Official Guide to the Railways issue ISBN 9780801845031.
  3. ^ Pennsylvania timetable, August 6, 1950, Tables 22, 23 http://streamlinermemories.info/PRR/PRR50TT.pdf
  4. ^ Maiken, Peter. Night Trains, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, p. 71, p. 351, drawing from a 1952 Official Guide to the Railways issue ISBN 9780801845031.
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Railroad timetable, August 6, 1950, Table 22 http://streamlinermemories.info/PRR/PRR50TT.pdf
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad, Table 192". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 82 (3). August 1949.
  7. ^ "Chesapeake and Ohio, Tables 46, 49". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 82 (3). August 1949.
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Railroad timetable, March 1946, Table 32 http://streamlinermemories.info/PRR/PRR46TT.pdf
  9. ^ "www.prrths.com" (PDF).
  10. ^ Pennsylvania Railroad timetable, January 18, 1954, Table 30 http://streamlinermemories.info/PRR/PRR54-1TT.pdf
  11. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad, Table 100". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 87 (7). December 1954.
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad, Table 230, freight only". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 88 (4). September 1955.