|The Pere Marquette Railroad Company was organized on November 01, 1899 for the sole purpose of |
consolidating the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad Company, the Detroit Grand Rapids and Western Railroad
Company and the Chicago West Michigan Railroad Company, pursuant to the re-adjustment agreement dated
May 20, 1899, stated below as Detroit and Pere Marquette Railroad.
Detroit and Pere Marquette Railroad
It is reported that this will be the name of the company to be formed by the consolidation of the Flint and Pere
Marquette Railroad Company, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad Company and the Chicago and West
Michigan Railway Company. The agreement of consolidation was declared operative on June 31, 1899, a majority
of the preferred and common stock of each of the constituent companies having been deposited thereunder.
The capitol stock of the new company will amount to $28, 000,000, consisting of $16,000,00 common stock and
$12,000,000 preferred stock. The existing bonds and equipment obligations of the constituent companies are
not to be disturbed for the present. The company may, however, create a consolidated mortgage to secure an
issue of 4 percent bonds and providing, among other things, for the ultimate retirement of part or all of the
existing bonds and car trust obligations. Of the consolidated stock, preferred stock amounting to $10,162,200
and common stock amounting to $14,145,550 will be issued in exchange for, or in place of, the capital stocks of
the constituent companies, under the terms outlined in their respective statements. The remainder of the
consolidated stock will be used for future requirements of the company.
The properties of the companies names and of the Chicago and North Michigan Railroad Company have been
acquired by purchase under the laws of Michigan, subject to the mortgages and other liens existing on them at
the time of purchase; the company issuing in payment for such properties all of it's common and preferred
stock. The new company begins operations on January 01, 1900.
The Grand Rapids, Belding and Saginaw, built in 1899 is leased to this company, details as to rental, terms etc.,
not being attainable. During the past year the company leased the Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron Railroad for 999
years from February 01, 1900, this company guaranteeing principal and interest of $1,000,000 of Saginaw,
Tuscola and Huron first mortgage at 4 percent gold bonds.
As of December 31, 1900 total rolling stock:
Locomotives - 224, Cars - Passenger - 208, Express and Baggage - 63, Freight Box - 4347, Livestock - 91,
Flat and Gondola - 3506, Way and Cabin - 101, Other - 81
As of December 31, 1900 total operations:
Train Mileage - Passenger - 2,956,718, Freight 3,211,422
Passengers carried: 2,853,495, carried one mile: 105,760,378
Tons of freight moved: 5,675,599, moved one mile: 639,329,323
The company was re-incorporated on March 12, 1917 as the Pere Marquette Railway.
In the 1920s the Pere Marquette came under the control of Cleveland financiers, Oris and Mantis Van
Sweringen who also controlled the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, Erie Railroad and Chesapeake and
Ohio Railroad and planned to merge the four railroads. The ICC did not approve the merger and the Van
Sweringen brothers sold their interest in the Pere Marquette to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, with which it
formally merged on June 6, 1947.
The Pere Marquette also operated a number of rail car ferries on the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers and on Lake
Erie and Lake Michigan. The Pere Marquette's fleet of car ferries, which operated on Lake Michigan from
Ludington, Michigan to Milwaukee, Kewaunee and Manitowoc Wisconsin were an important transportation link,
avoiding the terminal and interchange delays experienced by freight traveling around the southern tip of Lake
Michigan and through Chicago.
In 1984, Amtrak named their passenger rail service between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago the Pere
Marquette. In 2004, The Polar Express featured Pere Marquette 1225, a steam locomotive originally serving
the Pere Marquette. The train portrayed in the movie, although not the same train in the book, was a model of
the 1225 based from actual measurements and recordings of the 1225. The locomotive was scheduled to be at
the premiere in Grand Rapids, Michigan, originally where the writer of the popular children's book, Chris Van
Allsberg, was born, but cancelled due to interferences with the schedule of CSX.
The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (Chessie System) has since become part of CSX.