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Explore the Historical Impact of Plymouth Railroads with authors Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens and Ellen Elliott in this virtual presentation.
According to a Detroit Free Press article of March 14, 1872, “The advent of the railroad has completely changed the course of life of the inhabitants of this village, which is the first of importance going west from Detroit.” The two railroads that came to Plymouth in the early 1870s changed the course of history for the once-sleepy town. Within 20 years, the railroads would be used to transport repeat orders for the booming air rifle industry to all corners of the United States. The rail lines made industry possible for a small burg outside of the metropolitan area of Detroit.
Because of the distance to other cities, passenger transportation was always an important mission of railroads. These needs were met between 1899 and 1928 by the Detroit, Plymouth & Northville Railroad (Interurban). Later, enhanced passenger service ran on the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) line between Detroit and Grand Rapids, stopping in Plymouth (1946–1971).