Site Seeing – 16 July 2019 – The Little Critter that could edition

It’s not often that you get to see internal (in-plant) company railway operations today. Thankfully “Saginaw Terminal Docks” (Facebook and YouTube) posted a video from Reid Machinery in Lansing, Mi showing how they use old freight cars to store valuable machinery on their site prior to sale.


Reid Machinery’s internal railroad

Reid Machinery Inc of Lansing Michigan have specialised in moving machinery, primarily in the forging industry, throughout North America since 1992. And while that may not seem like the most worthy thing to write about on the third Tuesday in July – I urge you to hang around a moment longer. You see they also hold their large (as in big – not lots of) inventory on and in their own railroad assets.

Yes – they have their own switching layout.

Thanks to Saginaw Terminal Docks we have a front row seat, and a cab ride on one of these switching moves. I asked him about connections to the rest of the world. He tells me that the in-plant line connects to the JAIL/Adrian & Blissfield on over a mile of old track through Lansing’s south side.

And this is so modellable…


YouTube video

Some of the things to watch out for in the video are:

  • The three person crew (Engineer, conductor, and digger – and yes it’s a guy with  a shovel)
  • Slow switching speeds
  • At around the 18 minute mark – opening the boxcar door with the forklift forks (we often model the result but the actual operation is rarely filmed)

So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the show.


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About Andrew Martin

After a long IT and Telecommunications career in the USA and Australia, I've decided I need a break, I've changed focus and now work in the public transport sector - a complete change of pace. Hobby wise I'm focused on model railway layout building and modelling. I blog, write and publish as often as I am able.
This entry was posted in Boxcars, Layout Design, Loads, Operations, Prototype, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Small, Switching, Switching, Web, YouTube and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Site Seeing – 16 July 2019 – The Little Critter that could edition

  1. Charles Malinowski says:

    Andrew. Great find.
    In the short version of the video at 2:30, the critter approaches an interesting switch/turnout.
    Are all those I-beams required to reinforce the switch for the HEAVY loads? Or another purpose?
    Love the GE 25 tonner with the CAT diesel!

    • Hey Charles
      I can only guess that the I-Beams are there to strengthen the switch rails against the lateral loads imposed by the soil. They seem to have a lot of soil movement (hence the 3rd crew member with the shovel) due to water (rain and I’d guess groundwater too). And yes that GE is adorable (although rough as bags from the look of the cab). And who doesn’t love a CAT diesel working?

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