The Grand Traverse Dinner Train Moves To Owosso Michigan

The Grand Traverse Dinner Train Moves To Owosso Michigan in 2006

If you are from the Northern Michigan area and are above the age of 30, then you might remember the Grand Traverse Dinner Train. 

Maybe you went on it as a child or maybe you took your spouse on a date on this. There has repotedly been interest in bringing back the GTDT. However those talks and rumors have yet to bring back this beloved traveling dinner train. 

After scouring the web we were able to piece together a few credible sources and figure out what happened to the dinner train. 

Grand Traverse Dinner Train rolls on
Train sold, may be used for trips in Oklahoma

TRAVERSE CITY — Joseph Riley enjoyed seeing a train at the Traverse City railroad depot south of Eighth Street and was surprised to see it had vanished upon a recent visit there.

“I said, ‘Oh, they got the train running again,'” said Riley, before he learned the remnants of the Grand Traverse Dinner Train had recently departed the station for good.

“I was just surprised something like that disappeared,” the Traverse City resident said. “One of the very first things my wife and I did when we moved back to Traverse City was to ride the dinner train.”

The Grand Traverse Dinner Train Moves To Owosso Mid July 2006

The train was moved in mid-July and most of it’s now in Owosso, where it’s being worked on by Great Lakes Central Railroad Co., which recently purchased the Tuscola & Saginaw Bay Railway Co.

Great Lakes Central president Mike Bagwell said the train was sold to a party planning to use it for excursion trips out of Oklahoma starting next year.

Grand Traverse Dinner Train Co. president Ella Cooper confirmed the train was sold and removed July 19 but wouldn’t offer additional comment.

Legal disputes with TSB over the railroad tracks eventually led to the demise of the dinner train, a popular attraction for both local residents and tourists that started in 1996.

Passengers loaded at the train depot just south of Eighth Street, and the slow-moving train wound south of town to Walton Junction near Fife Lake before returning to the city, a three-hour tour covering around 60 miles.

The dinner train shut down in early 2005, its 10th season.

It’s not clear whether another passenger train will be pulling into Traverse City anytime soon. Bagwell said Great Lakes will run freight trains past the depot as part of its three-times-a-week freight service to the area, but that’s it for now.

“It’s certainly a great building and something we’ve talked about (acquiring),” he said of the railroad depot. “We don’t have any immediately plans to do that.”
IGreat Lakes also has discussed a passenger/recreation train from southeast Michigan to Traverse City. But those plans are at least three to five years away because of needed track and signal upgrades, Bagwell said.”


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