Potter+Street+Station%2c+1968


Photos by Tana Tiehea Nichols

Art Kelsey remembers when Saginaw's Potter Street Station was part of a busy railroad system.

It was only a 6 week job. I had quit a job to enter State Police recruit school in April, 1968, and was told that school was full,  so in the meantime hired out as a road brakeman working the extra board. This meant getting called to replace a regular crewman who was laid off, or for extra trains. The Saginaw rail yard was a big hub, with trains to Detroit, Toledo, Ludington, and Grand Rapids. Plus locals and work trains.

Being the least senior brakeman, I rode in the engine. Our job was setting off and picking up cars along the way unless we were on a through freight, called a "hot shot" at the time. Then we were payed by the mile; 100 miles equals 8 hours of work. With a through freight you could make 12 hours pay in 4 hours. Other jobs we would be working close to the manatory quit at 16 hrs. (locals & work trains). We were called out at all hours and usually stayed at a hotel to get the required 8 hours off between jobs. 

Saturday and Monday a group of volunteers gathered at the Potter Street Station to clean up the exterior. Tuesday is a photo op to compete for preservation funds.  Follow the preservation group's activities on Facebook.