Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad - Abandoned by Sherman Cahal

Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad

The Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad is an iron ore hauler in northern Michigan. All of the lines east of Marquette were abandoned in 1979, with the exception of 5 miles of track that connects with the ex-Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad to a paper mill in Munising.

In 1892, the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway Company (LS&I) was organized, and was completed four years later from Presque Isle north of Marquette southwest to Ishpeming.1 In 1895, the Munising Railway Company was founded, with two lines being constructed from Princeton east to Munising and from Stillman south of Munising east to Cusino.

The Marquette and South Eastern Railway (M&SE) was organized in 1900 with a line from Big Bay east of Munising south to Lawson, where it had a junction with the Munising Railway.1 Eleven years later, the Munising Railway merged with the M&SE to form the Munising, Marquette and South Eastern Railway (MM&SE). The MM&SE then merged with the LS&I in 1923 to form the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I), which had 173 miles of mainline.

On July 23, 1979, the LS&I was abandoned from Little Lake east to Munising Junction, where there was a junction with the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad.2 The remaining trackage to Munising’s Kimberly Clark Paper Mill was handled by the Soo Line.



  1. According to his obit, in 1852 William Hale, an experienced Vermont railroad surveyor went to Marquette, MI and surveyed a 14 mile long railroad to “the iron mountain.” At the time it was considered an “engineering marvel.” What railroad would that have been and what was it’s successor line..?


    Jerry Fox

  2. Trying to find old pictures of the railroad Depot in Chatham, MI, as well as any pictures of the trains going through Chatham during the railroad era there. I recently purchased the old Depot, and am wondering what year it was built, and if anybody has any information willing to share with me. Thank you.

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