The Grass Lake Museum brings train history to life

GRASS LAKE, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s time travel.

“You have to have an idea of ​​that. And that gives you an idea of ​​what it looked like,” said director of the Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake, Tom Nolte.

This is part of a project designed to bring the region’s long railway history to life.

“While the line may be covered by AMTRAK now, there were only four tracks here that went to Jackson, so it became one of the biggest freight hubs in the state of Michigan,” said said Nolte.

Years of work have gone into restoring trains like these. It became a passion project for Kenneth Soderbeck

“It’s interesting. I love history. I love mechanical things and old mechanical things. I’ve spent 50 years restoring old vintage fire engines, so that was just normal for me to get into restoring old railroad cars,” Soderbeck said.

It’s a job that also includes a virtual 14-mile time travel from Jackson to Grass Lake. They both hope the museum shows younger generations that what is lost in time is still a big part of this community’s history.

“The younger generation, I just want them to learn that public transit existed a long time ago, even in this area, and keep an eye out for it possibly coming back as everything seems to be heading towards electricity,” Nolte said.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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