New Buffalo Station

The Pere Marquette Railway began life in 1900 through a merger of Chicago & West Michigan, Flint & Pere Marquette and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western. The Chicago & Western portion of the line used tracks that extended from New Buffalo to Pentwater Michigan from 1868 to 1899. In December 1903, trackage was completed from New Buffalo to the Michigan Central Railroad at Porter, Indiana and direct service to Chicago was started – carrying freight and passengers. Fueled by the demand for lumber to rebuild Chicago the Great Fire of 1871, the Pere Marquette expanded its...

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New Buffalo Turntable

A railway turntable is a device for turning railroad rolling stock, usually locomotives, so that they are head back in the direction from which they came. Built in 1919 with a 90-foot length, the turntable was put in service on the Pere Marquette Railway at the New Buffalo yard. The turntable serviced a 16-stall roundhouse and continued operations until 1984 when the Chessie System, the successor to the Pere Marquette, ceased operations in New Buffalo. In 2000, it was purchased from the Chessie System, disassembled and moved to the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. The bridge...

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Pere Marquette Railroad

New Buffalo was once a significant engine terminal on the Pere Marquette (PM) Railroad. Westbound trains would stop to refuel and top off their water tanks en route to Chicago. This was their last chance before leaving their own track line which changed over roughly 20 miles to the southwest. When you consider a steam locomotive of the day consuming one ton of coal for every twelve miles and 150 gallons of water per mile having stores of coal and water at convenient locations was the life blood of railroads. New Buffalo was also the point where the PM branch from LaCrosse, Indiana joined the...

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Model Railroad Exhibit

The Museum is home for an interactive model train display features an HO scale train layout which shows visitors how the the village of New Buffalo may have appeared in the 1920s. Depicted are the train yard, roundhouse, turntable locomotive facility, Hobo Village, the Pelican Pond into which boiler wash was disposed, the Quonset Hut, which is now Oink’s Ice Cream, Whittaker Street (not to scale), and the surrounding neighborhood. Maintained by the Dunes Model Railroad Club, it demonstrates how important the Railroad was, not only to New Buffalo, but to the entire...

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