The Chicago Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railway

The Chicago Kalamazoo & Saginaw Railway was a railroad operating almost entirely within Kalamazoo County, MI, between Kalamazoo and Hastings, MI, constructed in 1883. (Abandoned Right of Way) It would further connect to Woodbury, MI and the Pere Marquette Railway.

An informal nickname for the road was the Cuss, Kick & Swear.

CK&S Locomotive at Pavilion, MI.

The CK&S Railway was not designed to connect to Chicago, as the name might suggest, but it also did not connect with Saginaw either. More grandiose plans for the line came in 1887, as the company amended its articles to construct a northeasterly extension towards Saginaw, where it would connect with the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway, but this ultimately never came to fruition.

 The construction began in 1883, and the railway made its way almost entirely within Kalamazoo County, reaching as far as Hastings, MI. However, the line fell short of its intended destination, stopping only 14 miles past Hastings in Woodbury, MI.


In 1906, it was leased jointly to the Michigan Central and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, eventually becoming a subsidiary of New York Central lasting until the Conrail days. Much of the line has been abandoned beginning in the 1970’s, with the only section remaining in service to this day operating between Pavilion, MI and Kalamazoo, by GTW's ultimate successor, the Canadian National Railway. 

A railroad pass of the CK&S.

Photos of what remains of the abandoned right of way today can be found at Railroad Michigan. A railfan site to the defunct carrier still exists. 

Among the notable landmarks along the CK&S Railway was the Hastings, MI Station. While the station is no longer a bustling hub of railway activity, its historical significance is acknowledged, serving as a reminder of the railway's impact on the local landscape.

Thanks as always for reading!


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