The Detroit River Tunnel Company built the Michigan Central Railway
Tunnel under the Detroit River connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The tunnel was built for the Canada Southern Railway
, leased by the Michigan Central Railroad and owned by the New York Central Railroad
Prior to the construction of the tunnel, the Canada Southern Railway had several connections to Michigan at its west end - all train ferries. The northern one ran across the St. Clair River, connecting to the St. Clair and Western Railroad. The southern connection crossed the Detroit River south of Detroit, connecting to the Canada Southern Bridge Company at Grosse Ile. Additionally a branch split from the line to Grosse Ile at Essex, running to the Detroit River at Windsor.
In 1891 the Grand Trunk Railway opened the St. Clair Tunnel at Port Huron, giving it an advantage over the Canada Southern and its car ferries. The Detroit River Tunnel Company was formed August 15, 1905 as a merger of the Michigan and Canada Bridge and Tunnel Company (in Michigan) and the Canada and Michigan Bridge and Tunnel Company (in Canada). Construction began in October 1906 under the engineering supervision of The New York Central Railway's engineering vice president, William J. Wilgus. The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel opened for passenger service July 26, 1910. Freight service began September 15 and on October 16 all traffic began running via the tunnel, ending the use of a train car ferry. From opening it was operated by the Michigan Central Railroad under lease of December 19, 1906.
On the east (Canadian) side, the tunnel connected to the line that had served a train ferry at Windsor. On the west (U.S.) side, the tunnel connected to the Michigan Central Railroad main line west of downtown (later abandoned east of the junction), and the Michigan Central Station was built west of the junction, opening in 1913.
In 1968 the tunnel passed from the New York Central Railroad to Penn Central
, and in 1976 to Conrail. In 1985, Conrail sold the tunnel to the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, with each getting a half share.
Close Up of Vignette:
First Mortgage Gold Bond, unissued/uncanceled, early 1900’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
9 1/4” (h) x 13 3/4” (w)State: MI-Michigan Subject Matter: Bridge and Tunnel Companies
| Unissued Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured
| Allegorical Gabriel
| Allegorical Nike Condition:
Vertical fold lines, no cancels, and some toning and edge faults from age.