Vintage Ad: Arriving In Durand, MI. And Getting Picked Up By The Chauffeured Cadillac 75 Limo

It was a bit of a challenge for me to make out the sign on the train station: Durand. Turns out that it’s a historic station that is both home to three small train history museums as well as still being used once per day by Amtrak, for its Blue Water service between Chicago and Port Huron. But once upon a time, it was a bustling place, serving two railroads and 42 passenger trains per day.

In 1966, when this shot was taken, three passenger trains per day stopped in Durand, operated by the Grand Trunk RR (Canadian National in Canada) with service from Chicago to Toronto, via, Port Huron and London. So it’s theoretically possible that couple heading for that Cadillac 75 limo might have come there by train, but for what? Durand is a small (now less than 4,000) railroad town. A wild weekend in Durand to take in the nightlife?

The Durand station was built in 1903, at the crossing of the Grand Trunk RR and the Ann Arbor Railroad. At its peak, over 150 trains of all sorts passed here, hopefully not running into others at the crossings (two, no less), which is not that common. The Ann Arbor called it quits with passenger service in 1950, and the then the Grand Trunk pulled the plug on its last passenger trains in 1971. But Amtrak revived service in 1974, to Port Huron with its Blue Water service. Between 1984 and 2004 was instead served by the modern incarnation of the International Limited, operated jointly by Via Rail and Amtrak between Chicago and Toronto.