Michigan Central Railroad Company
On October 2, 1848, "an era of prosperity" arrived in Niles when the Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) became the first railroad to reach the city. Additional railroad lines soon followed, but by the 1920s, automobiles, buses, and trucks challenged railroads' dominance. During nationwide consolidation in the 1930s, the New York Central Railroad Company assumed control of the MCRR. Branch lines were eliminated, and the transfer of freight operations to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1958 further decreased rail traffic through Niles. Amtrak's arrival in 1874 maintained passenger service to the city and continued Niles' association with the railroad into the twenty-first century.