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CN ore trains

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CN ore trains
Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, November 11, 2021 9:27 PM

CN has gotten a contract to move iron ore from Minnesota to Prince Rupert.  The first loaded train passed through Alberta today.  The cars are from CN's old steel coal fleet, they are on their last legs and have spent recent years hauling petroleum coke, junk ties, or have simply been in storage.  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OeTO9vygi2s

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, November 11, 2021 10:16 PM

Odds are they're not very "full," with a couple of piles over the trucks.

Before they started using smaller cars (ie, ore jennies) for the taconite train through Deshler, you often couldn't see the load on the cam, which is above the cars.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, November 11, 2021 10:23 PM

I did have a look inside one, it was surprisingly full.  Looked like it had indeed been loaded in two piles but it's evened out a bit as the train moved.

I've also seen cars of similar size being used to haul other stuff besides coal.  Judging by the size of these loads taconite is somewhat denser than sulphur but a lot lighter than magnetite.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Thursday, November 11, 2021 10:46 PM
 

Man that's one heck of haul there! Not even the Australians, or South Africans come nowhere near this distance for hauling beneficated iron oxide. 70Dude what's your timetable listing for rail miles? I tried my best to measure. I came up with over 2000 miles.

 
 
 
 
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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, November 11, 2021 11:49 PM

By the timetable it is about 1950 miles from Ridley Island to the American border at Fort Frances, give or take a few for going through yards.  I'm not exactly sure which mine this train originated at and I don't have access to any Midwest Division timetables at the moment, but it is probably another 100 to 200 miles from Fort Frances to the mine, so your guesstimate was accurate.  

I can think of a couple longer unit train moves that originate on CN, one of the Tumbler Ridge coal mines used to ship to Chicago-area steel mills in winter (this one hasn't run for a few years), but the longest move of all is the liquid sulphur train from Ram River, AB to a fertilizer plant on North Carolina's Atlantic coast (the bills say "Lee Creek NC").  This one gets interchanged to CSX in Chicago.

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Posted by Ulrich on Friday, November 12, 2021 1:29 PM

China buying US iron ore.. 

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Posted by selector on Friday, November 12, 2021 3:35 PM

Yeah, the irony...   Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, November 12, 2021 3:46 PM

Ulrich

China buying US iron ore.. 

 

It's all about the money to be made.

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Posted by Ulrich on Friday, November 12, 2021 4:24 PM

Of course it is. The price of iron ore has gone way up over the last year or two, and likely China is broadening its supplier base away from its traditional sources in Brazil and Australia. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, November 12, 2021 8:51 PM

SD70Dude
I've also seen cars of similar size being used to haul other stuff besides coal.  Judging by the size of these loads taconite is somewhat denser than sulphur but a lot lighter than magnetite.

Taconite iron ore pellets have lime and clay binder which would make them less dense.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, November 15, 2021 1:16 PM

Taconite pellets are less dense than iron ore, but not much. That's part of why 24' iron ore jennies got the taconite extensions on them, since loading the car with pellets only made it around 90% of capacity.

When hauling iron ore from Great Lakes ports to steel mills in the East, railroads using regular coal hopper cars could only fill the cars about 1/3 full due how much heavier ore is compared to a similar amount of coal.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, November 15, 2021 6:14 PM

wjstix
Taconite pellets are less dense than iron ore, but not much. That's part of why 24' iron ore jennies got the taconite extensions on them, since loading the car with pellets only made it around 90% of capacity.

When hauling iron ore from Great Lakes ports to steel mills in the East, railroads using regular coal hopper cars could only fill the cars about 1/3 full due how much heavier ore is compared to a similar amount of coal.

Taconite pellets create a safety hazard where ever they are hauled - it becomes walking on ball bearings.

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Posted by rixflix on Monday, November 15, 2021 8:06 PM

As kids we'd pick up (Grace mine?) pellets at Klapperthal on the Reading main for use as wrist rocket ammo. One day mom was hanging laundry in the backyard and we went to the front and launched them over the house. When we went around back she was holding a couple of pellets and looking really puzzled. She thought there'd been a meteor shower. Since our slingshots were verboten we just said "wow!" With my dad, I'd talk about my sneaky stuff after a suitable (usually decades) interval of time. With mom, I didn't but maybe one of my brothers did.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Monday, November 15, 2021 8:11 PM

BaltACD
 

 

Taconite pellets create a safety hazard where ever they are hauled - it becomes walking on ball bearings.

 

Coke causes the same problem. US Steel and J&L would fill the cars to overflowing since the weight would not exceed the cars' capacity. Then everytime the cars got bumped or rocked some coke would fall off making for hazardous walking conditions. The P&LE interlockings were littered with coke since they were not maintained very well and rode roughly, shaking some coke off.

Inspite of that, it was not unusual to to see empty cars returning with chunks of coke sitting on the top sill of the hopper cars.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 10:03 AM

BaltACD

Taconite pellets create a safety hazard where ever they are hauled - it becomes walking on ball bearings.

 
I discovered that factor along the LS&I right-of-way in Marquette.  I also observed pellets spilling out of the top of almost every jenny on a moving train.
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