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Cliffs Erie (LTV) Activity (In real life!)


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#1 voxland

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 05:55 AM

Despite that the Erie / LTV / Cliffs Taconite mines are shut down, and the plant buildings are being dismantled for a new precious metals mining venture ... there's life briefly again on the tracks and at Taconite Harbor. In short a contractor has been scooping out taconite "chips and fines" from the Ore Dock bins. Old F9's have been pressed into service to pull side dump cars back to the Hoyt Lakes plant site. Then the same "chips and fines" are being reloaded onto hopper cars for shipment out east.

Local railfans are ecstatic and have converged on the Harbor and along the route. I brought my camera and dog too on Monday the 28th. Other photo archives have online pictures, but here are a few of my own and a hand-held point and shoot movie.

Four photos on flickr:

http://www.flickr.co...os/7751480@N05/

Here's my contribution to an already well photographed and described
day around Taconite Harbor. Blessed by a change in plans, I left our
old family cabin in Ely and drove down Highway 1 to Finland, and
across from there on Cramer road to the Cramer Tunnel east side. There
already were 12 loaded side dump cars in place on the tunnel siding
(picture 1).

Meanwhile down at the dock, the next set of cars were being
filled (picture 2). The loading was from piles of chips and fines
which had previously been stored in the Ore dock. (Picture 3). I
was on the "Farewell Excursion" from Hoyt Lakes to Taconite Harbor, in
2002, and never imagined I would be back there years later for some
railfanning.

Before the loaded cars could be taken up to the Tunnel siding, more
empties were moved into position so that the contractor could continue
using a front end loader to scoop up the chips and fines from piles on
the ground alongside the racks. (4210, Picture 4)

Finally, I made a really amateur hand held movie with my Canon
Point-and-Shoot G9. It looses a little in the translation to YouTube,
but here you have it. Sorry ... no tripod, I didn't plan in advance
to do this little digital movie moment.



Phil Voxland

#2 Hack

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:27 PM

Excellent - thanks for posting this, Phil!

I noted the removal of the "ERIE" lettering from the sides of the locos. Without this, you could easily imagine a scene just a few short years ago, when LTV was in full swing. smile.gif

Cheers!
Marc

#3 atsf37l

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 08:32 PM

Gotta love those F's! tongue.gif

#4 TomG

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:01 PM

So very cool! Question, how many F units are still on the property? How many A's and how many B's?
Wish i could get back there and experience this wonderful stuff.

#5 Hack

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:44 AM

QUOTE(TomG @ Jul 31 2008, 8:42 PM) View Post
Question, how many F units are still on the property? How many A's and how many B's?

Of the remaining LTV F's, Cliffs currently owns F9A 4210 and 4212 (not pictured), and B-Units, 4223, 4224, and 4225. Lake Superior Museum of Transportation owns F9A 4211 and B-Unit 4222. They had leased them back to Cliffs for a brief period in 2006 (to haul some of the remaining pellets out of Hoyt), but I believe both are back at the museum ATM. I'm not sure if F9A 4212 is operational, but should still be in the barn at Hoyt.

FYI: Delivered in 1957, the former LTV F's in Phil's images are the oldest surviving revenue service locomotives in North America. Not too shabby at 51. smile.gif

Cheers!
Marc

#6 joebandit

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 06:50 AM

Don't know that it would be called revenue service but the Verde Canyon Railroad here has 2 FP9's in daily service hauling Tourists twice daily. They came from the Alaska Railroad originally.

#7 Hack

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE(joebandit @ Aug 1 2008, 6:31 AM) View Post
Don't know that it would be called revenue service but the Verde Canyon Railroad here has 2 FP9's in daily service hauling Tourists twice daily. They came from the Alaska Railroad originally.

I'm afraid tourism is not considered "revenue service" to the RR. Besides which, the VCR hasn't owned their F's very long (10 years?). However, Alaska did keep a few of their F's for quite a long time - more so than most other Class-1's (probably due to Alaska's excellent maintenance).

The ones on the LTV were delivered new in '57, and those owned by Cliffs have never left the LTV property (LTV also had a few Alco RS-11's, which sadly were scrapped in 2002, IIRC). Except for the period between the LTV bankruptcy and Cliffs purchase, the F's have been in service each season. smile.gif

Cheers!
Marc

#8 ConrailCadillac

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 07:20 AM

Morristown and Erie currently owns and is leasing out two of the old RS11's from LTV. We had a 5 or 6 of them come through Allentown, PA. When I was workin the change crew one night, I had to stop and check em out...

#9 Hack

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:27 AM

I have pictures of those when they were moved off the LTV property (thanks to Doug Buell). Someday, I'll have to take another look at updating the Alcos. They were neat machines.

Cheers!
Marc