Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Iron Ore Ships and Docks

Update: NS/N&W Pier 6 is the largest coal transload facility in the Northern Hemisphere and the most technologically advanced in the world.
Iron ore boats were unloaded by Huletts until self-unloading was developed.

Maria Moskway posted
Thomas F Patton
Louis C Carl Ore boats & grain boats used to be tied up
along the Buffalo waterfront bow to stern
Maria Moskwa posted several pictures of Great Lakes ore ships belonging to Republic Steel. I assume they are representative of the ships used by the other steel manufactures along the south part of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.

The Sault Ste. Marie Locks are bigger than the ones in the St. Lawrence Seaway so ships, called Lakers, would be built on the Great Lakes and they could sail only on the Great Lakes because they were too big to get to the ocean. They would carry ore, later pellets, from the rich iron deposits around Duluth, MN, and other areas around Lake Superior to the steel mills on the lower lakes that were closer to coal and limestone.

Maria Moskwa posted
Ready to load iron ore
[The Edmund Fitzgerald was operated by a
shipping company that specialized in
iron ores.]
Maria Moskwa posted
Troy Browning
Note that the loading dock had a chute for each bay in the boat and a bin for each chute. This allowed all of the bays in the boat to be quickly loaded in parallel to reduce the dwell time in the dock. The railroads would shove the iron-ore cars (jennies) up an incline to the top of the dock so that the cars could dump directly into the bins. Many of these docks, and the railroads that served them are gone now. Note that jennies are significantly shorter than coal cars because iron ore is more dense. (Update: CN still operates an ore (probably pellets) loading dock in Duluth, MN.)

Stan Sienicki posted a picture of "Duluth South Shore & Atlantic Oredock in Marquette, MI. Oct. 6, 2014." The railroad had been removed from the dock when it took the pictgure 2014. This dock is like some coaling towers --- a monument to the strength of well poured reinforced concrete. Ron Kaminen added "Built in 1932 this dock shipped 601,736 tons of iron ore in 1943 on the lake carriers."

Dave Rickaby posted
With a boat in the Marquette, MI harbor the dock job hurries to spot its loaded ore jennies. Soon, the rich iron ore will be falling down the chutes into the waiting vessel.
Iron ore docks are still in use in Duluth and Two Harbors (second photo), MN.

Steve OConnor commented
These were the Republic Steel Huletts on the Calumet River before salvaging.
Alexander Gerdow Last two standing I believe. There were two in Ohio but taken down as well. Really cool in action, the operator rode the bucket arm into the well of the ship.

Steve OConnor At one bucket of 10 tons unloaded every minute, these machines could remove 600 tons per hour.

Richard Mead Calumet Heritage

Steve OConnor They tried to save the Huletts but couldn't get the money.

Brian Weber On board conveyors made on shore offloading equipment obsolete.

I recently posted about a boat converted to self-unloading, the McKee Sons.

Carl Venzke posted
LSMS Iron ore docks, Ashtabula, Ohio c 1900
Rick Fleischer This is 45 miles from my house. The docks were recently closed by NS. CSX also used them. Rumor is that they may reopen because Sandusky can't handle all the coal. The Pennsylvania RR. had their docks on the other side of the river. Back in steam days the PRR had a locomotive specially designed for coal and ore service on the E&A Division to the ports of Erie, Pa., Ashtabula, and Cleveland on the C&P. These were the N-1s class 2-10-2's which were design at Lines West - Fort Wayne Shops. The build orders were split between Baldwin and ALCO Brooks.
NYC/Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. I didn't realize the Fort Wayne shops were big enough to design steam locomotives.]
Carl Venzke posted
Anchor Line docks and Penna. R.R. coal & ore docks, Erie, Pennsylvania. c1900
I believe it is now pellets rather than raw iron ore that is loaded at the west end of Lake Superior.
David Schauer posted
A nice overview of the Algoma Spirit loading ore at No. 6 in West Duluth and the Century and Isadora in Superior. July 3, 2017.
Brent M Nelson posted nine photos with the comment:
Back in 1975 my Dad was working for American Bridge in Duluth Minnesota doing ore dock maintenance. The same storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald blew a 3900 off of one of the barges. Here are some photos of the recovery.
Randall Kyson Sirbaugh Man, he's got that sucker crawled up up to the edge.J. Mike Poupore Brent M Nelsonwhen your dad was making a maximum pick, he would have his oiler watch the rear of the track to count the number of bottom rollers that were up (not touching the bottom pads) as the rig was getting light. He would tease the oiler asking him if he count to seven, because that’s about the halfway point on a 4000.Ed Flores Had a 9299 on the edge tailing a load for a 4100 ringer on a barge. By the time I had my end in the air had water coming over the barge.



Brent M Nelson The boom went over the ore dock and snapped off. The equalizer is still hooked to the boom. The crane is on the bottom. The 4000 on the barge got a hold of it and the tug pushed it to the bank. Then the other 3900 on land hooked to it and they made a tandem pick. The 4000 couldn’t handle it once it got too far out of the water.

Robert Thiry Poseidon Unisuit w/ Cyklon regulator. 





1 comment:

  1. I remember as a pre-teen seeing the Edmond Fitzgerald in port at the Erie, PA docks. Am I remembering correctly. It would have been in the 50s.