Posts Tagged ‘indiana harbor belt’

Burns Harbor Port Had Banner Year

March 9, 2018

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor said this week that it posted an 8 percent increase in cargo shipments in 2017, making for the fourth highest four-year total in its history.

The Port said that represented a 27 percent increase over the previous four year period.

Among the commodities handled by the Port were limestone, steel-related products and heavy lift/project cargoes, such as refinery tanks, laboratory equipment and windmill components.

Port officials said the most valuable shipment handled was ICARUS, the world’s largest liquid argon particle hunter. It was unloaded from an ocean vessel last July.

In a news release, the Port described 2017 as a landmark year that also included doubling the size of its bulk terminal, attracting a nationally-known stevedore, and announcing a $20 million expansion.

Norfolk Southern and the Indiana Harbor Belt provide rail service to the port.


IHB to Convert Locomotives to Natural Gas

May 2, 2017

The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad said it is working with OptiFuel Systems and R.J. Corman Railpower Locomotives to convert its entire locomotive fleet to run on compressed natural gas.

The Chicago regional railroad will be the first in the county to convert its fleet to CNG.

IHB will install OptiFuel’s dual-fuel (diesel and CNG) locomotive engine systems in the first two of 31 CNG Tier 4 switcher locomotives for IHB’s CNG Repower Program.

The dual-fuel system includes OptiFuel-designed on-board CNG storage units and a trackside refueling station.

Corman will provide the overall locomotive design, assembly, and integration.

“The CNG Repower Program represents a substantial investment to change our locomotive fleet to CNG and eliminate harmful emissions,” said IHB Director of Mechanical Operations Michael Nicoletti. “The locomotives are a part of a greater effort by the IHB to convert up to 31 of our locomotives to be powered primarily by CNG. At the end of the program in 2020, 70 percent of IHB’s fleet will be converted to utilizing CNG as its primary fuel source. Introducing CNG as a viable fuel into the freight rail industry is a role that the IHB embraces in both its unique challenges and operational and environmental rewards.”

Twenty-one IHB locomotives will have a 1,500-hp twin-engine configuration using two OptiFuel Systems-designed 750-hp, dual fuel engines that meet or exceed all federally mandated Tier 4 emissions reduction categories.

When compared with IHB’s current locomotive fleet, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are expected to be reduced by 94.7 percent and 85.3 percent respectively.

An automatic engine start-stop system will shut down idling locomotives to further reduce fuel and oil consumption, lower emissions, and mitigate noise and engine wear.

Another Type of Heritage Locomotive

May 21, 2012

This past Saturday (May 19), I went to Chicago to present a shortened version of my steel mills program at the Homewood Railroad Days slide show.

Of course I got many good train pictures, but the best was catching the Iowa Interstate’s Rock Island heritage locomotive at Blue Island.

We first pulled up and an IAIS ethanol train was backing into the Indiana Harbor Belt yard. Imagine my surprise/shock to see the Rock Island heritage unit was on the head end.

But I was on the wrong side with the sun.

Knowing the power would return at some point, we waited and railfanned for a couple of hours. Train traffic was steady with a good variety, including CSX, IHB and Canadian National. Even Norfolk Southern and a BC Rail engine went by our lenses.

Finally the Rock Island unit returned light facing the right direction for the sun.

IAIS trains must do a reverse move through the interlocking and he had to wait another hour for things to clear up enough to get back to its own line.

The wait was well worth it for us.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon