Posts Tagged ‘Mineral Range Railroad’

Soo Line Steam Locomotive Moved to Michigan

August 27, 2019

A former Soo Line steam locomotive has been relocated to an upper peninsula Michigan short-line railroad.

No. 2425, a 2-8-0 built by Alco’s Schenectady Works in 1909 and retired in January 1955, is now at the Mineral Range Railroad in Ishpeming, Michigan.

It was most recently at the Ironhorse Railroad Park in Minnesota and before that had sat in a city park in Enderlin, North Dakota.

Mineral Range owner Clint Jones acquired the 2425 in 2018 but it took a year to arrange its move to Michigan.

The boiler and cab were transported on one truck while another carried the wheels and frame. The tender did did not make the move because of its poor condition.

Jones has said he plans to restore No. 2425 for occasional use on his railroad.

Michigan RR Buys Soo Line 2-8-0

September 1, 2018

A Michigan railroad has acquired a former Soo Line steam locomotive and expects to restore it to operating condition.

The Mineral Range Railroad in Ishpeming, Michigan, picked up No. 2425 from the Ironhorse Railroad Park in Minnesota, which had had the 2-8-0 on outside static display.

Officials said the Consolidation-type locomotive is in good mechanical condition. It was built in October 1909 by the American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady Works for the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie as No. 475.

It was renumbered when the Soo Line leased the Wisconsin Central, where it operated as No. 2425.

The Soo Line and Wisconsin Central both made extensive use of Consolidations for main line, yard and branch line service.

No. 2425 was retired in January 1955 and donated to the city of Enderlin, Wisconsin. Ironhorse Central bought the locomotive in 2008 to keep it from being scrapped.

The locomotive is expected to move to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan early this month.

C&NW 175 Arriving at SRI in Pieces

June 8, 2018

It may be arriving in pieces, but former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175 is making its way to its new home at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan.

The boiler of the R-1 class engine was delivered separately from the running gear on the journey by truck from the Mineral Range Railroad in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Altogether, the 175 was disassembled into four components of parts. The boiler had to be modified so that it would stay beneath the 45-ton load limit of the Mackinac Bridge.

The only other alternative to using the bridge would have been to use the carferry SS Badger between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan, or to truck the locomotive around Lake Michigan through Illinois and Indiana.

Permits would have been required for each state through which the boiler passed.

No. 175 was the last steam locomotive operated by the C&NW, pulling an excursion in 1957.

Built by the Schenectady Works in 1908, it spent much of its life working on C&NW lines in the Upper Peninsula. It is one of three R-1s still in existence.

SRI, which also owns Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225, plans to restore the 175 to operating condition at an estimated cost of $750,000.

Once operating, the 175 will be able to travel to places on the Great Lakes Central that are off limits to the larger No. 1225, including north of Cadillac, Michigan.

SRI Restoring ex-C&NW 4-6-0 Locomotive

January 22, 2018

The Michigan-based Steam Railroading Institute plans to restore another steam locomotive to operating condition.

The group in Owosso has acquired former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175 from the Mineral Range Railroad of Ishpeming, Michigan.

The R-1 class Ten-Wheeler locomotive will join a fleet that includes Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 in pulling excursions on the Great Lakes Central Railroad.

No. 175 was built by Alco in Schenectady, New York, in 1908 and worked in Upper Michigan. It is one of three R-1s still in existence

“We’re very excited about a project that’s actually doable,” said SRI executive director Kimberly Springsdorf. “The 175 will be able to go places we can’t go with [No. 1225].”
Kevin Mayer, SRI’s chief mechanical officer, told Trains magazine that the organization decided to buy No. 175 after inspecting it last summer.

The inspection team, which included institute board member Preston Claytor and steam contractor Dan Pluta, determined during an ultrasound test of the boiler and a review of the running gear that restoration was feasible.
“This fits what we’re all about and helps fulfill our mission statement,” Mayer said.

No. 175 could potentially operate on the Great Lakes Central to Petoskey, Michigan, over a 71-stretch of track has bridges that cannot support the weight of the 1225.

SRI officials said they are now exploring fund-raising opportunities to pay for restoration of No. 175, which will be moved by truck to Owosso in June


Mineral Range RR Makes First Revenue Run

October 8, 2014

The Mineral Range Railroad of upper Michigan operated its first revenue train on Oct. 1. It had nine cars, four loaded with copper and five loaded with nickel.

The first 20 empties had arrived at the Humboldt Mill on Sept. 26. Motive power was Mineral Range No. 907, an ex-Belt Railway of Chicago EMD TR4A.

The ore is trucked from the Eagle Mine northwest of Marquette to the Humboldt Mill west of Ishpeming – making about 15 trips per day – where it is processed into concentrates that are loaded into rail cars.

Mineral Range takes the cars to Ishpeming to be interchanged to Canadian National, which in turn hauls the shipments to customers for smelting and refining.

Lundin Mining Corp. owns the mill and the mine, which is the only primary nickel mine operating in the United States

Full production of 2,205 tons daily is expected by the second quarter of 2015. The company expects that over the projected eight-year operation of the mine and mill, 360 million pounds of nickel and 295 million pounds of copper, as well as small amounts of other metals, will be produced.

The Humboldt Mill was built on the site of the former Humboldt Mine, once served by Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad ore trains.

Mineral Range Inc. owns the Mineral Range Railroad a privately held corporation that purchased 12 miles of line from the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad on Jan. 1, 2013, and became a common carrier. Its reporting marks are MRA.

It also bought 1.9 miles of ex-LS&I right-of-way whose tracks had been removed in 2005. Development of the line cost about $7 million.



New Short Line to Operate in Michigan’s UP

January 29, 2014

A new short line operator plans to begin operating in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to provide service to a new copper and nickel mine.

The Mineral Range Railroad has purchased 12 miles of track from the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad and also bought 1.9 miles of ex-LS&I right-of-way. The latter had been removed in 2005 and the route rail banked, but Mineral Range will rebuilding the line.

The route will serve Lundin Mining, which is opening the Eagle Mine and is trucking the mined materials to a mill processing facility near Champion, approximately 25 miles south of the mine. This mill is being established on the site of the former Humboldt Mine, once served by LS&I ore trains.

The mill will crush and process copper and nickel ore into concentrates and ship it over the short line. Mineral Range will interchange the cars to Canadian National at Ishpeming.

Mineral Range got its start in 2002 when it began switching a 3-mile industrial track near Ishpeming. Some railfan made the trip to see that company’s former Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal SW1.

Mineral Range quit this operation in 2003 and another company handled the switching for the next decade before Mineral Range resumed the switching operations on June 1, 2013. It also acquired some of the industry track and began operating it as its Pluto Subdivision.

Mineral Range uses an NW2 to switch the line about three days per week.
The Humboldt Mill is expected to open late in 2014 and Mineral Range will begin operations over its new 12-mile line at that time.

At present, only Canadian National’s L’Anse Local uses the 12 miles of line, which Mineral Range calls its Blueberry Subdivision, between Landing Junction near Ishpeming and Humboldt Junction, where the rebuilt track will connect.

About half of the track from Humboldt Junction to the mill has been put down. The rest will be laid in the spring.

Most of the shipments will be outbound copper and nickel concentrates moving in covered gondolas. Mineral Range officials told Trains magazine that they expect to switch the plant five or six times a week.

The railroad also expects to run trains to Ishpeming three days a week run that will have 15 to 20 car.

Mineral Range has acquired former Erie Mining/LTV Steel Alco C420 No. 7222 for its operations, and plans to obtain more locomotives. The railroad will construct an engine house this summer at a location to be decided later.