Posts Tagged ‘Port Huron Michigan’

Century-Old Michigan Roundhouse Razed

May 14, 2021

CSX is going ahead with razing the former Port Huron & Detroit roundhouse in Port Huron, Michigan.

Part of the century-old building had collapsed in April. Razing of the structure began last Monday.

The roundhouse has long been vacant and demolition had begun in 2018 but was halted due to environmental concerns.

Efforts by a historical society to preserve the building were dropped because of the cost.

Michigan Roundhouse May be Razed

April 5, 2021

CSX may demolish a roundhouse in Port Huron, Michigan, after a portion of it collapsed last week.

The roundhouse had been built in 1920 by the Port Huron & Detroit.

Dismantling of the building had started in 2018 but had been halted over environmental concerns.

The Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society had considered seeking to purchase the roundhouse and restoring it but decided against that.

Dan Meinhard, president of the historical society, said a wall of the roundhouse likely collapsed during high winds during a storm.

“When you have a huge wall like that, that’s basically a free-standing wall, it’s basically a big sail,” Meinhard said.  

Meinhard said the decaying structure is a hazard because it’s unstable.

Although CSX has posted no trespassing signs on the property, the roundhouse has been visited by urban explorers and homeless people.

How About a Grand Trunk Geep?

February 28, 2021

The late Mike Ondecker and I found Grand Trunk Western GP9 4544 in Port Huron, Michigan, on April 20, 1976, at the locomotive service facility. It is teamed up with SD40 No. 5917.

Built in March 1957, the 4533 would be retired by GTW in 1991 but go on to serve such short line operations as the Kansas Southeastern Railway, Northern Plains Railway and the Renville Elevator Company.

Photograph by Robert Farkas


Canadian Safety Board Issues Recommendations Following CN River Tunnel Derailment

November 18, 2020

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has issued four safety advisory letters in connection with its investigation of a June 28, 2019, derailment of a Canadian National train in the St. Clair River tunnel connecting Sarnia, Ontario, and Port Huron, Michigan.

The derailment resulted in 46 cars of the 140 cars in the train leaving the tracks.

The TSB said first car to derail appeared to be the 53rd car, a bathtub gondola, in which the A-end appears to have collapsed.

An analysis by the TSB and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board determined the initial point of derailment occurred in Canada.

Also derailing was a tank car loaded with sulphuric acid that saw most of its load of 12,000 gallons spilled in the tunnel.

TSB has asked Transport Canada to ensure that railroads have instructions in their emergency procedures on how to inspect a train carrying hazardous materials after a derailment in a tunnel. It noted that after the June 28 derailment, the the conductor left the locomotive to inspect the train following in accordance with CN rules.

However, he could not be reached by radio by other crew members to warn him that the tunnel’s toxic gas alarm had activated. The conductor was not injured.

TSB also asked Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration of potentially defective bathtub gondolas and requested that those cars— particularly those used in scrap metal service —be inspected and repaired as needed.

This particularly pertains to bathtub gondolas built by Berwick Forge. There are an estimated 2,500 such cars in operation in North America.

Finally, the TSB said Transport Canada should ensure that all railroads have adequate practices in place to effectively manage train operating personnel.

CN Reopens St. Clair River Tunnel

July 11, 2019

The St. Clair River Tunnel between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, has reopened for for rail traffic.

Canadian National finished laying new tracks in the tunnel, which had been closed after a June 28 derailment involving 46 cars and a mid-train DPU.

There were no injuries in the derailment, but sulfuric acid was spilled and had to be cleaned up.

“The spill caused no harm to the environment or to public safety as it was completely contained to the site of the derailment. The tunnel suffered only minor cosmetic damage and there was no impact to its structural integrity,” a CN spokesperson said.

Investigators have determined that the derailment began on the Canadian side of the border and therefore the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.

During the tunnel closure, CN rerouted some trains between Toledo and Buffalo, New York, via CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Some CN trains were rerouted via Canadian Pacific routes.

The St. Clair River links Lake Huron and Lake Erie.

CN Tunnel Derailment Cleanup Continues

July 5, 2019

Workers were continuing late this week to remove and last derailed cars and clean up spilled sulphuric acid from the St. Clair River tunnel.

As of Thursday, CN reported it was close to finishing the cleanup of the June 28 derailment that has blocked the busy mainline between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario for several days.

More than 13,000 gallons of the acid spilled during the derailment that sent 26 cars and a mid-train DPU off the rails.

By Thursday 38 of the derailed cars and the locomotive had been removed from the tunnel.

CN has not given a timeline for when the line will reopen or the cleanup and repair process will be completed.

Most traffic that uses the route has been detoured over various routes, including over CSX and Norfolk Southern tracks in Northeast Ohio.

Workers Cleaning Up CN Wreck in St. Clair Tunnel

July 1, 2019

Workers were still cleaning up during the weekend more than 13,000 gallons of sulfuric acid that spilled in a Canadian National derailment Friday morning in the St. Clair River tunnel between Michigan and Canada.

Officials said crews are cleaning up the derailment from both sides of the border. Forty-six More than 40 cars of the westbound train derailed inside the tunnel, which links Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the derailment and whether it began on the U.S. or Canadian side of the border.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to the site but the Transportation Safety Board of Canada also has a team onsite as well.

TSC said in a statement that once the determination of where the derailment began is determined that country’s safety agency will be the lead agency in the investigation.

To remove the spilled acid, crews had to remove other derailed cars to reach the site. The acid was being pumped out of the tunnel.

Railroad officials have not provided an estimate of how long the more the tunnel will be closed.

More than a mile in length, the tunnel opened in 1995 to replace an adjacent tunnel built in 1891.

CN Derailment Blocks St. Clair Tunnel

June 28, 2019

Canadian National is diverting traffic that normally uses the St. Clair Tunnel in Michigan through Detroit after an early Friday morning derailment inside the tunnel linking the U.S. and Canada.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, which occurred around 6 a.m. and saw 40 cars of the westbound train jump the tracks in the middle of the tunnel.

CN officials said it could take days to repair the tunnel and its tracks.

The cleanup of the derailment is being undertaken by U.S. and Canadian workers because it occurred on the border between the two countries.

The tunnel connects Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, beneath the St. Clair River.

Boats and Trains in Port Huron

June 25, 2018

Here are two photos of the new Lake State Railway operation in Port Huron, Michigan, mentioned about a week ago in the blog. The first photo is pushing cars into Dunn Paper while the Algoma Central boat Radcliffe R. Latimer heads out into Lake Huron. The second is a grab shot of the sharp looking MP-15 under the Blue Water Bridge to Canada. Both photos were taken on June 20, 2018.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Lake States Leases CN Track in Port Huron

June 13, 2018

Canadian National has leased a short stretch of track in Port Huron, Michigan, to the Lake State Railway.

The track in question is the HR Track which runs from Port Huron Yard to the and city’s waterfront on the Saint Clair River.

There are two active freight shippers on the spur, Domtar Paper and Dunn Paper.

A drawbridge on the line over the Black River will remain the responsibility of CN.