Posts Tagged ‘Union Railroad’

U.S. Steel Selling 6 Railroads

June 10, 2021

U.S. Steel’s Transtar subsidiary has reached a deal to sell six of its railroads including two in Lorain.

The railroads are being sold to a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors for $640 million.

The sale agreement includes a 15-year contract to maintain operations at the six railroads.

The railroads include the Lake Terminal Railroad, which serves Republic Engineered Products and Lorain Tubular in Lorain and the Lorain Northern, is the contract switching carrier at U.S. Steel’s Lorain Tubular steel pipe plant.

Also included in the sale is the Union Railroad, which operates 65 miles of main track and 200 miles of yard tracks within a 10-mile radius in the Pittsburgh region.

The Union hauls steel, coke, coal, chemical, aggregate, lumber, and automotive industries.

Other railroads involved include the 15.46-mile Delray Connecting Railroad in Detroit; the 63-mile Gary Railway, which serves mills run by U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal in Indiana among other customers; the Fairfield Southern in Alabama; and the Texas & Northern in East Texas.

The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of this year subject to regulatory approval.

Steam Saturday: Split Identity Steamer in Greenville

March 20, 2021

We started our railfanning expedition early on July 2, 2008. Looking through my photos, I see that we caught action on Norfolk Southern’s ex-Nickel Plate trestle in Ashtabula.

With Amtrak 48 running in those days on a slightly later schedule than it does today we were able to photograph it from the West Avenue bridge bridge overlooking the former ex- New York Central yard of CSX in Ashtabula.

Working our way to Conneaut we eventually caught and chased a Bessemer & Lake Erie train southbound to Greenville, Pennsylvania.

After our last photo of the Bessemer through Greenville, we visited the Greenville Railroad Park adjacent to the ex-Erie main and across the tracks from the ex-Erie station.

The featured display was the ex-Union Railroad 0-10-2 No. 304, which was one of the three steamers saved in Greenville’s B&LE roundhouse until it was donated to the city in 1985.

It was restored to a fantastic display and to this day it is still maintained as a beautiful display. What is unique with the locomotive is the engineer’s side is painted as Union Railroad No. 304, but the fireman’s side is painted as Duluth Missabe & Iron Range No. 604.

Both were U.S. Steel railroads as was the B&LE at one time.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Transtar Looking to Unload Railroad Properties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana

June 26, 2020

Railroads owned by United States Steel Corporation may be for sale, Trains magazine reported on Thursday.

The report said the railroads, which are held by U.S. Steel’s Transtar subsidiary, are on the block as the steel maker struggle during a recession triggered in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is expected to announce a loss of $315 million in the second quarter of 2020 and is reportedly seeking to sell various real estate properties.

U.S. Steel declined to comment about the matter, but Trains cited “multiple rail industry sources” as saying the railroads would be placed on the sale block soon.

The company has suspended operations at much of its Great Lakes Works near Detroit, as well as the idled various production lines at plants in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and East Texas.

Among the Transtar rail properties is The Lake Terminal Railroad, which serves Republic Engineered Products and Lorain Tubular in Lorain as well as the Lorain Northern, a contract switching carrier at the Lorain Tubular steel pipe plant.

Pittsburgh-based Transtar also owns the Union Railroad, which operates 65 miles of main track and 200 miles of yard tracks in Pittsburgh. The Union carries steel, coke, coal, chemical, aggregate, lumber, and automotive industries.

In Michigan, Transtar operates the 15.46-mile Delray Connecting Railroad, which serves U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works outside of Detroit.

In Indiana, Transtar owns the 63-mile Gary Railway, which serves steel mills of U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal as well as other customers.

Transtar also owns railroads in Alabama and Texas.

U.S. Steel is moving away from large integrated steel plants in favor of mini-mills, which it has said are more efficient than integrated steel mills.

Catching Up With the Union Railroad

March 21, 2018

I also caught last weekend during my trip to Pennsylvania a Union Railroad train climbing Dravosburg grade on Sunday morning. Notice it’s a mainline but both tracks are jointed rail. Also the tracks are weathered from heavy sand use. Finally, a caboose brings up the rear. All Union trains still use cabooses. It’s a throwback to old school railroading in this modern era.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

State of the Union

July 3, 2013

Sometimes going away shots are the best you can do. Here is the power on a coke train headed for the Duquesne Yard.

Sometimes going away shots are the best you can do. Here is the power on a coke train headed for the Duquesne Yard.

On a recent Saturday I was in Pittsburgh with my friend Adam seeking to photograph the Union Railroad.

We hung out on a trail in Duquesne that runs next to Norfolk Southern’s Mon Line and over which the Union passes near its Duquesne yard and the Edgar Thompson Works in Braddock.

We could hear Union trains talking on the radio, but didn’t see anything. After waiting for awhile and getting a few NS trains, it was time to move on.

We thought we would check out the Duquesne yard, where we had seen nothing but freight cars when passing over it earlier.

I saw a puff of white diesel smoke coming from what appeared to be the southern end of the yard, although we couldn’t see anything other than the tops of the trees.

We headed for the Grant Avenue crossing, where there is an S curve. The smoke I had seen was a train and was the job we had heard talking the most on the radio.

We got ahead of it, but were puzzled to see diesel smoke ahead of us. That smoke ahead of us belonged to a coke train that had originated at the USS Clairton Works.

The best I could do was jump out of the van, dash toward an opening in the vegetation and get this grab shot of the motive power going away.

The first train whose smoke I had seen was a hot slab train bound for the USS Irvin Works in West Mifflin. It met the coke train by the crossing where we were waiting.

Unfortunately, the coke train blocked any possibility of getting a head-on shot of the power of the slab train.

I settled for getting the caboose of the coke train passing the slab cars. Those slab cars were labeled “hot” and they were quite warm from several feet away on an already hot day. There was a grittiness to the images I made that said “steel mill railroad.”

We chased the slab train, catching up to it along Bettis Road. Here, the highway crosses over the tracks, which enter a tunnel at Dravosburg.

The power about to enter the tunnel was the best I could do at Bettis Road because the head end was past us.

We were finally able to get ahead of the entire train and parked next to the bridge carrying Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard over the Union tracks. At last I was able to get some head-on photos of the lead locomotive.

We then motored over to McKeesport to check out the CSX mainline there and find the URR switcher assigned to the former McKeesport Connecting Railroad. It was parked next to the CSX tracks that themselves parallel a hiking and biking trail. 

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A meet at the Grant Avenue crossing.

A meet at the Grant Avenue crossing.

The slab train's caboose and train lean into a curve.

The slab train’s caboose and train lean into a curve.

The slab train is passing beneath Bettis Road and about to enter Dravosburg Tunnel.

The slab train is passing beneath Bettis Road and about to enter Dravosburg Tunnel.

Cabooses used to be common. But not anymore except in a handful of placed. The Union Railroad is one of them.

Cabooses used to be common. But not anymore except in a handful of placed. The Union Railroad is one of them.

Another one of the train in Dravosburg Tunnel.

Another one of the train in Dravosburg Tunnel.

At last I was able to get a shot of the train coming toward me.

At last I was able to get a shot of the train coming toward me.

Union08

Union10

Union09

Pittsburgh Saturday Part II

January 23, 2013

A CSX westbound train is passing under a Union Railroad train that was having some air problems.

A CSX westbound train is passing under a Union Railroad train that was having some air problems.

After photographing the Lackawanna heritage locomotive last Saturday during my foray to the Pittsburgh area, we ventured back along the Mon Line to photograph the other two tied-down empties that we had seen on the way down.

Then we headed for the overlook in Duquesne. There wasn’t much traffic, but we did photograph a CSX train under an NS train on the Port Perry bridge that included a half-hidden Union Railroad caboose.

We also shot a CSX train passing below a set of four Union Railroad engines. It was getting late so we called it a day and headed back to Ohio. All in all, it has been a good day.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

CSX train K380 passes under an NS stack train. Note the Union caboose in the new colors tucked away in there.

CSX train K380 passes under an NS stack train. Note the Union caboose in the new colors tucked away in there.

NS 8096 tied down at Dravosburg.

NS 8096 tied down at Dravosburg.

NS 8115 tied down at Clairton.

NS 8115 tied down at Clairton.