| First, I believe a little education on iron
ore would be of assistance to us in planning and building
When the ore veins do not run too deep, iron ore is mined
in open pits to lessen costs. Much of the material removed
is merely sand with quantities of ore mixed in it. This is called
lean ore. This type of ore must be beneficiated or separated into iron
ore concentrates. The poor grades of ore must be hauled to a smelter
or plant that beneficiates the ore. Some ore is high
grade and can be used as it comes from the mine. This type
is sent to a marshaling yard located near ore loading docks where
experienced dispatchers sort the cars according to chemical
analysis to make up boat cargos. Once loaded into ore
boats, the ore is carried via the Great Lakes to
the steel furnaces.
Perhaps you have often wondered why a small ore can can carry
75 tons. It is due to its ruggedness and the fact that iron
|extremely heavy when compared to coal. These
diminuitive little cars also haul the ore from unloading facilities
to the various steel mills and furnaces; thus you will
see them on a number of railroads. The Coe Hill Mining
Co., from the modelers point of view, is a switching operation.
Ore cars are spotted at different points throughout the open
pit mine, where they wait to be loaded by
one of the steam shovels working on various levels. Switcher locos
then push the loaded cars to the top of the pit where they are left
on stub tracks until there is a full train of cars to move
to Havelock yards. At Havelock, trains are made up to transfer the ore
either to a smelter or to the ore dock.
If this is used as a part of a larger railroad, a smelter can
be located some distance away as well as the ore
unloading dock with its big ore boat tied up alongside.
All switches are #4 unless otherwise marked. All curves
are 24" radius
|(minimum) except those marked differently. The Lionel
Corporation makes a large crane or shovel which could be utilized in the
open pit mine. Rex locos would be at home here as well as a
2-8-0 or diesel switcher. The different steel
companies surely will accomodate you with plans for one of
their lake steamers.
So I leave you to visualize this setting as belching
smoke from hard working steamers and ore dust color the atmosphere.
Steep grades are tackled by 0-6-0 switchers shoving heavily loaded ore
cars back and forth through the switch backs. Out on the main
a busy dispatcher threads long ore trains into sidings to let
superior trains through and out on a long unloading pier, the
streaked little hopper cars dump their contents into
the waiting hold of a gigantic
lake freighter. A vivid picture of one of America's vital
industries served by the essential railroad ...its main artery.