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Many port towns along the Great Lakes and major tributaries provided for the transfer of goods or raw materials between railroad lines and lake or ocean going freighters.  For the purposes of this gallery, RRHX concentrates on rail/lake ports of significance. Click here for the Railroad Car Ferry Gallery.

 

Port or Dock

Railroad(s)

Major materials/goods

Notes or Information

Alabaster LSRC [DM/E&M] Gypsum
Alpena LSRC [DM/BCG&A] Cement
Bay City LSRC/CM/CSX [DM/GTW/NYC/MC/C&O/PM] Aggregates, oil.
Detroit All Aggregates, cement.
Escanaba UP/WC/E&LS [CNW/DSSA] Taconite [Iron ore] Completed in 1970.  Ground level loading.
Hancock [DSSA/MR/CR] Iron ore, coal.
Houghton [DSSA/MR/CR] Iron ore, coal.
Port Calcite LSRC [DM] Limestone No rail service.
Port Dolmite Industrial railroad Limestone

Port Huron

CN/CSX [GTW/C&O/PM/PH&D]

Oil.

Presque Isle LS&I Taconite [Iron ore]. 1,200' dock, 50,000 tons.  Built in 1912.  Concrete.  Each track holds 50 cars.
Saginaw CM/CSX [GTW/C&O/PM/NYC/MC] Aggregate, lumber.

Abandoned/Removed Ports/Docks Railroad(s) Major materials/goods Notes or Information
Ashland, Wisconsin C&NW No. 1 Iron ore. About 1/2 the size of docks 2 & 3.  Burned in 1936.  Note 1.
Ashland, Wisconsin C&NW No. 2 Iron ore. Identical to No. 3.  2,040 feet long with 340 pockets. Dismantled in 1948.
Ashland, Wisconsin C&NW No. 3 Iron ore. Identical to No. 2.  2,040 feet long with 340 pockets.  Used until 1947, when operations were transferred to the Soo Line dock.  Dismantled in 1960.
Ashland, Wisconsin Soo Line Iron ore. Concrete construction, 1,800 feet long with 105,000 ton capacity.  Approach is built of timber with a short section of concrete just before the dock.  After 1948, the C&NW leased about 60 pockets of this dock.  Note 2.  [LSIOR]
Escanaba C&NW Iron ore.
Escanaba Unknown Iron ore.
Escanaba C&NW Dock #5 Iron ore. 2,220'. 370 pockets each with 250 ton capacity. 92,500 capacity.  70'9" tall.   Closed 1960.
Escanaba C&NW Dock #6 Iron ore. 1,920 feet long. 320 pockets each with 250 ton capacity.  Timber construction.  Largest dock in Michigan in 1969.  Built around 1946. 80,000 capacity. 73'1/2" tall.  Closed 1960.
Gladstone Soo Line Iron ore. Built around 1900.  768 feet long.  MILW shipped through this dock (via E&LS) prior to building their own docks at Escanaba.  Discontinued in the early 1900's.  [LSIOR]
Escanaba Milwaukee #1 (CM&St.P) Iron ore. 1,440' ore dock.  240 pockets. 66'6" tall. 42,000 capacity.  Closed 1930's.
Escanaba Milwaukee #2 (CM&St.P) Iron ore. 1,440' ore dock.  240 pockets.  69'2" tall.  48,000 capacity.  Closed 1930's.
Marquette South Shore (DSS&A) Iron ore. 900', 56,000 tons.  Concrete.  1% grade approach made of steel & timber.  Abandoned.  Approach removed in early 2000's.

Also reported as 200 pockets, 50K capacity, 75' tall, 1,200 feet long.

Monroe      
Rockport D&M Presque Isle Co.
St. Ignace Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Iron ore. 3-track, 900 ft with 600 foot approach.  100 ore pockets.  Opened 1882.
St. Ignace Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Passenger/Freight Depots (2) located on this dock for interchange of passengers/freight with boats.
St. Ignace Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Railroad Car Ferry to Mackinaw City, 4-track
St. Ignace Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Lumber 1-track

Dale J. Berry, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

Note 1:  The C&NW ore dock No. 1 at Ashland, WI burned in 1936.  Various fire departments fought theblaze, which occurred in the dead of winter.  The fire trucks went out on to the ice to fight the fire.  The ice on top melted and the trucks were in several inches of water.  After the fire was put out and the temperatures dropped, the trucks were frozen solid into Lake Superior.  [LSIOR]

 

Note 2:  During the period when the C&NW leased the Soo Line dock at Ashland, WI, the C&NW operated the dock during the third "trick", when Soo operations were at a minimum or none at all.  C&NW used GP99's and shoved cuts of 50 and 60 cars on to the dock.  [LSIOR]