Time Line - 1960's - Decade Overview

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  • Chicago & Northwestern ore operations extend from Iron River and Crystal Falls on the west end of the Menominee Range to Escanaba via the Ore Line subdivision. This line bypasses downtown Iron Mountain by routing north of Lake Antoine and Fumee Lake and east through Tesch and into Escanaba's No. 6 ore yard, a holding yard for ore shipments to the dock.  By the 1960's, the C&NW ore dock is the only such dock on Lake Michigan, shipping C&NW and Milwaukee Road ore through a pooling arrangement, as well as ore from the Marquette Range.[LSIOR]

  • Until 1966, the C&NW hauled Gogebic ore from the Ironwood area to Escanaba, a distance of 183 miles. At the time, this was the longest haul of ore from mine to dock in the Lake Superior region. [LSIOR]

  • SNAPSHOT: C&NW ore operations between Ishpeming an Escanaba with operations considered "small" compared with C&NW's Menominee ore operation. One ore train per day is operated between the two towns. The train is usually powered by four, 1,600 h.p. FM road switchers and has between 80 and 125 cars. LS&I provides all service to the mines, and makes up the Escanaba trains for C&NW in the yard at Ishpeming. Other trains on the Escanaba to Ishpeming line include passenger trains 209 and 214 (the Peninsula 400) and daily except Sunday freights 39 and 34.  Extra freights are operated for timber and other needs. After the arrival of the C&NW ore train from Escanaba, the cars are moved to the Repubic area by the LS&I. Eastbound loaded ore trains leaving Ishpeming struggle to get their loaded 100 car train up the grade east of the Ishpeming depot. [LSIOR]

  • SNAPSHOT: The Soo Line serves two mines on the Marquette Iron Range, the Tracy Mine at Negaunee and the Champion Mine in Champion. Champion ore is a hematite and is blue-gray in color and is shipped in lump form or crushed. It is usually not mixed with other ores. Soo Line (former DSS&A) ore trains serve this mine directly from Marquette. Mine jobs from Tracy Mine bring ore to Hogan Ore Yard for the ore extra trains to Marquette.  Road ore trains between Hogan Ore Yard and Marquette are "turn" trains which turn at Marquette. Trains from Champion to Marquette are individual, with a different crew called at Marquette to return the train to Champion. Trains typically handle 60 cars, and are powered by 2 EMD GP-9's or 2 Baldwin 1,600 C+C road switchers. Trains are limited to 25 MPH loaded, and 30 MPH empty.  During runs to Marquette, all retainers are set in the high pressure positio because ofthe 2% to 2.67% descending grades west of the Marquette ore dock. [LSIOR]

  • SNAPSHOT: There are four yards in the Lake Superior & Ishpeming's Eagle Mills-Republic Mine district. Eagle Mills Yard is used for the distribution of empties to the mines and for road train assembly. Harris Yard at Negaunee is used for overflow for empty ore cards if Eagle Mills Yard cannot handle them.  Euclid Yard at Ishpeming is used for interchanging ore with the C&NW Railway. Humboldt Yard is used for handling the switching of ore cars at the Humboldt and Republic Mines. [LSIOR]

  • The LS&I operates an all-rail movement of ore and pellets from Eagle Mills to either Eben Jct. (Soo Line connection) or Little Lake (C&NW connection) during the closing of the shipping season. These cars are taken to Chicago via the Soo Line or C&NW. [LSIOR]


 Time line Key:

  • Railroad event in Michigan
  • Event relating to mining
  • Event related to car ferries
  • Event outside of Michigan
  • Improvement in Technology
  • Railroad built or extended
  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed
  • Economic panic or depression