Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today's Train of Thought- Orange and Ore, February 26th, 2014

Today's Train of Thought takes us to a western Pennsylvania carrier that is sort of the odd man out in the Canadian National system that started out life as an outlet for Andrew Carnegie's US Steel to reach the Great Lakes and the rest of the American Railroad network.

Almost an afterthought in Canadian National's 2004 acquisition of Great Lakes Transportation, the Bessemer & Lake Erie has operated largely unchanged since the CN takeover and still primarily operates as a conveyor belt for ore arriving from the docks at Lake Erie in Conneaut, OH to the steel mills around Pittsburgh, PA. Odds are pretty good that the ore originates along other former US Steel railroads- primarily the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range The line also brings in coal and coke from surrounding areas to fire up the furnaces and occasionally handles aggregates, frac sand and scrap metal. Although some B&LE power has found its way to other parts of the CN system, motive power from other CN line seems to only occasionally make its way to the Bessemer Line.

Here, contributor J Alex Lang caught snow-encrusted B&LE SD40T-2 #902 leading a southbound train of stockpiled ore under Pennsylvania Route 8 in Meharg, PA on the last day of January 2009 with symbol freight 902 S.

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