You are here

Cliffs Erie Notes

kdbuell's picture

A few days ago we checked in with Cliffs Erie (with permission) to see the current situation at the former Erie/LTV Steel Mining Company property.

Most of the mine trackage has been pulled up but the mainline and the plantsite tracks are still in place. The mainline sees a rare highrail vehicle as a beaver trapper is out making sure that the culverts under the mainline are still open. Cleveland Cliffs / Cliffs Erie is hanging on to the Taconite Harbor Dock and mainline for the time being. Before you ask, I do not know why. If PolyMet ever gets their copper/nickel mine operational, they will be using part of the mainline (to about Dunka Jct) to access their mine and haul their ore to the Coarse Crusher.

Most of the EMCO railroad rolling stock has been sold or scrapped. The following remain on the property. Locomotive crane 7807 (American 25T). I suspect that this is still around to clear out culverts along the ML, if necessary. ALCO 7209 (RS11, owned by private individual) which is reportedly on it's way to Mesabi Nugget as their switch engine. ALCO 7222 (C420, privately owned) not used as it has electrical? problems. EMDs 4210 (operable) used on rare occasion as a switch engine, 4214 (not operable), 4223 (operable), 4225 (not?) and 4224 (not?).

There are also the two fire train tank cars, one gondola, 93 newer (blt. 1997) pellet cars and about 124 Difco (blt. 1965) side dump ore cars that are going to be used by PolyMet. As far as we could tell all other cars are scrap.

Except for the flat car that Todd found in the weeds up the Dunka track.

The F's are being kept in case the remaining pellet fines and chips are cleaned up and shipped of by rail. Won't be this year any more. Maybe next???