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Nostalgia & History > All Alco Iron Ore Train


Date: 09/13/17 13:45
All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: RDG630

Back in 1974 an all Alco second generation diesel lash-up powers an iron ore train from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, Pa at Rockhill. You can just image the sound.






Date: 09/13/17 13:54
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: stevelv

Awesome! Looks like C424,C424,C630,C430.



Date: 09/13/17 13:58
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: kgmontreal

Great lashup.

KG



Date: 09/13/17 14:04
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: march_hare

Hmmm, raw ore, not pelletized. Anybody know where that was coming from in those days?



Date: 09/13/17 16:16
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: LocoPilot750

I bet that sounded good.



Date: 09/13/17 16:18
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: rdgrailfan

The ore originated in Brazil and was delivered to Port of Philadelphia. The Reading unloaded ships at Port Richmond for ore bound for Bethlehem Steel. They did use hoppers with color panels (red) for Bethlehem ore shipments.
The Reading also had cars used only for cocoa beans for Hershey, forget the markings.

The PRR had the same ore at POP but was destined for mostly lake Erie ships and or Midwest mills.
I lived by Oak Lane station on the mainline headed to Bethlehem we would see and hear ore trans quite often. They would use the third track for coal and ore storage if Port Richmond needed space.



Date: 09/13/17 17:30
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: CNW8531

WOW, awesome shot and consist! Bet that sounded neat too!



Date: 09/13/17 17:45
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: King_Coal

Did these trains last into Conrail? The Reading power is hard to top - RS3s would have worked too!



Date: 09/13/17 20:15
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: JLinDE

Yes. But during Conrail years Pt Richmond was closed and PRR's S Philly ore dock loaded the trains and they routed via Reading after the Bethlehem branch was closed. It was longer, but had much easier grades, and CR felt the operating costs were the same and the Bethlehem Branch could not be retained with hardly any local business above Lansdale. This lasted until Bethlehem closed the blast furnaces.



Date: 09/14/17 11:17
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: march_hare

rdgrailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The ore originated in Brazil and was delivered to
> Port of Philadelphia. The Reading unloaded ships
> at Port Richmond for ore bound for Bethlehem
> Steel. They did use hoppers with color panels
> (red) for Bethlehem ore shipments.
> The Reading also had cars used only for cocoa
> beans for Hershey, forget the markings.
>
> The PRR had the same ore at POP but was destined
> for mostly lake Erie ships and or Midwest mills.
> I lived by Oak Lane station on the mainline headed
> to Bethlehem we would see and hear ore trans quite
> often. They would use the third track for coal and

So that ore moved behind Alcos twice, most likely. Once in Brazil, once in PA.
> ore storage if Port Richmond needed space.



Date: 09/16/17 18:39
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: PCTZ

Not sure about the Brazilian Alcos. Most likely, the ore came from Bethlehem Steel owned operations in Venezuela known as Iron Mines of Venezuela. In 1974 the El Pao mine shipped out over 4 million tons via the port at Palua. Trains were powered by Baldwin DRS-4-4-15s. Bethlehem did also have a 5% interest in the huge MBR owned Aguas Claras mine in Brazil that opened in 1973. These trains were powered by U23Cs. Of course this nice raw ore could have come from other Brazilian sources or maybe even Bethlehem sources in Chile ( even though Chile and Venezuela operations may have been nationalized by 1974).

Also see:
http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr0001/imv1.jpg

https://flic.kr/p/ii9f81

march_hare Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> rdgrailfan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The ore originated in Brazil and was delivered
> to
> > Port of Philadelphia. The Reading unloaded
> ships
> > at Port Richmond for ore bound for Bethlehem
> > Steel. They did use hoppers with color panels
> > (red) for Bethlehem ore shipments.
> > The Reading also had cars used only for cocoa
> > beans for Hershey, forget the markings.
> >
> > The PRR had the same ore at POP but was
> destined
> > for mostly lake Erie ships and or Midwest
> mills.
> > I lived by Oak Lane station on the mainline
> headed
> > to Bethlehem we would see and hear ore trans
> quite
> > often. They would use the third track for coal
> and
>
> So that ore moved behind Alcos twice, most likely.
> Once in Brazil, once in PA.
> > ore storage if Port Richmond needed space.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/17 19:19 by PCTZ.



Date: 09/20/17 12:32
Re: All Alco Iron Ore Train
Author: Gonut1

The empty hoppers did not return directly to Philadelphia. The power would make a caboose hop back as soon as the ore hoppers were dropped at Bethlehem. The empties went to the coal mines and returned via the Reading mainline with coal loads or perhaps empty. The empties didn't go via Bethlehem Branch. Yes, the sound was awesome whether it was the Alcos or later on EMDs, just a different awesome.
When the ore came from the ex-PRR dock in Conrail days the trains used distributed power on runs to the midwest via the ex-Reading Main. Three GE's on the front and two more about 2/3rd's back. When returning empty all five GE's were on the front end. It was a very regular and predictable operation until the U.S. pulled the plug on Venzuelan imports due to international politics.
Thanks Dale!
Gonut



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/17 12:35 by Gonut1.



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