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Eastern Railroad Discussion > The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)


Date: 01/08/22 09:26
The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

Spent a few days up along the St Clair River in Michigan this past week. Managed to catch the Lake State Railway job in Port Huron the locals call the paper train. Winter had settled in with some snow and strong winds, but having photographed this move a number of times in good weather I was happy to catch it on a day the elements weren't so nice. In the first two photos the train is shoving towards the Dunn Paper mill. The 3rd image is the train along the water with some waves kicked up by the winds. That's Lake Huron off to the right. All 3 photos taken 01-02-2022 at Port Huron, Michigan.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH








Date: 01/08/22 09:28
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

Two more, one from the 01-02-2022 chase as they cross the Black River in Port Huron and one from 01-05-2022 as they switch out boxcars on the east side of the same drawbridge.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH






Date: 01/08/22 09:53
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: czephyr17

Great job on the photos! My favorite is the one along the water, but you did a great job framing the others as well with interesting features. Railroading is not a fair weather sport!

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/08/22 10:40
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: jgilmore

czephyr17 Wrote:
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> Railroading is not a fair weather sport!

Right, and neither is railfanning, as seen here. You gotta be hearty for those shots, which I'm not anymore despite growing up just south of there. Great bunch!

JG
 



Date: 01/08/22 10:59
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: 3rdswitch

Very nice bunch. I take it the signals in one and two are "Distant" signals for the bridge?
JB



Date: 01/08/22 11:43
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: toledopatch

3rdswitch Wrote:
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> Very nice bunch. I take it the signals in one and
> two are "Distant" signals for the bridge?

Based on their positions, I believe they indicate the crossing protection is working properly. They are not situated relative to the Black River drawbridge.

This is a great set. I'd love to do some winter stuff up there, even if the conditions kept my drone grounded.



Date: 01/08/22 12:34
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: perklocal

Like the wave action off the lake. Looked to be pretty brisk out there Roger !



Date: 01/08/22 14:38
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: Pattenburg

De you have to get de-iced after taking that third photo?



Date: 01/08/22 14:56
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: refarkas

Superior winter photos made even better by each scene.
Bob



Date: 01/08/22 15:45
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: junctiontower

EXCELLENT photos in harsh conditions.  It's tough being out there in weather like that, but the results are often worth it.  I think weather adds a truly awesome dimension to railroad photography.



Date: 01/08/22 17:04
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: Ron

EL833 Wrote:
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> That's Lake Huron off to the right. All 3 photos taken 01-02-2022 at Port Huron, Michigan.

In that last photograph along the river, I worked that job back in mid-90s, before I moved to Battle Creek.

It was a Sunday afternoon, around 5 o'clock or so, the remnants of a hurricane (can't recall the name and date) that came up from the gulf and passed through the Port Huron area. No damage, but a lot of wind, and a lot of huge waves hitting shore.

Anyway we were switching Dunn Paper, our locomotive was facing west. We pulled past that switch you can see in that photograph, I crossed over the tracks to throw that switch, and after I lined the switch I turned and looked behind me toward the river. There was a wall of water coming up off the river that was 10 or 12 feet high. You'd be surprised how fast you can move sometimes, I know I was.

I grew up in Port Huron, and spent a lot of time along the river there. Back then it was just rocks and rip-rap. Now it's all paved streets and sidewalks and handrails to keep you from falling in the river.

I can remember two lake freighters sinking right there south of the Blue Water Bridge.
I don't remember the details. One of them was struck by a Canadian Steamship Line Freighter that had unloaded product just across the Saint Clair River in Sarnia, Ontario. When it left the dock it made a u-turn in the river south of the Bridge, and somehow it got away from them and it hit and sunk a freighter on the Port Huron side of the river. That huge warehouse complex on the Sarnia side is now a Casino.

The first one I remember they repaired and it floated away. I was in high school and tried to go when I could to watch them.
The second one was around 1972-1973, I was working for the GTW, they cut it up and loaded the scrap into gons and shipped the remains off to whenever.....

Ron



Date: 01/08/22 19:52
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

3rdswitch Wrote:
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> Very nice bunch. I take it the signals in one and
> two are "Distant" signals for the bridge?

JB, thanks, and those tall signals indicate when that gate seen just to the left of the signal in #2 is up or down. That gate is a relatively new thing and I believe it's a border patrol item. There is no derail associated with it. The train stops before the crossing and it appears they use a cell phone to contact whoever raises and lowers it, again I'm guessing the border folks since it's right under the Blue Water bridges and Dunn has their own gates. Once they are done at Dunn and want to return west the process repeats. That drawbridge seen in the last photos is about a mile and change west of the BWB. Note the pot signal that indicates the bridge is down and locked (the one seen is obviously red with the train coming at you). The bridge remains down in the winter.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 01/08/22 19:55
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

Pattenburg Wrote:
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> De you have to get de-iced after taking that third photo?

No, but the mist was very close a few times. It was very brisk out there but there is ample close parking so the warm car wasn't very far away....thankfully.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 01/08/22 20:00
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

Ron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyway we were switching Dunn Paper, our
> locomotive was facing west. We pulled past that
> switch you can see in that photograph, I crossed
> over the tracks to throw that switch, and after I
> lined the switch I turned and looked behind me
> toward the river. There was a wall of water coming
> up off the river that was 10 or 12 feet high.
> You'd be surprised how fast you can move
> sometimes, I know I was.

Nice recollections Ron. Funny, there was a strong south wind later in the trip that had me thinking I saw the St Clair River flowing towards Lake Huron, I can't imagine that wall of water you saw. I never discovered PoHo until after the GT/CN gave up operations on that spur. It's a great area these days, they did a nice job on the riverfront.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 01/08/22 20:51
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: Ron

I lived about 5 blocks north of the Black River Bridge, and one block from the river. At one time there were Ocean Boats unloading there at the Port Huron Paper Plant, renamed Domtar Paper Mill, before it closed.

The Black River Bridge had a Bridge Tender, I think 24 hours a day. I don't recall when the job was abolished and the Train Crews, Conductor, started to operate the Bridge. Lower it, cross it, raise it back up, and go about their work.

That short piece of track was called the HR. HR was the telegraph code for Port Huron. There was quite a bit of industry there up until the GTW, later CN, decided they didn't want to handle it any more and basically told the customers tough poop.

Right up next to the Blue Water Bridge was the Peerless Cement Plant. They had a smoke stack that you could see from all around Port Huron. The HR Job usually spotted about 7 or 8 loads of "mud", clay from a pit out near Smiths Creek, south of Port Huron on the Mount Clemens Subdivision.

The nightly Top End Yard Job, worked the west end of Tunnel Yard, first thing was to go "weigh the mud", the Locomotive Engineer, the Head Pin, the lowest seniority man (usually me) and the Top End Clerk, run the cars over the scale, and then put them way down in the the yard, track 25, 26, or maybe 27, where the Day HR job would get his train.

The first time I drove down Huron Avenue and saw the Blue Water Bridge without that Peerless Stack there, it was like the end of the world.


These three photographs are just random photographs I found after doing a search for Port Huron Peerless Cement.

Ron

 








Date: 01/08/22 21:15
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: Ron

Here's another one looking toward the Blue Water Bridge.


Ron




Date: 01/09/22 02:28
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: gcm

Excellent series of winter action !
Glad you braved the elements for the shots.
Gary



Date: 01/09/22 11:15
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: EL833

toledopatch Wrote:
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> This is a great set. I'd love to do some winter stuff up there, even if the conditions kept my drone grounded.

Thanks Patch. I do love winter railroading (yes, even after actually doing it for years lol). Their schedule seems to be the same with the usual Sunday morning run and then a run on Wednesday. Attached is another from the morning of 01-02-2022.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH




Date: 01/09/22 15:08
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: ns1000

Nice pics!!



Date: 01/09/22 23:01
Re: The "Paper Train" in winter (LSRC)
Author: TCnR

Great post, great stories, lots to see.
t4p.



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