Algoma Central Railroad.

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penn central
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Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by penn central »

It was announced today in the Trains News Wire that CN is selling the 296 mile Algoma Central does anybody know what there customer base looks like other than Algoma Steel Products at the Soo on the Canadian Side.

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AARR
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by AARR »

They have the steel mill on the south end and some lumber on the north end but not much if anything in-between IIRC
penn central wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:51 pm
It was announced today in the Trains News Wire that CN is selling the 296 mile Algoma Central does anybody know what there customer base looks like other than Algoma Steel Products at the Soo on the Canadian Side.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by penn central »

AARR wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:18 am
They have the steel mill on the south end and some lumber on the north end but not much if anything in-between IIRC
penn central wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:51 pm
It was announced today in the Trains News Wire that CN is selling the 296 mile Algoma Central does anybody know what there customer base looks like other than Algoma Steel Products at the Soo on the Canadian Side.
Oh okay thanks for the info AARR.

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AARR
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by AARR »

It was a while a go but I followed the entire line from Google Satellite and that's what I seem to recall. I was surprised at the lack of local business in-between the two ends.

At one time there was a branch line that went to Michipicoten where ore was transloaded from ships and brought down to the steel mill but that has been going on all rail route for quite a few years now.
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DaveO
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by DaveO »

AARR wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:36 am
I was surprised at the lack of local business in-between the two ends.
The same problem the Huron Central has.
The Canadian Shield is a tough place to make a living.
The weather/ground conditions through there are part of the reason both CN and CP have south of the lake routes available.

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Doktor No
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by Doktor No »

There was a MINE at the end of the branch. The steel mill in The Soo is on the waterfront, no need to transload then ship ore that far south.
Other thing is..TACONITE is what they use now, not ore. Taconite from the Minnesota Arrowhead AFAIK.
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Doktor No
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

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https://www.nmu.edu/upperpeninsulastudi ... a_2015.pdf
Lots of info in Algoma District iron ore mining. GOOGLE works wonders...in seconds.
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trainjunkie47
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by trainjunkie47 »

Can the entire Upper Peninsula be far behind, on the For Sale list? At least the tracks east of Escanaba, anyhow.

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

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trainjunkie47 wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:43 pm
Can the entire Upper Peninsula be far behind, on the For Sale list? At least the tracks east of Escanaba, anyhow.
A bunch of it is for sale already. But unless they give trackage rights I’m not sure who would want it.

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Doktor No
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by Doktor No »

The ex SOO Line is not for sale across the UP. The ex DSS&A is for sale. Algoma Steel is a major shipper out of Soo, Ontario with product in and out.
Should Algoma Steel go buns up that leaves Abitibi (or whomever it is now) as a Soo, Ontario customer. Pulp logs in and wood products out. Other then that there isn't a hell of a lot left.
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by joeyuboats »

Well, just another example of a large road taking over a small road, maybe looting it, and then dumping it. I know that area of Ontario is a very tough place to do business, but I will never understand the long-range planning that was done by CN, as after 20 years the AC does not fit into their plans. 20 years was not a long time, and the AC deserves a little better than this. If this is how they run CN, than any day now we can expect an announcement that the B&LE, EJ&E, and IC are on the chopping block, as they do not fit into the long term plans. Just kidding--------maybe. ! ???????

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by DaveO »

The Algoma Central was a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Central which came with the CN purchase of the WC.
CN could have tried to sell the AC off back then and didn't.

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by joeyuboats »

Here's a possible suggestion for the problems that are facing the AC and the Huron Central. Since the Canadian Soo area has barely enough traffic to keep them both busy, combine the AC and the HC into a shortline, that will serve ALL the customers in the area, use the best/shortest route to the north or east for interchange with CN or CP, and mothball the rest. This way you would have one RR in the area, Ontario would not have to fund or bail out 2 separate lines, and that new company would be small, but have a strong base of customers to work with. This would hurt some communities along one of the present routes, but would ensure stability and possible future growth along the other. Something for thought.

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by Saturnalia »

The AC is probably the most desolate mainline in the region, and makes the Upper Peninsula look flush with traffic. Only the tourist trains justify it today. No reason for a big railroad to keep it if its probably better in the hands of a smaller carrier anyway.

I don't understand the loathing of big carriers spinning off branch lines. It usually is better for the branches that they be put under more locally-focused management. I almost always see this stuff as a good thing
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by joeyuboats »

I know the AC came in the same package as the Wisconsin Central did, but if it was left on it own, it probably would have been managed better. All of these past mergers and buy-outs have cost a lot of jobs, many communities EVERYWHERE are hurting, and many miles of track have been ripped up for absolutely no reason.

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Saturnalia
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by Saturnalia »

joeyuboats wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:17 pm
Many miles of track have been ripped up for absolutely no reason.
Generally speaking this is not the case. Most lines removed have been well justified as there is no longer a business case. Communities are not really hurt by the removal of a railroad they are not using. You can argue that there is a loss of potential future business, but as we've seen in Michigan, the network has shrunk to the proper density to have rail service close to pretty much everywhere while allowing the remaining lines to be profitable.

I've been on the Agawa Canyon Train. The only other potential business is logs, and that stuff just does not pay enough to keep hundreds of miles of winding twisting trackage when you're working under the Class One cost structure. It'll be much better managed by a smaller company with smaller overhead and local focus.
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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

I believe that the steel mill is the only larger rail customer served by CN / AC. St. Mary’s paper shut down in 2011. There was and may still be pulp log traffic generated on the AC the moves to the US. This traffic tends to be irregular.

I would expect that CN selling the AC will include CN keeping access to Algoma Steel but having the short line doing the switching.

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by joeyuboats »

Saturnalia wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:05 pm
The AC is probably the most desolate mainline in the region, and makes the Upper Peninsula look flush with traffic. Only the tourist trains justify it today. No reason for a big railroad to keep it if its probably better in the hands of a smaller carrier anyway.

I don't understand the loathing of big carriers spinning off branch lines. It usually is better for the branches that they be put under more locally-focused management. I almost always see this stuff as a good thing
Well, to be correct, the AC was locally controlled before WC, and then CN took over. This happens everywhere in the country. I guess the next question would be, then why did the big RR take over the small RR, only to get rid of it ??

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by penn central »

Okay i looked it up the Wisconsin Central purchased the AC on February 1st 1995 the CN purchased the WC in October of 2001. And the mine at Wawa was closed in 1998 and was owned by Algoma Steel Products. They interchange with the Huron Central at the Soo, Canadian Pacific at Franz Ontario and the Ontario Northland at Hearst Ontario. If they become a stand alone company again the CN at the Soo and the CN at Hearst.

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Re: Algoma Central Railroad.

Unread post by chriiis »

There is some bridge traffic on the Algoma Central, especially north of Oba. For instance copper ore from the Humboldt Mill on the Mineral Range RR near Ishpeming is moved to the Horne Smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec on the Ontario Northland in the white capped MWCX gondolas via Hearst.

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