MQT in Newaygo

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MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DougMac » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:14 am

We just moved to Fremont, MI and I am wondering if I can see Marqette Rail through Newaygo or White Cloud. I could use some help to learn when I might expect to see a train.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby SD80MAC » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:36 am

MQT's day job goes north out of Sparta, Monday through Friday, usually around 8 am. I would expect to see them roll through Newaygo northbound in the morning, then again southbound on their way back to Sparta in the early to mid afternoon. You might also see Michigan Shore in Fremont on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DougMac » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:24 am

Thanks SD80MAC. I have seen the MMRR in Fremont a couple of times when I heard the horn. It seems to come to town only once every 2-3 weeks. I check the cars at the Fremont elevator and they do not move for weeks at a time. Do you know if the MQT parks overnight in Sparta? I could look it up when I go to GR on occasion. When I called MQT to inquire about when I might see a train in Newaygo he was polite but said for safety and security reasons the do not give out train schedule/movement information. I may just have to try and get lucky some day -- at least, as you say, the train is a day train.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby johnnycat » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:03 am

I assume Gerber in Fremont doesn't use rail anymore, right? <sigh>
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby SD80MAC » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:14 am

Yes Doug, they will tie the train down in Sparta if there's time between when the day crew is done working and the night crew comes on duty. If the night crew is waiting for them, they'll hand the train off to them and it will continue south to Grand Rapids.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby AARR » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:39 am

Gerber stopped rail service shortly after MS started.
johnnycat wrote:I assume Gerber in Fremont doesn't use rail anymore, right? <sigh>
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby Doktor No » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:03 am

When Gerber went to plastic containers for their product the advantage that rail had, weight and loading wise, came to an end. They couldn't load a semi trailer to full cubic capacity but they could a railcar. With the less weight per container of plastic contained product....they could then load a trailer full to the ceiling, end to end. 'POOF' the rail advantage is gone.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DLM » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:24 am

Plastic jars were less durable than glass jars when riding on a boxcar. Lower cases were getting crushed is what I was told by Gerber. So Gerber converted to intermodal and truck.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby Doktor No » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:34 am

DLM wrote:Plastic jars were less durable than glass jars when riding on a boxcar. Lower cases were getting crushed is what I was told by Gerber. So Gerber converted to intermodal and truck.

Hummmm. Interesting. Air ride trailers would afford a better ride but intermodal is rail from Chi-town I would assume.
Then again no hump yards enroute either along with over zealous yard switching....and no, I took pride in handleing cars smoothly as best we could. EHH point exactly though...LESS HANDLING at intermediate points. Run it thru! Thats what intermodal does and loose boxcar didn't. Hopefully that paridigm is shifting. (forgive the spelling...sure doesn't look right)
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby Waddy » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:39 am

Im surprised gerber doesnt atleast get plastic in by rail.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby SD80MAC » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:06 am

Waddy wrote:Im surprised gerber doesnt atleast get plastic in by rail.

Not sure if they make their own jars on site or if they have them trucked in?
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby AARR » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:31 pm

Or raw materials such as soy, rice, etc.
SD80MAC wrote:
Waddy wrote:Im surprised gerber doesnt atleast get plastic in by rail.

Not sure if they make their own jars on site or if they have them trucked in?
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:17 pm

CSX (Michigan Shore's connection) wants a consistent number of cars moving on the same lane(s) every month. If you can't do that CSX isn't interested.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DLM » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:34 pm

Gerber stacked boxcars two plus pallets high. Trailers and containers are stacked one pallet high. The extra down force combined with movement of the boxcar in transit caused failure in the plastic jars. Gerber jars may come form another state and be used as a backhaul to get truckers back to Fremont. Indian Summers in Ludington gets plastic juice bottle from Illinois and uses the loads to reposition trucks into Ludington.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DougMac » Fri May 25, 2018 10:27 pm

i don't think Mid-Michigan has been to Fremont since early April. They used to be in town once a week or so switching a couple of cars at the grain elevator but I have not seen any cars in Fremont for two months now.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Sat May 26, 2018 2:09 pm

Besides Gerber, which is not currently shipping or receiving by rail, is the only other customer in Fremont the former North Central elevator, now owned by Ceres Solutions? Because if so, this article from fall 2017 suggests that the elevator won't be shipping/receiving much anymore - not to mention Ceres is building a new facility with spur to MQT somewhere in the White Cloud area (don't know exactly where, though).

https://mibiz.com/item/25143-more-livestock-production-drives-expansion-for-west-michigan-feed-mill

The Ceres outfit, known previously as North Central Cooperative, currently operates in downtown Fremont. However, with a number of new orders already on the books, the company had to find a new location, according to Hall.

“We didn’t have a location and additional space here right in downtown Fremont to continue to expand, so we opted to move to a greenfield in the White Cloud Industrial Park,” Hall said.

Ceres only plans to move its feed production to White Cloud. It will continue to operate its grain business — which includes drying, storing and retail — and its agronomy business in Fremont.


The whole article is actually worth a read. It suggests that the new White Cloud facility would open in Jan. 2018, did that actually happen?

Either way, since Gerber and North Central/Ceres were the only rail customers in Fremont that I know of, this would imply that nothing currently moves over the old Fremont Branch east of Berry Jct., is this correct? I would hate to see this stretch of track abandoned.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby DougMac » Sat May 26, 2018 9:44 pm

As far as I've seen the North Central elevator has been the only site for rail activity. I do not know if there are any other customers between Berry Jct and Fremont that would occasion any use of this branch. I do not ordinarily get to White Cloud but I should find some time to go there and scout around. Thank you very much for this very helpful and informative article.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sun May 27, 2018 8:18 am

AFAIK, the Fremont branch is out of service. The last customer going north is Nugent Sand at Berry Junction.
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:24 am

Have recently moved from the east side of the state to the western side near Newaygo in a more rural setting.

In the still night air, one can hear the throttling and laboring of a train's engines climbing north out of Newaygo.
And on a quiet afternoon it's been fascinating to discover how far away the horn blasts from a train
descending from the north can be faintly heard as it's still several miles away.
If so inclined, I can hop in the car after hearing a far away horn blast... drive casually into town and leisurely wait
for the train to pass through.

It's going to be a fun line to Railfan locally.

John
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Re: MQT in Newaygo

Unread postby PatAzo » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:22 am

I can hear them go both ways out of town. Southbound better but if I listen I can hear them working into the distance northbound. You can watch the whole train in town and then easily catch them at S Mundy Ave or Colonial Ave southbound or 40th St northbound.
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