CN White Pine Branch

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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby blackjack1518 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:19 pm

NS3322 wrote:
blackjack1518 wrote:It's been sitting in the engine house next to the refinery. Not sure what will ever be done with this engine, and if the rail to White Pine will ever be used again.


Is this building the engine house?
WP.JPG


Saturnalia wrote:The main sticking point for the White Pine Sub is that it can't handle 263K cars. The site selected in Wisconsin is literally the closest point on a CN mainline capable of handling 286K cars, or so the story goes.


Another blow to the WP Sub. :(


Yes, that is the engine house.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby NS3322 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:57 pm

blackjack1518 wrote:It is my understanding that the 12 miles of rail relay into Ontonagon is a must for this biofuel plant. This was a really big deal when ELS removed the rail so quickly, as had been told to the railroad something would be in the works. Most likely pulled up because of it's heavy pound rail with resale value.


I finally made it up to Ontonagon (wonderful town) in 2016. It was sad to see the tracks gone...

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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby coasterrider » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:45 pm

It is a wonderful trail to snowmobile on. Walking and biking as well once they turn it into a trail (if they havent done so yet).
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby NS3322 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:55 pm

I know I am not the only person fascinated with CN's mothballed White Pine Sub, so I will provide everyone with a 2019 update!
While I did not make it back to the village of White Pine during my visit to the U.P. last month, I did photograph some other parts of the White Pine Sub.
Sadly it appears that CN is slowly removing all mechanical lights and bells, and replacing them with sign posts. Not a good sign. (No pun intended).

At Black River Rd north of Bessemer (looking North). The only mechanical crossing I would see.
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At Black River Rd north of Bessemer (looking East).
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At Black River Rd north of Bessemer (looking West).
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At Powderhorn Road north of Bessemer (looking South).
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At Powderhorn Road north of Bessemer (looking East).
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At Powderhorn Road north of Bessemer (looking West).
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At M-64 near Merriweather (looking North).
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At M-64 near Merriweather (looking East).
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At M-64 near Merriweather (looking West). I observed that a birch tree has fallen on the tracks in the distance.
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At Ash Street in Bergland (looking South).
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At Ash Street in Bergland (looking West).
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At Ash Street in Bergland (looking East).
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Lastly, the Bergland station sign.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby NS3322 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:59 pm

It appears I may have an interesting before and after comparison. I only wish I had shot the crossing from father back.

2010 photo by Dean Sauvola.
rail.JPG


2019 by me.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby AARR » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:22 pm

House in the background was torn down it appears
NS3322 wrote:It appears I may have an interesting before and after comparison. I only wish I had shot the crossing from father back.

2010 photo by Dean Sauvola.

2019 by me.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby railrod1949 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:56 pm

NS3322 wrote:It appears I may have an interesting before and after comparison. I only wish I had shot the crossing from father back.

2010 photo by Dean Sauvola.
rail.JPG


2019 by me.
Image


Look like there was a ski resort called Big Powderhorn Ski Resort, now closed. Looking south.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby Jim_c » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:49 pm

Just went through that area myself. I was very annoyed to see the "EXEMPT" signs. That being said, I know the folks that are building the biofuel plant want a connection west. IIRC, one of the previous roadblocks was the stretch through the Bad River Indian Reservation. The tribe had concerns about the impact of a derailment and toxic spill. Perhaps the biofuel company, and maybe the mining company can work with the tribe and come to an agreement of sorts.
Trails to Rails. Put the track back.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby jimnorthwood » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:02 am

Somebody posted some recent photographs they had taken on a Wisconsin stretch of the White Pine sub to one of the railroad related FB groups. I don't recall which group it was (Yooperrails, perhaps) but the photographs showed very extensive track and bridge damage, which I believe the poster said was sustained as a result of flooding in 2016. Nothing that big $$$ couldn't fix, of course but unless the Copperwood Project, or its successor, or some other major development, mine related or otherwise is brought on line the WP subdivision is going to continue to rust/rot in place. If CN decided to change the status of the line from the current embargoed to abandoned, then the states of Wisconsin and Michigan might want to consider buying the right of way and putting it into railbanked status, so as to preserve it for whatever possible future development might come along.

Not related to the WP sub but nearby, I believe the right of way between Arnheim in the Keweenaw and Houghton is still technically railbanked, even though the last revenue train to Houghton, aside from a fiber optics laying mission in about 1987, ran in September, 1982. I believe CN owns the right of way from Baraga, current end of track, to Arnheim. A considerable amount of development has taken place on the right of way in Houghton, which would serve to make restoration of service there and to points north impractical or impossible. Perhaps to Chassell...
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby railrod1949 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:03 pm

The loco engineer and conductor on the CN White Pine Branch are or were based out of North Bessemer, MI, north of Bessemer and worked to and from White Pine and worked to and from Marengo Jct., WI.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby Super Chief » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:06 am

Yeah, North Bessemer has to take the prize as the most remote crew base on CN when they were running the branch. I thought Newberry on the Munising branch was it. On google maps (date ?) you can see oil stains between the rails where the engine was parked. Also 2 crewmembers cars parked there. Probably got fuel from a local dealer in Bessemer. Wonder how a wintertime trip was when the mine was active? I always wondered how these 2 branches kept/keep going in this day and age?
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby blackjack1518 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:56 am

I don't know if anyone follows Highland Copper. But they have been advancing the White Pine North Project on the top of the already planned Copperwood project. Also the White Pine refinery is in the process of reopening to extract copper from tailings from copper country area. Has been no mention though of how they plan to ship the copper.

The PEA LOM production estimate for the White Pine North Project. Payable copper production is estimated at 1 Mt (2.2 billion pounds) with an annual average of 40,000 tonnes (89 million pounds) over the 25-year mine life which includes a 1-year commissioning and ramp-up period. The average payable rate is 96.5% which includes a 0.2% concentrate loss. Payable silver production over the LOM is 31.3 million ounces with an annual average of 1.3 million ounces of silver

The PEA envisions a process plant design for the Project that is based on the historical metallurgical flowsheet to produce copper concentrate with a nominal throughput of 15,000 tpd and a planned availability of 91.3%. The flowsheet consists of crushing, grinding in closed circuit with a ball mill targeting a primary grind of 100 microns, rougher flotation with concentrate regrind, cleaner flotation using three stages of cleaning, concentrate thickening, filtration and tailings disposal.

​Power and Surface Infrastructure

The Company envisions building a new natural gas fired power generation plant. The site is currently serviced with natural gas. The power plant capacity is estimated at 30 MW. The existing tailings disposal facility will be utilized to deposit tailings from the White Pine North project, which will require dam raises over the life-of-mine. Water supply is available from an existing Lake Superior pump station. A new 2 km access road to the project processing and administrative complex is planned from the Michigan M-64 highway.

The estimated timeline for the White Pine North Project is shown below. Upon receipt of required permits and necessary approvals a 48-month mine development, construction and commissioning period is foreseen followed by 24 years of commercial production.
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Re: CN White Pine Branch

Unread postby chapmaja » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:22 am

railrod1949 wrote:
NS3322 wrote:It appears I may have an interesting before and after comparison. I only wish I had shot the crossing from father back.

2010 photo by Dean Sauvola.
rail.JPG


2019 by me.
Image


Look like there was a ski resort called Big Powderhorn Ski Resort, now closed. Looking south.



Actually the Big Powderhorn resort is still very much up and operation. The main lodge, which was the building in the 2010 photo, not so much.

See the link below that mentions the fire that destoryed the main lodge, which was the building in the photo.

https://dailyreporter.com/2011/01/13/up ... d-in-fire/


If you look carefully at the newer photo you can still see the ski lifts for the resort. The facility was only closed for a day and moved their operations to another building on the property, then built a new lodge which is just slightly out of the picture.
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