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Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:21 pm
by JoJames
Farm World newspaper is reporting construction will begin soon at Evart. How close is the nearest railroad?

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:09 pm
by Steve B
The nearest rail line is about 34 miles from the mine, whether you go from Clare or Baldwin.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:12 pm
by Standard Railfan
Steve B wrote:The nearest rail line is about 34 miles from the mine, whether you go from Clare or Baldwin.
Cadillac is about 34 miles as well. McBain is 22 miles. Marion is 20.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:16 pm
by Steve B
In the very remote chance that rail is relaid, I figure it's more likely it would be done on an existing grade, even if the route's longer, instead of from somewhere where all the land would have to be assembled from scratch.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:25 pm
by Standard Railfan
Yes. Building on the former Pere Marquette ROW would be the only cost effective option. I foresee potash trucked to any of the afore mentioned sites for trans loading.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:47 pm
by Raildudes dad
Mosaic is currently producing potash (and salt) at the existing mine. They are not transloading. It's also interesting to note Mosaic did not renew the mineral rights to the land the new company has leased the rights to.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:15 pm
by trainjunkie47
If you could haul two or three different 100 car unit trains out of there every week, then it might be worth putting the rails back in. What would be the most that would come from here? I'm guessing it wouldn't fill but more than two dozen hoppers a week, which is almost what it would take to worry about a transload site. Once you've loaded it onto a truck, where is it going? Let us assume a best case scenario, where either the GLC or MQT hauled from either Clare or Baldwin, down to their respective interchanges with CSX, and then CSX delivered it without handing it off to a third carrier. CSX would need a 300 to 400 mile haul out of it to make it worth their while, and be cheaper than door to door with a truck.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:21 pm
by Saturnalia
trainjunkie47 wrote:If you could haul two or three different 100 car unit trains out of there every week, then it might be worth putting the rails back in.
That is definitely not in the cards, per previous discussions.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:14 am
by Doktor No
Now when this all first came about MQT loaded a potash unit train for New Orleans out of the coal tower at Baldwin IIRC. Exported somewhere and that was the one and only time it happened.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:23 pm
by AARR
In 1997 potash was loaded from a newly built transload tower in Cadillac on TSBY. It was short lived and didn't amount to many carloads. The transload tower is still there currently owned by MAC who loads a few carloads of corn during the harvest season.

Re: Potash plant

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:57 pm
by Jim_c
The Elk has been tied down in Plainwell pointing south all weekend (at least it was judging by the HOT data bursts). I drove by about 5:30 and there are several, by which I mean 6 to 8 or so POTX and MOCX hoppers. Exact count not certain because I didn't want to walk back to the ROW and there were some trees blocking the view. I didn't think to get any car numbers for someone to look up the destination.