Zug Island Works closing.

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Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby arty flowers » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:09 am

Does this spell the end of major steelmaking in Detroit? What parts are closing permanently? What will stay operating? What does the future hold for Zug Island as this is a major railroad customer in the Detroit area.

https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news ... hin-weeks/
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:23 am

arty flowers wrote:Does this spell the end of major steelmaking in Detroit? What parts are closing permanently? What will stay operating? What does the future hold for Zug Island as this is a major railroad customer in the Detroit area.

https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news ... hin-weeks/

AK Dearborn looks set to continue onward. I guess it depends on your definition of "Detroit"
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:36 am

Theres are two parts to every integrated steelmaking facility: the "primary" side, where raw ingredients are combined and fired to produce raw pig iron, and the "secondary" side, where the product is shaped/formed/finished for customer use. In this case, the entire primary side and portions of the secondary are closing. Primary would include the blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, so almost all of the activity on the Zug Island side would cease, including the operation of the "bottle trains" between Zug and Ecorse. The island won't be completely quiet. The coke oven operation at the south end of the island is owned by Detroit Edison and is not closing. Coke is produced here for several other steel mills.

According to the Great Lakes Works facility webpage, GLW includes:
PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Three blast vessels
Two top-blown basic oxygen process (BOP) vessels
Vacuum degasser
Ladle metallurgy facility
Two continuous slab casters
80" Hot strip mill
80" Pickle line
80" 5-Stand Cold reduction mill
Batch annealing facility
80" Temper mill
73" Hot-dip galvanizing line

Great Lakes Works, situated along the Detroit River in the communities of Ecorse and River Rouge, Mich., consists of both steelmaking and finishing facilities. Products manufactured at the plant include hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet steels that are used primarily by customers in the automotive industry.

Great Lakes Works has an annual raw steelmaking capability of approximately 3.8 million net tons.
https://www.ussteel.com/locations/great-lakes-works


Some finishing operations will continue in Ecorse, according to the article: "A skeleton staff will remain on duty at Great lakes Works to handle remaining work or “additional operations” that will include what’s known as the Pickle Line, Cold Mill, Sheet Temper Mill, Continuous Galvanizing Line (CGL), Annealing and warehousing. ... The hot strip mill will continue for now but be idled by the end of the year."

Basically, the primary side will be replaced by steel slabs and/or coils coming from the Gary Works, so someone (NS or CN?) might get an uptick in traffic. But the Delray Connecting work will be drastically reduced, and there will be far fewer freighters calling at the island.

As Saturnalia mentioned, AK Dearborn Rouge Steel continues to operate its fully integrated works. In fact, AK just merged with iron ore pellet producer Cliffs Mining, and it's been said that the Dearborn facility is an important component of the new company, so fingers-crossed that's a good sign.

But you won't see this anymore:
Image
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Robertrains » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:09 am

arty flowers wrote:Does this spell the end of major steelmaking in Detroit? What parts are closing permanently? What will stay operating? What does the future hold for Zug Island as this is a major railroad customer in the Detroit area.

https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news ... hin-weeks/

OK, this topic has been brought up by Cinderpath on December 20, 2019: http://railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=36924 However, I went "Railfanning" once again near Belanger Park, River Rouge (my first time here was 11-30-2013)!!!! For 2020, I went on January 19, February 9, and March 1st!!!! Each of those times I caught the great Delray Connecting® "Hot Bottle Trains!!!!" :mrgreen: Does anyone here know how many locomotives Delray Connecting® currently owns? :?: I have not seen any of their "Yellow" engines recently, just one "Blue" one!!!! Does anyone know when the "Last" day of operation of those trains will be? :?: Sometime in April? :?: I am guessing that since the plants will be "Idled"....all those "Bottle" cars will stay stored at the closed plants. I hope these "Hot" trains will come back!!!! :(

My first DC "Hot Bottle Train" I saw was with "Yellow" MP15DC #372, January 26, 2014 (Mamiya RB 67 Medium Format camera): Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3788783


My second time was with "Yellow" SW1001 #64, April 6, 2015 (Mamiya C220 Medium Format camera..wish I used higher ASA film): Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5288737

Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5288740


These next four shots are from February 9, 2020 with
"Blue" DC SW1200 #65 (Canon T-90 35mm camera):
Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289011


Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289013


Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289017
Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289023


My last time (as of this post) was on March 1, 2020 with
"Blue" DC SW1200 #65 (Pentax 645 Medium Format camera): Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289027
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby LansingRailFan » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:38 am

Saw on fb in Michigan Railfans someone posted that the last bottle train ran yesterday? They are done.
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Robertrains » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:42 pm

LansingRailFan wrote:Saw on fb in Michigan Railfans someone posted that the last bottle train ran yesterday? They are done.

:cry: OH DARN!!!! :cry: I thought it was going to be in April. There probably isn't going to be a "Clean-up" train, correct? :?: Well, I am glad I photographed what I did of course!!!! :wink: Hopefully they will come back someday! Can anyone verify that Delray Connecting® is still operating trains on Zug Island? Where else can I go see a DC train now? I only have seen their "Hot Bottle Trains" from Belanger Park Drive, River Rouge! Where can I get their coke trains if they run? Now, I still have some 35mm and Medium Format film to develop from my last two times! Does anyone here know if the "Fire" is done burning out of the stack on Zug Island? :?: That is a "Hot" background prop for telephoto shots!!!!

Also, the U.S. Steel (Great Lakes Works) will be done by the end of 2020 as stated:
"A skeleton staff will remain on duty at Great lakes Works to handle remaining work or “additional operations” that will include what’s known as the Pickle Line, Cold Mill, Sheet Temper Mill, Continuous Galvanizing Line (CGL), Annealing and warehousing. ... The hot strip mill will continue for now but be idled by the end of the year."

Here's a picture (Pentax 645 Medium Format) that I (RLJ II) took on 2-9-2020 of switcher #61 (unknown to the RRpix site):Image
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5289458
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Henry F. Burger » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:59 pm

Last photo Northwest corner of 80 inch mill
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby MiddleMI » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:33 am

Are there any good maps out there showing this line and its' branches?
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Robertrains » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:25 am

LansingRailFan wrote: » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:38 am
Saw on fb in Michigan Railfans someone posted that the last bottle train ran yesterday? They are done.

:cry: Well, I did not know when the "Official" last day of the Delray Connecting® "Hot Bottle Trains" would be!!!! Did anyone here witness those final trains? :?: It would have been nice to get one "Last" time seeing their "Hot Bottle Trains!!!!" Now, before I saw one of those here in 2014─my last one was Indiana Harbor Belt® at Dolton, Junction, IL back in 2001. I guess they will have more of those trains there!!!! Also, I would like if there were better "Heads Ups" for when coal/coke trains are on the way! Does anyone know usually when they come in? Detroit Edison® will also close in 2022 and I heard their coal trains run only every couple weeks! After this closes, there will be no trains at Belanger Park area!!!!! :cry: :cry:

Henry F. Burger wrote:Last photo Northwest corner of 80 inch mill

Yes, that is right there off Belanger Park Drive! I could not find the model of switcher USS #61! Man, these will be gone too!!!! :cry:
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Garry K » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:03 am

I used to ride the Bob-Lo boats when they used to go to Bob-Lo Island. When you would return to Detroit on a boat at night, sometimes you could see them dumping slag on/near Zug Island. It was cool at night. Naturally, back then (1960s/1970s) we had no way to film that at night, not effectively, anyway.

Also, Dick Purtan, the long-time Detroit-area DJ, used to have "contests" on his radio show. One of the regular "prizes" he would award to winners was a 1-week vacation to Zug Island. The 2nd-place prize was a 2-week vacation to Zug Island!

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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Fred » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:49 pm

Sure miss Dick Purtan !!!
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby AARR » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:31 pm

:lol:
Garry K wrote:Also, Dick Purtan, the long-time Detroit-area DJ, used to have "contests" on his radio show. One of the regular "prizes" he would award to winners was a 1-week vacation to Zug Island. The 2nd-place prize was a 2-week vacation to Zug Island!

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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby fmilhaupt » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:12 am

Back in college, we used to refer to anyone who loudly proclaimed an over-inflated view of their talents or accomplishments as a Zug Island Prom King (or Prom Queen). Especially in situations where the bar for competence was low.
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:11 pm

Some of us heavy industry geeks would like a week or 2 exploring Zug Island and observing all the operations. My favorite part of Amtrak GR to Chicago is Hammond, Gary and South Chicago. 8) 8)
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Saturnalia » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:05 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:Some of us heavy industry geeks would like a week or 2 exploring Zug Island and observing all the operations. My favorite part of Amtrak GR to Chicago is Hammond, Gary and South Chicago. 8) 8)

Right?

Dream tour, if I could tour anywhere in the world, would be a large integrated steel mill. Dream trip would be to start at the iron ore mine, say the Tilden Mine, then ride the train down to the dock and watch loading onto the ships from the dock. Then board the boat and ride down to say AK steel, and then get a tour of the plant. Let me film it and I'll do a documentary called "The Complete Life of an Iron Ore Pellet" :lol:
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby AARR » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:58 am

A few years ago a company I was working for was bidding on their cleaning services and a group of us contractors walked their buildings. Took about 4-5 hours IIRC. Our host was kind enough to answer some of the questions about their operations and rail activity.
Saturnalia wrote:
Raildudes dad wrote:Some of us heavy industry geeks would like a week or 2 exploring Zug Island and observing all the operations. My favorite part of Amtrak GR to Chicago is Hammond, Gary and South Chicago. 8) 8)

Right?

Dream tour, if I could tour anywhere in the world, would be a large integrated steel mill. Dream trip would be to start at the iron ore mine, say the Tilden Mine, then ride the train down to the dock and watch loading onto the ships from the dock. Then board the boat and ride down to say AK steel, and then get a tour of the plant. Let me film it and I'll do a documentary called "The Complete Life of an Iron Ore Pellet" :lol:
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: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Raildudes dad » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:51 am

My dad bought a new 1968 Mustang, which I still have :D. He took me and maybe my cousin to Dearborn for a factory tour. I don't think we were able to tour the assembly line because I don't remember that but I still remember the tour of the rolling mill. Stood on an elevated area of some sort and watched the red hot slabs go back and forth. You could feel the heat from the slabs. Fairly dark inside except for the red hot light of the slabs.
I was able to take a public tour of the pellet plant at Tilden when Jen was at Tech when you could do that. I was surprised at where they took us.
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby arty flowers » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:13 pm

In the not so distant future, a Michigan businessman is looking at the downriver area to place an electric arc seemless, pipe, and tube mill that will be of steel, nickel and titanium. Maybe they'll place it near Zug Island in two to three years once this old mill is demolished and oil is at the right price.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/busin ... aFiIU1CVlM
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:23 pm

Raildudes dad wrote:I was able to take a public tour of the pellet plant at Tilden when Jen was at Tech when you could do that. I was surprised at where they took us.


I was able to take the Tilden tour as well. When we got to the control room a major electrical component and the whole plant went down. The young lady leading the tour had no idea what to do and kept on with usual agenda. I suggested that maybe we should head out of the plant to get out of the way. Only then did she realize the nature of what happened. :lol:
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Re: Zug Island Works closing.

Unread postby Henry F. Burger » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:08 pm

The wise thing she did, when the power goes out, you lose control over many un-friendly things.
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