Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

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Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Mackinac Mac » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:12 am

Here is a view of the Hot-Metal Bottle Trains at work over near US Steel in Detroit. These Trains run between Zug Island and River Rouge HOT and return empty to Zug. These trains are no longer run by US Steel, but the Delray Conencting Railroad. The DCRR recently aquired two new locomotives, #64 from US Steel, a late 1960s SW1001 formerly FORD MOTOR Co in Dearborn and the 459 which came from the EJ&E. The 459 is an SW1000. Both locomotives have distinct classic Nathan M-3 horns. Here are some videos to enjoy:

DCRR# 459 with empty Bottles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfUK4B3MteY

DCRR# 459 with empty Bottles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idqiiSi9mf8

DCRR# 64 with empty Bottles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcRIxzgtHTE

USS RC Unit #66 with slab train and USS #62 light engine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPxmhojAgw4

Here is a photo of USS#66 when it arrived taken by Nathan Nietering:

Image

Image

#69 was the unit that was "lost" up in Manistee for a while.

As it currently stands, here is the Delray Connecting Roster:

1 SW9 built:1952 Originally CN
2 SW9 built:1952 Originally CN, Recently retired. engine failure
3 SW1 built:1952 Originally Great Lakes Steel 35
64 SW1001 built:1968 Originally Ford Motor Co, and former USS
65 SW10 rebult RELCO ???? former USS
459 SW1000 built:1971 Originally new Orleans Public Belt, EJ&E

USS still has some older SW1200s like the #60,61,62 etc and other rebuilds form Relco now, the older SWs were sold like the 47, and 50 numbers.
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Unread postby csxt4617 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:12 pm

Got any photos of the bottle cars, for those of us who are bandwidth impaired? ;) (i.e. can't really do youtube videos on dialup)
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Unread postby Mackinac Mac » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:14 pm

Got any photos of the bottle cars, for those of us who are bandwidth impaired? (i.e. can't really do youtube videos on dialup)

Well I usually like to take pictures, but I have so many, I like to try video occasionally as well. Especially with the interesting trains on a not so sunny day. The old Nathan M-3 horns were nice to capture.

I did take the time to scan some older bottle train photos for you however and I hope you enjoy.

Here is a photo when the trains were still run by National Steel (Great Lakes Works)

Image

National Steel #63 coming off of Zug with Hot Bottles.

Image

here is a photo of a USS Bottle Train. The engines were still National Steel but patched over. The older SWs like in this photo are now gone.

Image

USS #65 takes hot bottles off of the Island. #65 is a RELCo rebuild, desiganted SW10, but not to be confused with UPs SW10. #65 was an NW2 at one time but far from resembles it.

Image

USS #60 a classic SW1200 leading empty Bottles. USS kept engines like the 60, 61, 62 and they are now used in the plant.

Image

One of the typicall old Treadwell Bottle cars, all seem to have old journal boxes on them.

And of note, USS Security is highly unfriendly and has since made watching bottle trains difficult. I usually watch the ships on the Detroit river from Belanger park and if I hear a Bottle train coming, will catch it at the Belanger road grade crossing. The only good option today.

Here are two video captures of Delray Connecting #459

Image

Image

Enjoy!
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Unread postby csxt4617 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:59 pm

Thanks for the photos. The only bottle trains I've really seen were the oens that run on the IHB thru Dolton IL. Is it me, or does that car #35 look HUGE compared to the others?
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Robertrains » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:52 pm

How are these operations now? I am wanting to catch one of these "Bottle Trains!" How often do they run and do they run Saturdays? Would they run Saturday after Thanksgiving? I'll be in the area and I'd love to catch them!!!!
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby M.D.Bentley » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:37 am

There is no set schedule, if they are making steel the are running trains from the island.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:40 pm

To see a bottle train, park on Belanger Park Dr and wait for one to show. They seem to run about every hour and travel very slow.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Robertrains » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:29 pm

milineamtrak wrote:To see a bottle train, park on Belanger Park Dr and wait for one to show. They seem to run about every hour and travel very slow.


That is "Exactly" where I went today—and the park! I saw good switchers from U.S.S., Detroit Edison, and Delray Connecting! I even photographed a CN (led by GTW 4925 and CN 5515 SD60F) empty coal train heading south out of the D.E. plant! At the park there are wonderful views of the trains switching on both sides, the Ambassador Bridge, Renaissance Center, Freighters, Canada and birds! I even met a "Fisherman" along the Detroit River! He worked for C&O all the way through CSX for 47 years (1962—2009)! We talked and I showed my train calendars! He even caught some fizh! This was a wonderful spot to find! I have never been here, but now I'll be sure to go back!!!!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
:mrgreen:
Last edited by Robertrains on Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby J T » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:56 pm

Mackinac Mac wrote:
Here is a photo of USS#66 when it arrived taken by Nathan Nietering:

Image


What ever happened to 71?

Image
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby ConrailDetr​oit » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:06 am

Robertrains wrote:
milineamtrak wrote:To see a bottle train, park on Belanger Park Dr and wait for one to show. They seem to run about every hour and travel very slow.


That is "Exactly" where I went today—and the park! I saw good switchers from U.S.S., Detroit Edison, and Delray Connecting! I even photographed a CN (led by GTW 4925 and CN 55xx SD60F) empty coal train heading south out of the D.E. plant! At the park there are wonderful views of the trains switching on both sides, the Ambassador Bridge, Renaissance Center, Freighters, Canada and birds! I even met a "Fisherman" along the Detroit River! He worked for C&O all the way through CSX for 47 years (1962—2009)! We talked and I showed my train calendars! He even caught some fizh! This was a wonderful spot to find! I have never been here, but now I'll be sure to go back!!!!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
:mrgreen:


Did you have to pay to go into the park?
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby SousaKerry » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:53 am

I flew into Detroit once just at daybreak and we came in over the area where they dump the slag fr these cars. it was the coolest sight ever the whole side of the hill turned bright orange and then black again almost as quickly. only whis I knew it was coming so I could have got some video.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby KenB » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:14 am

These cars carry hot metal not slag. Great Lakes Steel never did use slag cars. Ford Motor Company used slag cars but SeverStal Steel uses trucks.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby AARR » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:25 am

Mackinac Mac wrote:Image

Appreciate the updates, Mack.

It looks like #66 may have had some cab work done. According to The Contemporary Diesel Spotters Guide the SW1001 was built with a modified cab (lowered) for tighter industrial clearances. The SW1000's cab was standard height (and rounded) but the modified SW1001's was lowered. Plus, #66 there has a squared off cab (like the IC rebuilds) and one rear cab window plated off.
Image
Image

It will be interesting to know the history of the changes :?
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Toppysager » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:36 am

I've only seen a bottle train once; back in 2010 at Dolton.
I'll take a hotstot intermodal over a manifest any day
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby SD80MAC » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:39 am

Yes, 66 and a couple of the other Great Lakes Steel switchers were overhauled somewhere a few years ago and received the current style cab.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Robertrains » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:17 pm

milineamtrak wrote:Did you have to pay to go into the park?
NOPE! I got in FREE (it well worth it)!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
It costs $45 for an "Annual Pass" but no one was at the gate when I went: http://cityofriverrouge.com/community/parks-and-recreation/


Toppysager wrote:I've only seen a bottle train once; back in 2010 at Dolton.
I too had seen "Bottle Trains" in Dolton—back in July 2001! I didn't see the "Bottle Train" yesterday though! I was chatting with the "Fisherman/former RR worker" and Mom (who drove me there) went out for coffee! She was stopped by the loaded "Bottle Train" at the crossing! I'll be going back soon! It's so awesome to discover a great "Railfanning" location which I hadn't known about! The park was restored in the '90s and may "Eventually" connect to the Riverfront! I highly recommend this place!!!! There's plenty of action to keep one occupied for hours!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby hoborich » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:05 pm

You can still watch videos on dialup. You click on the video, go make a sandwich, then take a short nap while it loads. :lol:
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby Robertrains » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:45 pm

I caught a Delray Connecting® "Bottle Train" going north (toward Zug Island) from Belanger Park Drive! Last year (1-26-2014) I caught one going south (from Zug Island) and it had "Heat Waves" from the "Molten" Steel!!!! Today the northbound had "Heat Waves" and we really could feel the "Heat!" Now, do these trains run both ways to/from Zug loaded? I didn't think they did—but I have seen them "Hot" both directions!!!! :shock:

Here's my post from my Ohio Trip, ending at Belanger 1-26-14:
http://railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=29528

The pic I took of the southbound D.C.® "Bottle Train:" (Mamiya® RB67™ Medium Format film camera)Image
Last edited by Robertrains on Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby jggilmore7 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:46 pm

Now, do these trains run both ways to/from Zug loaded? I didn't think they did—but I have seen them "Hot" both directions!!!!

Answer:

No, they only run loaded from the BF's to the main plant (southward). Since the molten iron is 3,000 degrees and they return north fairly soon after dumping at the BOF, you will usually see plenty of heat waves on the return trip. This could make you think the bottles are still loaded but they aren't. The insides of the cars are lined with refractory brick which retains the heat for quite awhile.

Also, small factoid here: the content technically is not steel until it comes from the oxygen furnace at the main plant. IIRC, iron has 4% carbon content while steel is only .04%. This seemingly small amount of refining takes place at the BOF to turn iron into steel. That's all for today's lesson on steelmaking. Cool pics, though. Maybe one day I'll pull out my own from the same spot from back in the 80's and 90's.

JG
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Re: Delray Connecting Bottle Trains (Nathan M-3)

Unread postby MP73point4 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:27 am

I see it's stated in one of the posts above that there is no schedule for these trains. That was a couple years ago so I thought it worth asking again even though I doubt there is a schedule.
So....Is there any schedule to these DC bottle trains? If no schedule, about how many trips do they typically make per day?
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