Imlay City Northern (ICN)

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AARR
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Imlay City Northern (ICN)

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Imlay City Northern (ICN) started service in 1984 on the ex-GTW Cass City Sub from Imlay City to Pigeon (61 miles). In 1989 the line from Imlay City to Oxford Gravel Pit was reopened (18 miles). Interchanges are with CN (GTW) at Pigeon, HESR (SGV, CSX/Chessie) at Clifford and HESR (CSX/Chessie) at Pigeon.

Engine Roster History:
- Started out in 1984 with a pair of ex-DT&S GP-7's
- Added a pair of ex-Chessie GP-9's in 1989
- Retired both GP-7's and GP-9's around 2000 and acquired a pair of ex-GTW/DT&I SD38's and a pair of ex-GTW/DT&I GP38's

Engine house is in Imlay City

Customer History:
- Initially serviced a hand full of elevators that all shipped around 75-100 cars annually. Most stopped shipping by rail during the 90's.
- Pigeon Coop (later renamed Cooperative Elevator) in Pigeon expanded to ship 1,500-2,000 cars annually in 1984. Initially most cars were handled by Chessie/CSX (with ICN doing the in-plant switching). When the CSX sold the Sebewaing line to HESR ICN got the traffic back but most was interchanged to CSX in Clifford. When HESR/SGV acquired the Port Huron line most of the traffic shifted back to the Pigeon interchange. ICN continues to handle the in-plant switching.
- Initially serviced a handful of small fertilizer dealers
- Vlassic Pickles in Imlay City which shipped about 250 cars annually. Around 2006 CN built a spur direct from their mainline (including a bridge over ICN) and all business dried-up for ICN.
- Shipments of limestone from Wallace (about 3 miles west of Pigeon) started in the late 1980's (after HESR took over the Sebewaing Sub from CSX). They are unloaded at Oxford Pits where a transload was established. Carloads started at about 2,250 a year but have grown to 3,375 annually.
- There were a handful of non-ag shippers that were small volume customers such as Cass City Wire that received 2-3 cars a month.

Current Customer List:
- Koenig now operates the gravel pit in Oxford. They receive 2,250-3,375 cars per year (60-90 cars per week of limestone when busy and about half to a third of that when slow).
- Cooperative Elevator operates the former J & J Farm Services elevators and Royster-Clark fertilizer dealer in North Branch. From the beginning in 2007 CO has used this location to stage corn for the ethanol plant in Caro. After trying different arrangements (including trucks) the current system is to load a 25 car block per month. Since the sidings are short it takes several days/switches to load all the cars. The block is then interchanged with HESR at Clifford who shuttles it to Caro. CO also receives a dozen or so fertilizer cars annually.
- Star of the West operates a bulk bean plant south of Cass City (Rawson Road) that opened in 1984. It was expanded in 1997 and usually ships 2-4 covered hoppers a week. In 1997 they also added a small fertilizer plant that gets about a dozen cars a year.
- Millennium Steering in Cass City took over the Cass City Wire plant around 2000 and has steadily received 1-2 cars every week or two of plastic pellets since.
- Very recently Star of the West took over the former Wrubel/Merchant Grain elevator in Cass City and is using it as a bagged bean plant. They ship 1-3 boxcars a week.
- Cooperative Elevator operates a small fertilizer dealer in Gagetown that receives about a dozen cars annually
- Cooperative Pigeon operates a massive 1,500-2,000 car per year elevator in Pigeon. Most years the majority of the cars are interchanged in Pigeon with HESR (although ICN handles in-plant loading). However, in 2020, CN experimented shipping massive 110 car blocks south to the ports in Louisiana. Since the interchange in Imlay City between CN/ICN can only handle about 25 cars ICN has to use the CN mainline/passing siding to exchange these grain blocks.
- Cooperative Elevators main dry fertilizer plant is in Pigeon north of the elevator receiving 40-50 car loads annually. They also receive about a dozen or so liquid fertilizer tank cars too.
- Cooperative Elevator also operates a bean plant north of the main elevator. They ship primarily bagged beans in box cars usually averaging 4-6 cars per week.

Operations consists of the crew going on duty M-F at 7am and running wherever needed. When limestone is busy usually there are three round trips between Oxford Pits and Pigeon. Weekend service is common when aggregates are busy or if a large unit grain train needs loading.

New business: Prospects a thin. There are a few small elevators/feed mills in Gagetown and Owendale and a small fertilizer dealer in Owendale. Vlassic is still in Imlay City and has expanded but they haven't shipped by rail in over 10 years. CN disconnected their spur to the plant while ICN's is still in place. Due to the cost of CN reconnecting the spur if Vlassic ever decided to resume rail service they might go with ICN. Vlassic could ship 300-400 car loads annually.
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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AARR
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Re: Imlay City Northern (ICN)

Unread post by AARR »

ICN continues to operate without many changes. The GP/SD 38's grind out the heavy loads reliably. Service remains 3-6x per week with about 3 round trips between Oxford and Pigeon when the stone business is heavy. Both GP's have been rebuilt to -2 standards. Forecasting over 6,000 car loads in 2022.

Although Cooperative Elevator in Pigeon sends quite a few carloads/unit trains via HESR (for LSRC/CSX or GLC/AA/NS) ICN still switches the cars during the loading process. The only cars ICN takes south are those interchanged with CN in Imlay City. The 25 car blocks are ok but anything bigger has to be set out on the CN 2nd main and requires going up a somewhat steep incline. For the 110 car units it takes all four of my engines two cuts to get up the hill.
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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AARR
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Re: Imlay City Northern (ICN)

Unread post by AARR »

Here is a short history of ICN's Roster:

Owner: Imlay City Northern 6202
Model: EMD GP38-2 Built As: DTI 202 (GP38)
Serial Number: 31066 Order No: 7844
Frame Number: 7844-3 Built: 1/1966
Notes: Acquired from CN in 2000 and later rebuilt to -2 standard
Other locos with this serial: GTW 6202(GP38) DTI 202(GP38)
Image

Owner: Imlay City Northern 6204
Model: EMD GP38-2 Built As: DTI 204 (GP38)
Serial Number: 31068 Order No: 7844
Frame Number: 7844-5 Built: 2/1966
Notes: Acquired from CN in 2000 and later rebuilt to -2 standard
Other locos with this serial: GTW 6204(GP38) DTI 204(GP38)
Image

Owner: Imlay City Northern 6250
Model: EMD SD38 Built As: DTI 250 (SD38)
Serial Number: 34863 Order No: 7161
Frame Number: 7161-1 Built: 7/1969
Notes: Acquired from CN in 2000
Other locos with this serial: GTW 6250(SD38) DTI 250(SD38)
Image

Owner: Imlay City Northern 6251
Model: EMD SD38 Built As: DTI 251 (SD38)
Serial Number: 34864 Order No: 7161
Frame Number: 7161-2 Built: 7/1969
Notes: Acquired from CN in 2000
Other locos with this serial: GTW 6251(SD38) DTI 251(SD38)
Image
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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AARR
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Re: Imlay City Northern (ICN)

Unread post by AARR »

The stone from Wallace (east of Pigeon on HESR) to Oxford (Koenig) is going strong. Typically ICN makes three round trips per week between Pigeon and Oxford averaging 20-30 cars of stone per trip. Usually a GP38 and SD38 can handle it.

There are several customers who require switching once a week: Both Star of the West plants in Cass City, the Cooperative Bean elevator and grain plants both in Pigeon. Although they only ship a few cars at a time a third engine is usually added because the interchange with CN in Imlay City is up a steep incline.

The Cooperative Elevator in Pigeon has received several 105 car unit trains of covered hoppers to be loaded with corn. 50 of those cars are loaded at their Pigeon plant and 55 are interchanged with HESR who takes them to be loaded at their Elkton plant five miles to the east. All four engines are needed to pull the loads back to Imlay City. Then the train is broken into three sections (35 each) and all four engines push to cars up the interchange incline to CN's Imlay City passing siding about a mile on the east side of town. It can take several hours to get all 105 cars on the siding. When large unit grain trains from CN are loaded at Cooperative Elevator in Pigeon it often requires a sixth day of service to keep the stone and other customers fluid.

When HESR brings in large unit trains to be loaded at the Cooperative Elevator in Pigeon they park the cars on the loading spur but ICN moves the cars around until they are all loaded. HESR will pick them up later and take them back to Saginaw (LSRC/CSX) or Durand (CN/GLC-NS).
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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AARR
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Re: Imlay City Northern (ICN)

Unread post by AARR »

ICN is planning on rebuilding both SD38's to -2 standards at the end of the stone season (around Nov or Dec). Motive Power Resources will be performing the work. The units will be delivered to CN at Imlay City who will take them (one at a time) to MPR's site in Minooka, IL. 6250 will be rebuilt first followed by 6251. Both GP38-2's are in good shape and won't need major attention for a few years.
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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