Bay City Northern (BCN) started service in 2014 on former LSRC/nee D&M lines from Bay City to Gaylord (approx. 120 miles) and Pinconning Jct. to Alpena (approx. 108 miles). After the passing of LSRC owner in 2011 these lines didn't receive the attention needed to sustain and grow traffic and LSRC hadn't established the dynamic Team in place now. So I took advantage of the opportunity to acquire the lines while traffic and track conditions were poor.
Original engines include:
- 3 GP38m's of various heritages (rebuilt from GP35's)
- 1 SD40 (ex GTW) (being rebuilt into SD38-3)
- 5 GP40's of various heritages (being rebuilt into GP38-3's)
- 1 GP40X (remaining at GP40 standards for now)
Acquired an additional SD40 (ex-BN/nee GTW) and two GP40's (ex-LSRC) in 2018. All three will be rebuilt to 38-3 standards.
The SD38-3's (ex SD40's) usually stay on the Bay City to Tawas City turn. That segment handles the highest tonnage on the railroad with some trains carrying 70 loads southbound in the consist.
Engine house and shops are in Bay City. Engine sheds are in Grayling, National City and Alpena.
Local/Yard Operations will consist of:
- Bay City: Day yard job that switches local customers from Bay City to Kawkawlin. Interchanges with HESR in Bay City and LSRC also in Bay City. It also breaks up and makes up over night road jobs. It'll dog-catch the overnight road jobs if they don't make it back to Bay City before they die on hours and takes both trains together to Pinconning Jct. where it separates them for the night crews to take over.
- Grayling: Day and night yard job that handles all switching from Grayling to Gaylord. Exchanges cars with the overnight road train from Bay City.
- National City: Day local job that switches customers from Turtle to Oscoda including the reopened White Rock Branch and renovated Alabaster Branch. One of its key jobs is to shuttle gypsum from White Rock to Port Gypsum on the Alabaster Branch and National Gypsum's drywall plant south of National City.
- Alpena: Day yard job that switches Alpena customers and breaks up/makes up over night road train to Tawas City.
Road Train Operations:
Bay City hosts two road freights. One goes to Grayling and returns to Bay City M-F. The other goes to Tawas City and returns to Bay City M-F. Alpena hosts one road freight that goes to Tawas City and returns to Alpena M-F.
Customers Starting with Largest:
- National Gypsum Pit in White Rock ships 6,000-9,000 cars a year of gypsum. Most is shuttled to Port Gypsum on the Alabaster Branch for ship loading. Another 1,200-1,800 a year goes to their drywall plant south of National City. And 600-900 cars a year go to Lafarge in Alpena for cement processing.
- Lafarge in Alpena receives 600-900 cars a year of gypsum (from White Rock), 1,200-1,600 carloads a year of fly-ash and ships out 2,300-3,400 cars a year of cement.
- ARAUCO in Gaylord (on old G-P site) receives 5-7 cars a week of resin (from G-P in Grayling), 30-40 cars a week of wood chips and ships out 40-60 cars a week of particle board.
- Edward C. Levy operates the limestone plant in Alpena and ships 20-30 cars a day during their busy season, half that when slower and nothing in the winter. Primary receivers of their stone are Flint and Kawkawlin.
- Michigan Wood Pellets operates a plant in the old Oscoda AFB. They ship 3,000-4,000 cars a year of wood pellets destined for eastern ports in Canada who ship it to Europe as fuel for power plants.
- National Gypsum Drywall Plant south of National City receives 24-36 cars a week of gypsum (shuttled from White Rock) and ships out 6-12 cars a week of gypsum board.
- Weyerhaeuser in Grayling receives 2-3 cars a week of resin (from G-P next door, about a half mile movement), 12-17 cars a week of pulpwood logs and ships out 16-24 cars a week of Oriented Strand Board.
- Georgia-Pacific Resin Plant receives 9-12 cars a week of feed stock and ships out 22-29 cars a week of resin and wood glue (about 9-12 cars a week go to local and other on-line customers.
- Company Team Track in Oscoda (old Oscoda AFB) receives 20-40 cars per week of old railroad ties which are trucked to various local generation plants (Grayling, Hillman, Lincoln, etc.)
- Specification Stone in Kawkawlin receives 40-60 cars a week during peak season. half that when slower and nothing in winter. Has room to unload 22 cars at a time.
Other commodities handled include asphalt, fertilizer, grain, lime, lumber, metal scrap, methanol, military vehicles (including unit trains to Grayling), panel board, paper scrap bales and bulk tissue paper rolls, petroleum products, plastic pellets, propane, pulp wood logs, treated wood products, windmills, and raw wood poles and ties.
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