locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

George Eichelberger


The attached SR memo is in no way conclusive that the Southern’s ore cars were still in that service in 1970. But….spending $52,000 to repair 20 sixteen year old 1,629 cu ft hopper cars because the “cars are needed” may be because they were still used in iron ore service? 

Although they certainly could have been used in limestone or aggregate service, the two-bay hoppers being purchased in 1970 for those shipments, with 2,100 cu ft capy, were more efficient. The cars’ small size is apparent in the attached photo of Sou 100214 in ballast service taken at Danville, KY by Glen Bole* 9-19-88.


*We thank Glen Bole for giving his extensive and well organized slide collection to SRHA several years ago.

On Jun 15, 2020, at 12:28 PM, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:

Hi folks
THANKS! I am still getting used to this group as it is a little different than the JMRI group.io that I belong to.  I didn’t post attachments, but apparently attachments here are OK.  These are courtesy of Lee Singletary (L&N), Jason Parham (GM&O), and the U of Al online map archive.
I appreciate the information and Ike, thanks for the image of the Southern car.
“Red Rollers” makes sense – all the cars had roller bearings, L&N, GM&O and SOU
I expect to get some pics of some of these cars on the TCI/USS properties at Birmingham.  If so, I will share them here.
Now the question is :
When did this operation end?
Mike Burns included info on L&N hauling red ore from Mobile to Bhm for Republic’s Gadsden Steel Mill.  Republic, to my knowledge, was buying Venezuelan ore on the SA “market”, rather than having their own developed mines and transportation as USS did and as did Bethlehem.  The pricing structure was a bit exotic, but that is another story.
I stand corrected about Morristown NJ!  Thanks for the info, I was going from memory without checking my notes, and it was indeed Morrisville, PA for the USS Fairless Hills Works.  Apparently there were a lot of navigation issues regarding draft of the 60,000 T ore carriers, at every port of call.  In addition, at 800 ft nominal length, it was hard to navigate turns and some structures.  Some of this ore was hauled by Liberty ships and C-4 ships from WWII and purchased on the post war salvage/surplus market.
Thanks again for the help and picture.  Hope someone can offer when the service ended.
John R Stewart
<1953 L & N Ore Car.jpg><1954 L&N Ore Car.jpg><1955 Ore Chief class ship docked at Mobile 02.png><GMO_62037_ICG_082474.jpg>

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