MichiganRailroads.com - Upper Peninsula Railroads
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Re: E&LS and Pulpwood Traffic
Posted by Mark Keaton on 1/7/2013, 9:55 pm, in reply to "Re: E&LS and Pulpwood Traffic"
When I worked for the Wisconsin DOT in the late 70ís I was involved in some studies of pulpwood shipping. It was hard for Class I RRís to compete with independent truckers. Hauls were short and truckers were cheap. No union wage rates. Wood was harvested over large areas, not always close to RR sidings. Hard for loggers to load RR gons with no end bulkheads, and wire the loads so the wood didnít fall off on bad branch line track. Trucks could go directly from harvest sites to mills, bypassing the need to transload onto RR cars. Large % of pulpwood went by truck.
WC seemed to make an effort to keep pulp traffic. Had longer gons with bulkheads. Maybe CN is too now. ELS has the long cars with side stakes which hold more than the old 40í gons, and must be easier to load. Jimís post below implies that they may be hauling wood from Abrams up to Sagola, which would be a very short haul.
Another problem for RRís is that truck weight limits within state of MI are very heavy, 150,000 lbs. or so I think. Still just 80,000 in WI, which gives RR some help with wood crossing the state line.
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