RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Historian Elba Steve Strikes Again!
Posted by Elba Steve on 2/17/2015, 9:24 am, in reply to "Historian Elba Steve Strikes Again!"
Small elevators today have a real problem using rail for 2 reasons. Number 1, most railroads demand a certain amount of shipped loads per year to even be considered for service. In today's world, 1-30 cars per year probably wouldn't even get the railroads attention. I don't know what the actual figure would be to keep everyone happy, but, that is the biggest factor. Number two reason, MIOSHA rules have been tightened so much, all elevators must comply with strict codes pertaining to the actual structures, and how manpower is dressed, harnessed, manpower location during car movements, and so on. To upgrade to these newest standards would cost more than most small operations could bear. Birch Run elevator, if I recall correctly, isn't a very big operation, and their little spur was removed many years ago under Chessie. I wouldn't expect them to relay rail for a dozen or so cars per year. Speaking of Birch Run, I remember back in the early 70's while driving over the tracks on I-75, there was a freight train moving north with an A-B set of Western Maryland F units on the front. Oh, I think of this often of how nice it would have been for me to have a camera with me on that particular day. Those F's were clean too. Like C&O was so proud that they had just acquired a gold mine or something. Western Maryland F's in Michigan. Who would have ever thought?
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