Model Railroader's Guide to Iron Ore Railroads

Jeff Wilson
Item #12830

Explore the history & operations of iron ore railroads in this book by Jeff Wilson.

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Explore the iron ore industry and the role played by rail in this Model Railroader book from the Guide to Industries series. Model Railroader’s Guide to Iron Ore Railroads details the history and evolution of the iron ore industry and railroads across all eras from the late 1800s to today.

This 112-page book from author Jeff Wilson includes:

  • The process of mining ore
  • How preparation plants function
  • Loading and transferring of ore from trains to ships and back to trains
  • Period and modern photos, including many previously unpublished
  • And more!

You’ll learn how to take information from the real thing and accurately apply it to your own layout with this detailed book filled with facts about available models and tips on modeling iron ore mining, processing, and operations.

Author: Jeff Wilson
Size: 8.25 x 10.75
Pages: 112
Color photos: 175
Author Bio
Jeff Wilson has written more than 30 books on railroads and model railroading. He enjoys many facets of the hobby, especially building structures and detailing locomotives, as well as photographing both real and model railroads.

This 112-page softcover guide covers a multitude of information on the iron ore railroads that mainly operated in Michigan and Minnesota, but in other parts of the United States as well. This subject has been a popular one for both modelers and railfans, and continues today to generate on-going interest, as well as timely questions about the state of the mining industry and the many railroads connected with it.

Author Wilson has done an outstanding job covering this vast subject, starting with outlining the specific mining regions of the U.S., the railroad routes which serve them, and the type of equipment used to carry iron ore, as well as illustrating ore train motive power, both steam and diesel. Some of the railroads covered include the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range; the Lake Superior and Ishpeming; Great Northern; Northern Pacific; Soo Line; Chicago & Northwestern; and the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic. Other lines, owned by mining and steel companies, are also included such as Erie Mining (LTV Steel), U.S. Steel, Eagle Mountain Railroad (Kaiser Steel) and Reserve Mining. Ore cars were built in many tonnage ratings and styles over the years starting in the 1880s, and this book covers and illustrates many of the various types of rolling stock used for hauling ore, from wood cars to steel cars. In addition to the cars and locomotives featured, the various expansive ore docks, train yards and associated facilities are shown and explained. The giant Hulette unloaders that transfer iron ore are featured, and early, as well as more recent history of iron ore mining and taconite processing is discussed in depth.

An interesting feature of the book is a listing of the modern Great Lakes ore docks, including their construction material, length, number of pockets, capacity and number of years they have been in service. The book ends with a brief overview of Great Lakes ore boats and how ore train operations are conducted. For further reading on this subject, an extensive Bibliography is also contained at the back of the book. 

—Don Heimburger, Heimburger House Publishing Co.    

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