Northshore Mining begins testing SD9043MACs

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A pair of test units at Toimi, Minn., on May 6.
David C. Schauer
SILVER BAY, Minn. – On Wednesday, Minnesota iron ore-hauling railroad Northshore Mining ran its first taconite train with two leased CIT EMD SD9043MACs. CIT Nos. 130 and 133 are on lease to Northshore for two years. They will be used primarily on 156-car raw ore trains operating over the company’s 47-mile private railroad between the mine at Babbitt and the processing plant at Silver Bay on Lake Superior’s North Shore.

In 2013, Northshore tested CREX General Electric ES44AC units and was impressed with the fuel savings compared to their standard mainline power sets of three EMD SD40-2/SD40-3 models. Cliffs Natural Resources resources owns Northshore and, unlike sister railroad Lake Superior & Ishpeming across Lake Superior in Michigan, the Minnesota railroad has an all-EMD roster.

With the arrival of the newer units, Northshore plans to store a number of older units. The railroad’s serviceable roster includes eleven SD40-2/SD40-3s, three SD28-3s, and a pair of SW1200s. Also on the property are a handful of stored SD18s in various conditions.

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