Loading Coal Into a Lake Freighter

It’s the spring of May, 1943 and Jack Delano has traveled from Chicago a short way to the east. Here he observed the loading of a lake freighter at the Pennsylvania Railroad’s docks in Sandusky, Ohio.

Huge machines would haul a railroad hopper car up a steep ramp, tie down the car, then roll it over to dump it’s contents into a chute. This would lead down to a hold on the waiting ship. After emptying, the car would be released, then rolled back down another ramp to a yard below. An enormous operation, but one which worked well.

One can see the N&W hopper car in it’s inverted position, with it’s coal load pouring out. And down on the deck of the freighter four workmen can be seen; one directing the loading, and the others battening down the hatch on an adjacent hold.

Note the Algoma Central Railway herald on the side of the ship down below it’s name.

Loading Coal Into a Lake Freighter

3 thoughts on “Loading Coal Into a Lake Freighter

  1. How great are the machines that America has made!
    Even back then we could invent and build these huge structures and keep them working on for years.
    Hey, have you had the chance to get up close to a Big Boy or the U.P. Challengers?
    Train nut friend and I saw the Challenger #844 up close in El Reno a few yards from the old Rock Island station (Museum now). What a monster! Only have pic’s. of it with my Minolta camera.
    Thanks for the photo.
    Boudreaux in Tornado Alley

    • Hi Boudreaux,
      Yep, I’ve been fortunate to have ridden behind the #3985 Challenger. I’ve also seen the Big Boys in St. Louis and in Dallas . . . impressive machines. Hope to see the 4014 under steam one of these days.

Comments are closed.