Minnesota - Hill Annex Mine - 3

Hill Annex Mine, Tour Leg 3

Leaving the top of the overburden or waste rock pile, the tour comes back past the crusher and associated conveyor belts to the heavy media plant, which is now more of a heavy media lake. Similarly, the ore cars that once shuttled to and from Lake Superior ports are now grass cars.

In case you can't see it, the 1931 electric locomotive generated from 60 to 400 horsepower. Usually engines are rated by maximum power, since any engine by definition can generate less than its maximum.

Random equipment between the old locomotive and the old train shop. I don't really know what any of it does.

The first photo is the conveyor belt that leads from the heavy media plant to the waste pile shown in the second photo. These featured prominently on the second leg of the tour.

Approaching the train shop, which was beginning to undergo restoration when I visited in 2013. The second view was typical for a locomotive engineer needing service.

On the right, in progression: the old boiler house and electrical shop, main office and... dispatch hut?, wooden water tower, some other random hut. Between the heavy media plant, shops, and office, you have now seen everything promised in the sign at the tour's beginning.

Why not drive through the train shop? Why not spy on the small crafts table to my left and the large metal-working machines to my right? Why not check out the original brick floor in what's sure to become a museum display room? I bet the bus now lets people out here to roam the shop, and I am conditionally jealous.

I hope these historic signs survived the restoration. Click on the locomotive board to see a closeup of genuine old scrawl from each locomotive's service schedule.

Road vehicles parked beyond (south of) the train shop, which you may remember seeing from the top of the waste pile in tour leg 2. I wish I knew what they were for. I know the truck is a Euclid, it's carrying something (perhaps lubricating oil or kerosene fuel), and the orange trailer appears to be a roadway grader.

Let's close with some rail vehicles. It snows in northern Minnesota, so no surprise that the old locomotive has a snowplow attachment. With a slogan like "beware," it's no wonder the Great Northern Railway has ceased to be. Oh, and the caboose is calling you a rear end only. Classy.

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