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Put it on rail

January 14, 2013
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

There has been a great deal of ink used in the process of explaining why Marquette County Road 595 would have increased safety, improved opportunities for development and generally created jobs in the county.

The main purpose of the road would have been to facilitate the transport of ore from the mine to a processing plant.

One alternative would be to utilize rail service. I do not claim to be an expert and certainly I have not taken the time to study existing rail lines. However, the one argument that I have heard repeatedly in dismissing the railroad is that the terrain is too steep and the railcars could not make it up the grade.

Again, I have no great preconceived notions on transport of ore. However, I do have an observation. When a child wants a piece of candy just before lunch, parents often say no. When pressed with the question, "Why?" in a dismissive tone, parents sometimes tell children that their teeth will fall out.

Trains are used to transport materials across the Alps, the Rockies, the Urals, the Andes and across mountains all over this globe. I believe that the highest molehill here in Michigan is Mount Arvon in Baraga County at about 3,000 feet.

I do not recall that there is anything remotely approaching that height between Marquette and Humboldt Township. Do train engines only work going downhill? If so, how do they get back to the top of the hill? Is it like a giant sleigh where the workers have to drag it back up to the summit?

There are probably a hundred or even a thousand good reasons not to give a child a piece of candy before lunch - spoiling of appetite, substitution of empty calories for nutritious food, etc..

But please do not insult my intelligence by telling me that rail transport will cause my teeth to fall out.

John Scram

Marquette

 
 

 

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