Tahawus and North Creek

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Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:19 pm

When did mine operations end at Tahawus? When did the D&H abandon/sell off the branch?
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby TB Diamond » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:50 pm

Otto:

Will have to go through my slide files, but I believe that mining operations at Tahawas ceased in the mid-1980s. The spur utilized by the D&H to access the mine was still in place as late as 1988, and the mine was o/s at that time. If recall is correct, the spur was constructed solely to access the mine in the early days of World War Two as a defense-related project.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby ChiefTroll » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:38 pm

TB Diamond wrote:If recall is correct, the spur was constructed solely to access the mine in the early days of World War Two as a defense-related project.

That's correct. The "Sanford Lake Branch" as the D&H called the railroad north of North Creek was built by the D&H during WW II for the account of "The Defense Plant Corporation, an Instrumentality of the United States." I believe the mine was also built and owned by the same entity, and operated under contract by National Lead Corporation. The D&H operated the railroad as an industrial plant track for the account of National Lead, so material from McIntyre Mine was billed from North Creek, not Tahawus. The operation of the Sanford Lake Branch was paid for by National Lead on a time and material basis, not as a freight charge. Defense Plant Corporation paid the D&H for track maintenance.

The ownership of the Sanford Lake Branch remained with the Federal Government, and was transferred to the General Services Administration after Defense Plant Corporation was disbanded.

I worked with several of the D&H civil engineers who did the location surveys and supervised the construction during the war. It was quite a story. Some days the preliminary location survey was less than a half mile ahead of the grading contractor. They still had to stake the center line and place the grade stakes before the next day's work. That was an early example of "fast track" construction, in more ways than one.

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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:50 pm

From what I have read, the product of the mine, ilmenite , an oxide of iron and titanium, FeTioO3, was desperately needed for the production or war material. Therefore, the rail spur into the mine was pushed through at the rapid rate described by ChiefTroll above.

Otto:

Went through some slides today and came up with the following:

October 1985: D&H locomotives 502 and 5014 were switching out cars in the yard at Tahawus. Plant and mine appeared to be in full operation.

August 1986: D&H locomotive 5018 standing on a side track at the mine, shut down. Four POVs in the plant parking lot. Two tank cars on the plant grounds and a line of empty hopper cars standing in the yard. Plant and mine apparently shut down.

October 1997: Plant and mine inactive. Two POVs in the plant parking lot. Tracks appear to be removed or obscured by vegetation.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby AgentSkelly » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:57 pm

I've debated this with a few friends and we decided to some quick research and actually came up with a few things.

Major operations were officially shut down in 1989 BUT we found information that NL stayed there late as 1991 using the lab portion of the plant to find a way come up with a new process that COULD re-activate the plant. Apparently it involved turning the plant into a "ball mill" instead of a rod mill. They of course turned up nothing but took what they did learn to NL's plant in NJ.

As for the tracks...I believe it was 1990 or 1991 when they were ripped up.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:01 am

Thanks all for the info... the girl's cousins live up in Newcomb, and we took a drive up towards Tahawus to check out what we could find- guess there are hiking trails up there. We crossed the abandoned branch at one point, and I thought that mining ended in 1979 for some reason...

-otto-
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby RussNelson » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:05 am

I'm confused. Exactly what rails were ripped up? AFAIK, there is a continuous ribbon of steel from North Creek at least north of 28N. Some of that steel is underneath tons of rock, and hundreds of trees, but it's there.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby AgentSkelly » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:40 pm

RussNelson wrote:I'm confused. Exactly what rails were ripped up? AFAIK, there is a continuous ribbon of steel from North Creek at least north of 28N. Some of that steel is underneath tons of rock, and hundreds of trees, but it's there.


The last leg into the plant itself is what was ripped up.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Palmerfalls » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:23 am

Greetings all,
I have been researching this operation and the resulting traffic that it provided the D&H.
having grown up on the line in Corinth, and camped on the line in Hadley, I was able to see first hand the Ore
trains from 1974-1989? They usaually ran in the evening from North Creek to Saratoga or Mohawk yard.

I have many photo's and maps of the mines and some of it being torn down. A fellow railfan
has built this fine web page on the entire branch. I also have been reasearching the International
Paper Mill in Corinth. I grew up here and watched the local switch for years.

Having recently retired from the military (27 yrs). I am moving back to the area and hope
to begin to build my HO layout.


Ed
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Palmerfalls » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:32 am

Here is the web page that I spoke of in my previous post.


http://adirondackbranch.net/


Ed
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:22 pm

Palmerfalls wrote:Here is the web page that I spoke of in my previous post.
http://adirondackbranch.net/


Great site, thanks for sharing!

-otto-
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Adirondack_Ghost » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:10 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:Thanks all for the info... the girl's cousins live up in Newcomb, and we took a drive up towards Tahawus to check out what we could find- guess there are hiking trails up there. We crossed the abandoned branch at one point, and I thought that mining ended in 1979 for some reason...

-otto-


everything at the end of the line has since been demolished (summer 2007 i believe). there is nothing left to the Tahawus mine other than the huge holes in the ground and a garage that it leased to a local heavy equipment operator.
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Palmerfalls » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:38 am

Here is the latest on the rail line.

Ed

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2009/ ... trail.html
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby Waiting4TheSun20 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:15 pm

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ny/tahawusoradirondak.html

The website states that the NL buildings were removed, but that there is a new mining operations going on. Is that true?
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Re: Tahawus and North Creek

Postby greenwichlirr » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Unless I missed it back in this thread, forgive me if this is a repeat question: Whatever happened to that old plow/flanger that was up there? Did they scrap it on site?
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