Sunday, December 19, 2010


BELUGA ENDURANCE, after enduring a slow transit across Lake Erie, arrived at the piers at 0720 this morning and slowly proceeded inbound to the Mountfort Terminal. At 0736 the vessel became stuck in the ice about 150 feet off of the dock.

Due to the miles of red tape that surround the U.S. Coast Guard's Operation Coal Shovel, the icebreaking operation for Lake Erie, the ENDURANCE had no assistance from Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK while arriving this morning. The pilot on the vessel had requested assistance from the HOLLYHOCK in breaking open the harbor so that the BELUGA ENDURANCE will have an easier time turning and departing tomorrow, to which the HOLLYHOCK told the pilot that they could not simply break open the harbor; the pilot needed to contact the Ice Operations Officer at Coast Guard Sector Detroit.

At 0900 the crew at the Mountfort Terminal began moving the five locomotives from the south track to the north track so that they may be loaded aboard BELUGA ENDURANCE and taken to Wales, which is the ultimate destination of the units.

The dock crew also used a backhoe to break ice around the dock for the BELUGA ENDURANCE, which took more than two hours to secure to the dock due to ice.

BELUGA ENDURANCE is expected to depart sometime tomorrow or Tuesday. HOLLYHOCK departed at around 1300 today.

I will post all of this video (there is nearly an hour worth of video of today's events) sometime tomorrow along with an update on the loading.


Another view.

Cracking the thinnest ice in the harbor.

Stern view.

Stuck fast.

Working in the ice.

By moving back and forth, the vessel's pilot was attempting to break the ice between him and the dock, with some success.

Getting closer to the dock.

All of the locomotives due to be shipped are shown in this picture.

HOLLYHOCK working at Buoy 5.

Inbound to drop off buoys.

70009 being moved to the north track.

This front-end loader moves toward the railcar to start pushing.

Pushing it onto the north track.

HOLLYHOCK at dock.

Lifting a buoy.

Ice fishermen off of Dobbin's Landing. Ice is reportedly 5 to 6 inches thick.

At 1600 this afternoon loading had yet to begin.

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