Algorail (2)
IMO 6805531

Downbound in the St. Clari River, Oct. 19, 2016.
(Marc Dease)


Christened April 1, 1968 as the Algorail (2), this medium sized Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier was built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON for Algoma Central Corp., Sault Ste. Marie, ON. She is powered by 4 Fairbanks-Morse 10-38D8-1/8 10-cylinder diesel engines producing a total installed 6,662 horsepower, a 600 horsepower bow thruster, and a 1,000 horsepower stern thruster. The Algorail has 17 hatches feeding into 4 holds where she can carry 19,975 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26 feet and is capable of carrying 23,813 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 29 feet 2 inches. Her bow-mounted self-unloading equipment consists of a three belt gravity system with two cleated steel chord belt elevators feeding a 250 foot discharge boom that can be swung 105 degrees to port or starboard discharging at a rate of up to 3,810 tonnes per hour.

The Algorail name has been associated with the Algoma fleet since 1936. The name is derived from the parent company name (Algo) and the company's now former related railway operations (rail). The Algorail (2)'s predecessor was launched as the William S. Mack on Sept.21, 1901. This traditional styled steel bulk freighter was built by American Shipbuilding Co. of Lorain, OH for the Lake Erie Transportation Company. Her dimensions were 366' (loa) x 48' x 28', 3720 GRT and her power derived from a coal fired triple expansion steam engine. The William S. Mack was acquired by the Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Co., Sault Ste. Marie, ON late in 1917. She was renamed Home Smith in 1918 when she was painted the Algoma colors. After a rebuild, the vessel was renamed Algorail (1) in 1936. The Algorail (1) remained a part of the Algoma fleet until she was retired at the close of the 1962 season. She was scrapped in Toronto, ON in 1963.

Of note; on Oct. 6,1972; the Algorail (2), being heavy with a load of salt from Goderich, ON, was driven by rough seas into the pier at Holland, MI opening a 12 foot gash in her bow. After settling on the bottom, she was patched, refloated, and put back into service in quick order. The Algorail ran aground on April 20, 1999 in the Fox River Turning Basin, Green Bay, WI. She was not damaged but the prop wash from the tugs attempting to free her damaged two City of Green Bay docks.

The Algorail currently sails under the management of Seaway Marine Transport (partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group). Her cargo could consist of coal/coke, aggregates, slag, iron ore/oxides, salt, fertilizers, grain products, gypsum, quartzite, or sand. Her smaller size allows her to visit ports that may not be considered accessible to larger carriers.

The versatility of this vessel can best be illustrated by a partial listing of the locations visited by the Algorail during a typical navigation season. These include the Michigan ports of Calcite, Detroit, Ferrysburg, Gladstone, Ludington, Manistee, Marine City, Marysville, Muskegon, Saginaw, and Stoneport; Ohio ports of Lorain, Marblehead, Sandusky, and Toledo, Wisconsin ports of Green Bay, & Milwaukee; Ontario ports of Badgley Island, Goderich, Kingsville, Meldrum Bay, Midland, Parry Sound, Sarnia, Sault Ste, Marie, Sombra, Thessalon, and Windsor; as well as Buffalo, NY and Chicago, IL.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 640' 05" (186.06m)
Beam 72' 03" (22.02m)
Depth 40' 00" (12.19m)
Midsummer Draft 29' 2" (8.89m)
Unloading Boom Conveyor Length 250' (76.2m)
Capacity 23,813 tons
Engine Power 6,662 bhp diesel

 


The first Algorail loaded and underway.
(Peter Worden collection)

Later in her career.
(Peter Worden collection)

     

Taking on a load.
(Peter Worden collection)

Underway on the St. Clair River.
(Peter Worden collection)

Stuck in the ice jam off Algonac, April 20, 1996.
(Bruce Hurd)

At Keefer Terminal, Thunder Bay, with a collapsed boom. She was unloading stone in Duluth when this happened, Aug. 22, 1997.
(Tom Stewart)

Close up.
(Tom Stewart)

Saginaw River, June 13, 2001.
(Todd Shorkey)

On the Detroit River, Nov. 17, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Lock 7, Welland Canal, Dec. 21, 2001.
(Alex Howard)

Saginaw River, July 7, 2002.
(Todd Shorkey)

Saginaw River, Dec. 10, 2002.
(Todd Shorkey)

Rock Cut, June 27, 2003.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Detroit River, May 17, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Detroit River, Aug. 1, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Upbound at Grassy Island, Sept. 19, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Inbound Saginaw, Dec. 20, 2004.
(Todd Shorkey)

Loading at Stoneport, Aug. 18, 2007.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Dock side view.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Loading boom near the stern.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Stern view.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Finished loading salt Goderich, Oct. 21, 2007.
(Wayne Brown)

Clearing the Goderich Piers.
(Wayne Brown)

Loading at Stoneport, Nov. 7, 2007.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Profile view.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Stern view with the loading gear.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Backing out of the Menominee River, Aug. 11, 2008.
(Dick Lund)

Tied up at the Sidney Smith Dock for the winter, Feb. 28, 2010.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Inbound Cleveland Harbor, Sept. 23, 2010.
(Paul Magyar)

Assisted by the tug Iowa approaching NS Bridge #1.
(Paul Magyar)

Outbound the Musekegon Piers, May 16, 2011.
(Herm Phillips)

Passing the Muskegon Lighthouse.
(Herm Phillips)

Close up of the stern.
(Herm Phillips)

Heading out into the lake.
(Herm Phillips)

Off into the sunset.
(Herm Phillips)

Arriving at Fairport Harbor, July 3, 2011.
(Dave Beach)

Unloading at the Fox River Dock in Green Bay, Aug. 17, 2011.
(Scott Best)

Unloading into a dockside hopper.
(Scott Best)

Being towed into the Calumet River by the G tug Massachusetts, Sept. 26, 2011.
(Lou Gerard)

Bow going through 92nd St. Bridge.
(Lou Gerard)

Colorado working the bow at North American Salt.
(Lou Gerard)

Upbound in the Saginaw River nearing Zilwaukee, April 29, 2012.
(Todd Shorkey)

Another view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Upbound at Port Huron, Sept. 16, 2013.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Upbound in the Saginaw River, May 13, 2015.
(Todd Shorkey)

Full view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Tied up at the Sidney Smith Dock, Sept. 16, 2016.
(Matt Miner)

Tied up at the Sidney Smith Dock, Sept. 16, 2016.
(Matt Miner)

Upbound at Buoys 1 & 2, Sept. 23, 2016.
(Marc Dease)

Downbound in the St. Clari River, Oct. 19, 2016.
(Marc Dease)

High view while tied up in Goderich, Mar. 10, 2018.
(Matt Miner)

Closer view from the dock.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view.
(Matt Miner)

Awaiting her fate.
(Matt Miner)

 

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