CN Receiving Next-Gen Ore Jennies (Updated)

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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CN photo.

CN is taking delivery on 600 new 1,150-cubic-foot iron ore hopper cars, colloquially called “jennies,” from FreightCar America. The new equipment, described as “a significant upgrade to CN’s fleet,” incorporates materials from U.S. Steel. Ordered in early 2023, they are being deployed on CN U.S. subsidiary Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range (DMIR) in Minnesota.

“Manufactured by FreightCar America in Mexico, these state-of-the-art cars are engineered to meet the highest standards of efficiency and reliability,” CN said. “By incorporating materials from U. S. Steel, the history of iron ore mining in Minnesota powers the ongoing operation of railcars, ensuring they can continue. This partnership with U.S. Steel and FreightCar America underscores our unwavering commitment to innovation and collaboration. As an industry leader, CN is dedicated to taking part in supply chain solutions that not only enhance operational efficiency but also grow business, transporting products for years to come. We are proud that FreightCar America chose to integrate U. S. Steel’s high-quality materials into the manufacturing process for these new specialized hopper cars uniquely crafted for transporting heavy loads of iron ore. This integration not only enhances the performance and durability of CN’s fleet but also strengthens collaboration between CN and U.S. Steel in the North American supply chain ecosystem.”

FreightCar America notes that it “offers a variety of options for opening and unloading mechanisms on ore cars including solar-powered units, electronic door opener (EDO) touchpads, manual buttons and pickup shoes for gates.” CN’s version offers a GRL (Gross Rail Load) of the industry-standard 286,000 pounds (Light Weight 44,600 pounds; Load Limit 241,400 pounds). 

“By transporting iron ore pellets mined by U. S. Steel through our extensive rail network, docks and vessels to U. S. Steel mills, we facilitate the safe movement of raw materials,” said CN Vice President, Supply Chain and Business Development Helen Quirke. “These, in turn, can be utilized in the production of many things the economy needs, including our iron ore jennies. This integration exemplifies our commitment to powering the economy.”

“The next generation of ore jennies has arrived, and we are pleased that not only were U.S. Steel materials used in making them, but we are implementing them at our Minnesota Ore Operations facilities,” said U. S. Steel Director of Logistics, Pellet Movement, Technology and Sustainability James Jarvi. “Steel that’s mined, melted and made in America starts with iron ore, and the ability to move it from the mine to the mill quickly and efficiently. This partnership will help U.S. Steel make that possible.”

DMIR, informally known as the Missabe Road, came under CN control on May 10, 2004 when CN purchased the assets of Great Lakes Transportation.

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