There was a swell color close up photo of these pellets filling most
of the page in a recent Trains Magazine.
--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "dssa1051" <dssa1051@...> wrote:
I'd like to expand on Elden's excellent description of iron ore
pelleting from many years of visiting the Lake Superior &
RR. The very fresh pellets look like blueberries in both size
3/8") and color (the county adjoining mine here in Michigan is the
Blueberry Capital of the World) and they weather to a more rusty
color. There are differences in the amount of flux used in the
pellets so each boatload is somewhat of a "custom mix" since
occasionally pellets of a different specification are used to top
The problem in modeling pellets is their spherical nature. They
don't look like our usual scenic materials. A load of pellets
from above at "HO distance" looks like a piece of #400 wet-dry
sandpaper smoothly stretched over the car. There are very small
glass beads (100 mesh) used in gas chromatography work that might
useful in making masters for car loads but it would be very
For those of us modeling the steam era the saving grace is that
pelleting began about 1956 but raw ore continued into the 1960's.
Remember taconite ONLY comes from Minnesota whereas Michigan
a very large tonnage of pelletized ore but it is not taconite.