A trio of "Baby Trainmasters" [1683-1698-1904; all with different builder dates] are easily handling the task of getting a loaded ore train out of Iron Mountain. The fireman or head brakeman is giving the train a visual inspection as it crosses the East B Street crossing enroute to Escanaba on an overcast July afternoon. By evidence of the lighter rail lying along the right-of-way, the C&NW has just recently laid newer and heavier rail, but it won't see long-term service. In 1978, The Milwaukee Road and the North Western will agree on a joint venture to ease congested grade crossings in downtown Iron Mountain. After a new connecting track is built on the east side of town, the C&NW will begin using the Milwaukee Road and ultimately remove their old mainline through town.
But back to 1971, and almost on a daily basis, the Milwaukee Road would bring a loaded train south from the Groveland Mine and swap loads for empties with the C&NW. Much to the dismay of the motoring public in Iron Mountain, these moves meant blocking all of the downtown street crossings for at least fifteen minutes or more. As nice as the new routing was for everyone, it wasn’t needed for long. The Groveland Mine permanently closed in 1982, which was an economic blow to the area and brought to a close a lengthy era of ore trains moving through Iron Mountain.