The 26 grain elevators at the twin cities of Port Arthur and Fort William on Lake Superior (the area known as the Lakehead) stretch approximately 20 miles along Thunder Bay and have a capacity of 100,000,000 bushels.
LS air to ground - lakehead grain elevators (flying east)
ELS view of lakehead from mountain looking east
MLS air to ground - view of elevators and railway cars (flying west)
LS air to ground elevators and ships (looking south)
LS air to ground ship leaving elevator (looking north) wing in top frame
LS pan left to right - general view - box cars and elevators
MLS box car titled on dumper
MCU worker cutting cardboard releasing wheat
MS worker removing boards as wheat flows
MS wheat pouring into grated hopper
LS box car being tilted on dumper
MS box car being tilted on dumper - operator left frame background
MCU mechanical arms forcing boards into car
MS tilt down from workman to grain flowing
MS/HA box car rising on dumper
MLS/LA box car lowering on dumper
CU operator's hand on control lever
MLS/LA box car rising
LS diagonal tilt down to geared rocker below box car
MS wheat flowing into grate
MLS pan left to right and tilt from machinery along moving belt to grain sampling mechanism
MCU grain sampling (for inspection)
MS pan right to left - wheat moving through rotary screen cleaner
MLS/LA workman checking handful of wheat for cleanliness
MS residue (other grains, chaff and dust) emerging from rotary cleaner
MS pan right to left across wheat entering vibrating perforated cleaner (removes stones, etc.)
MCU grain entering hopper
MLS workman raking wheat on vibrating cleaning machine
LS to MCU pan left to right with box car emerging from plant to hook up with other car
LS houses foreground, lake freighter heading towards elevator
MLS diagonal tilt down left to right from grain elevator to lake freighter being loaded
MS diagonal tilt down left to right - workman watching grain pouring from spout to hatch
LS wheat pouring from several spouts into ship's hold
CU wheat entering hold
MLS workman taking grain samples from spout
MS to LS pan right to left from wheat entering hold to view looking towards stern
LS/LA pan left to right with operator walking along elevator cat walk
MLS pan right to left from ship's stern to sea gulls over water, elevators in background
MLS 3/4 stern view of lake freighter leaving harbour
LS side view - ship moving left to right
LS air view - ship leaving harbour
ELS stern view - ship leaving harbour - "sleeping giant" mountain left frame background
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The 26 grain elevators at the twin cities of Port Arthur and Fort William on Lake Superior (the area known as the Lakehead) stretch approximately 20 miles along Thunder Bay and have a capacity of 100,000,000 bushels. The majority of these elevators are owned by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, and the Manitoba Wheat Pool; with the remainder being owned by private companies.
In this modern age, this volume of grain demands high speed and efficient handling -- both from the point of view of receipt of grain from the Prairies and the trans-shipment by water. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool has installed an improved type of mechanical boxcar dumper to expedite the unloading operation - it can completely unload 12 cars representing 25,000 bushels of wheat or 40,000 bushels of oats per hour and thoroughly clean the cars so that sweeping by employees is no longer necessary.
The labour involved consists of one man operating a push button control. The engine pushes the car onto the cradle of the machine, dual-purpose clamps come up from a horizontal position to serve as a locking device between the cradle and the rails, then these clamps grip each end of the car. The bottom of the door is constructed of cardboard. This is opened manually by the operator to release the pressure of grain within the car, and then the mechanism takes over. The powered mechanical rams swing inward from the machine frame pushing inside wooden grain doors inward and upward through the grain and to the ceiling, and two hydraulic cylinders tilt the car to a 12 degree angle, and the car is rocked twice each way to a maximum of a 40 degree angle - the grain then flows from the raised end through each door and into the pit. When the upper end of the car is cleaned, two deep-bladed baffles enter by each door to meet at the center of the car to form a solid snowplow shaped wall and then the car is tilted in the opposite direction to clear the other end. The cradle then returns to horizontal, baffles and door openers automatically withdraw and the car is unclamped. The emptying operation can be completed in five to seven minutes depending on the type of grain load.
All grains are cleaned and processed to the requirements of the Canada Grain ct, and then loaded by spouts from the grain elevators to the hatches of the lake freighters and ocean-going vessels for shipment through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to elevators in the east or abroad.
Our story covers the unloading operation, cleaning and loading aboard the MONTREALAIS -- one of the largest lake freighters carrying grain from the Lakehead to elevators at Montreal or other cities along the St. Lawrence River. The MONTREALAIS is 730' in length and in its hold it can carry 845,000 bushels of wheat.
There are now fewer vessels arriving at the Lakehead during the eight months shipping season (approximately the first of April until early December) because of the trend towards using larger lake freighters or ocean going vessels which can now navigate up the St. Lawrence via the Seaway.