Iron Range Hill

Iron Range Hill (IRH) is located between Mileposts 59 and 60.5, just west of modern Sandstone Lake, in the District of Thunder Bay.

The hill is generally regarded as having the steepest grade on the Canadian portion of the PAD&W at nearly 2 percent. It climbs at one point 80 feet in 0.83 miles, or 4380 feet, resulting in a very noticeable incline. Several very well-known photographs were taken in the winter of 1915-1916 on the hill. They show one of the line’s locomotives, either 2-6-0 Mogul 107 or 108 (107 was PAD&W #4), stuck in deep snow with crews attempting to dig it out. Of note is a passenger featured prominently in both photos. James Thomas (J.T) Greer was a local timber contractor and he was likely headed to his logging operations on North and Gunflint Lakes. He is the middle of the three men alongside the boiler.

For many years after the rails were removed, it was part of the road used to access the area. Today it has relinquished that role, but is still used extensively as a recreational trail.

There are several videos of the remains of Iron Range Hill from 2010 to the present in the YouTube playlist below.


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