What Tractors Accomplish

From The Mining News, Wednesday, April 2nd, 1930

What Tractors Accomplish

The Machine that takes Freight from Here to
There Through Trackless Wilderness

It's a far cry from the voyageur of a few years ago to the modern tractors. To the city dweller, whose only knowledge of the trail is a short vacation under the most favorable circumstances. When he thinks of how they reached almost impenetrable points in their search of fur it looks well nigh impossible and when acquired how it was brought out. Again the thought of prospectors entering such a wilderness as the northern Barren Lands he naturally thinks "what's the use, how can a mine ever be equipped with the necessary machinery?" The solution is practical, difficult it’s true, but the TRACTOR solves the problem.

Probably one of the outstanding accomplishments of the tractor was the transportation of 25,000 tons of freight from Mile 87 on the Flin Flon railway to Island Falls were is being erected a plant that will produce in its initial stages 44,000 horsepower of electrical energy, this to be increased to 86,000 horsepower if occasion demands.

Three 100 h.p. Linn Tractors
Three 100 h.p. Linn Tractors enroute from Fort Nelson to Port Churchill, operated by the Dominion Government.

This astonishing feat was performed by twelve 100 horsepower Linn tractors, supplied by the Canadian Agents, Mussens Limited. When one thinks of transporting this enormous tonnage a distance of 86 miles through this rough and unbroken wilderness it seems almost miraculous.

The tractors chugged steadily, steadily up the hill and down dale taking thirty-six to forty hours for the return trip of eighty-six miles. During the first season, that is 1929, the tractor trains averaging seventy-seven tons, making 337 scheduled trips between December 18 and April 4 and when the last trip was made 23,000 tons was landed at the Falls.

Of the record runs made was that on February 6 when a train with 112½ tons arrived at the Falls and was back at the Flin Flon yard in thirty-nine hours. One load of 122 tons was taken over the road made up of gasoline for tractor consumption.

All this enormous amount of freight was transported with only one wreck, if it could be called such, was when on a down grade a sleigh pole snapped and jostled the loaded sleighs so that a few of them fell over. The recovery of the loads were completed in a short time and the railroad continued to operate on schedule.

100 h.p. Linn Tractor with train
100 h.p. Linn Tractor with train on regular run between Mile 87 and Island Falls - Note the caboose.

Some are more or less familiar with the tractor as used on comparatively short hauls in the lumber industry, but when it comes to transporting 23,000 tons for a distance of eighty-six miles. Well, that's different.