Been a lot of recent discussions in New York Central Forums on Benson Mines. It is in the Adirondacks but on the New York Central it was connected to the St. Lawrence Division between Watertown and Syracuse.
Pictures (FANTASTIC) above are from the old NY Central Headlights magazine and REALLY tell a story.
There was a daily train BP-1 from Benson Mines to Youngstown, Ohio. It was blocked
1. Cleveland ore
2. P&LE (except ore)
3. LaBelle ore (south of Youngstown somewhere)
4. Aliquippa ore
5. Pittsburgh ore.
It picked up at Deferiets which was a paper mill. It also handled P&LE traffic from Watertown, Rochester, Batavia, Buffalo and Ashtabula.
Car supply was from the normal flow of hoppers through Dewitt yard. That was a bit of a problem. Many hoppers were inspected at DeWitt to find enough with the tight doors needed for ore service. Many cars suitable for coal were not tight enough for iron ore.
Benson Mines in the early 1940’s was leased to J & L Steel Co. In 1950 it became the New York Ore Divison of J & L Steel Co, the mine was in Clifton N Y,they shiped about one million tons of ore that had to be sintered before use in the mill at Cleveland Oh and Aliquippa Pa mills and the mine closed in August,1978.