15-Ton Magnet's Journey From NY To Chicago Was Long, Strange Trip

CHICAGO (July 26, 2013)—Crews spent a month moving a gigantic electromagnet that’s 50 feet wide and weighs more than 15 tons from New York to Illinois.

That’s a distance of about 800 miles as the crow flies, but the huge magnet definitely wasn’t a crow.

Its tedious trip followed a circuitous route four times that distance.

The magnet arrived early Friday at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill, near Chicago, where it will be used to study blazing-fast particles.

It was shipped from a federal laboratory in New York.

Crews first floated the magnet down the East Coast into the Gulf of Mexico, and then up the Mississippi River to Illinois.

It couldn’t be twisted more than an eighth of an inch without being permanently damaged.

The trip required the crew to outrun tropical weather in the Gulf of Mexico, and then road blocks as it was moved a specially-made flatbed truck at speeds of only between 5 and 15 miles per hour.

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