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Flashback - Ladysmith Varnish

This one comes from the southern end of the TPR coverage area at Ladysmith and shows the Soo Line passenger train display in that small town that was once an important crossing on the Soo. The line to the left of the display was rebuilt this year to handle sand traffic but I haven’t been down there to catch that move (sounds like it runs at night). Not sure if the display looks this way today but the paint looked good in 1995. The FP7A is similar to the 2500A (WC) at the LSRM.

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Endion Flashback

On Saturday when the 193 was handling coal empties along the Lakefront Line I wanted to shoot it crossing the large concrete bridge spanning Chester Creek on the far eastern side of Leif Erickson Park. The light hadn’t moved around totally but it turned out ok.

Flashback 30 some years and here is a grab bag shot I took at dusk of the same bridge but looking west. I remember taking this shot because I liked how the Aerial Bridge was up and despite color print film and very low light I was happy I did.

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An EMCO Flashback

I was digging through a few slides from a visit to the mine a few months before the operation closed I scanned these two. 

One of my favorite shots of an ore train was this one of a load departing the plant for Taconite Harbor and it shows the train passing a deep mine pit. The mine trucks on the right are as impressive.

This is another favorite – it shows a mine run train behind a pair of RS-11s and what I like is the view of the pellet plant in the distance (you can see a pair of GP38s in the distance).

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First GP20C-ECO in the Ports

CP has assigned a new GP20C-ECO to the Twin Ports. It makes for an interesting pairing with 4512 still in Milwaukee colors. I haven’t been able to get it on a transfer but it made for a nice broadside this morning before the clouds moved in.  When I first saw photos of these I thought they looked short but seeing it in person next to the 4512 they look as tall and as husky. Still nice and clean – a stark contrast to the faded paint on 4512.  

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EMD Collection at Belknap

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B&LE 909 Flashback

Here is a flashback to 2000 when B&LE 909 was beginning its rebuild at Proctor (note the 909 near the numberboard). This shot was taken in the Mallet House that CN removed last year due to roof issues. At least the facility is still active under CN, just not to the extent of doing heavy work like this.

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Railfanning Is...

I remember Railfan Magazine running neat little observations under that title. I have been listening to the radio feed lately and CN has a MOW employee with a familiar name; “Railfanning is listening to the radio and hearing a CN RTC telling Wayne Olsen at Biwabik he will need to clear.”   For those of you who don’t know, Wayne Olsen was one of the key rail historians, along with Frank King, in the Twin Ports and helped get the LSRMstarted. I’m not sure how the new MOW employee spells his last name, it could be Olson, but it sounds odd to hear that name in a current railroad setting.

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Here We Go Again

This might be our last blast of winter with temperatures expected to reach near 60 this weekend, but then again...

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Massive Consist on the MRF

Thanks to a timely heads up from our Emperor of the North (Missabefan) I was able to intercept the MRF today with a stunning 11-unit consist. My first shot was at Alborn where the train held the main for a meet with a Utac empty. As the Merf departed south I snapped a few shots and noticed that I wasn’t the only one stimulated by this power set – note the husband and wife snowman couple on the right (no doubt an earlier crew was tired of fighting the never-ending snow and decided to have some fun with it). I was able to shoot the train at numerous spots back to Proctor while Todd shot it on the north end through to the Culver curve to better show the units (I settled for the curve at Munger and Adolph).

For the record: Leading the train was CN GP40-2W 9544 followed by CN SD40-2W 5338, IC SD40-3 6262, B&LE SD40T-3 904, CN SD40-2W 5337, GTW SD40-2 5934, IC SD40-3 6263, B&LE SD40T-3 900, IC SD40-3 6264, DM&IR SD40-3 406 and CN SD40-2W 5287. Northeastern Minnesota is a great place for lovers of second generation EMD models and snow....

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Calumet 1613

I noticed one of the Calumet (NPR contract switching) geeps at BNSF 28th Street this morning.  It isn’t the newer dark gray unit but 1613, the light gray former CP geep. I’m guessing it might be headed up to Laurentian Aggregates near Largo for the summer ballast season. Last year Laurentian used the NPR GP35 that is still at the refinery (or was last time I checked). Here are the 1613 and GP35 at the refinery this past winter. 


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