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Leinie's on Ice


A pair of light units roll back to Pokegama Yard after assisting M-347 up Steelton Hill in far western Duluth. A beautiful winter day to spend some time ice fishing on the St. Louis River. The six-pack of Leinenkugel on the sled adds to the enjoyment.

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CN Duluth Dock Switch

A better looking SD40-2W was seen leading loads into Proctor yesterday. 

Kevin and I noticed a ratty looking SD40-2W (5298) working around the dock area the past few days. It appears CN has assigned a “dock switch” to expedite the dumping of loads and return of the PRS to Proctor along with other duties I assume. Anyone on CN know the scoop on this job?  More pellets are flowing into Lakehead this winter (Unitac and Minntac) - I’m sure that is the reason Hallett is handling all of the limestone (none stockpiled at Lakehead).

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Koppers Activity

BNSF's Allouez Switch has been busy lately delivering and picking up cars from the old Koppers plant between Ambridge and Allouez. Looked to be delivering ties but couldn't tell if they were raw or partially finished. Koppers no longer treats ties here but uses the land for storing raw ties for curing before being shipped off for finishing. 

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BNSF Zoo Bridge Update

The pilings appear to be in with next steps being trimming them down to size and putting the caps on.

Dave Schauer
Duluth, MN

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B&LE Trio Update

The trio was together this morning at Proctor on what looked like an empty Minntac East loader but sans crew. Saw something similar yesterday with that empty departing around Noon as a U-710. I wonder if the yard crews are putting the power on these Minntac trains to make for a faster departure and reduce the chance crews dying on hours.  

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CN Crude Oil Train

Yesterday CN operated an unusual (for the Twin Ports) unit train of crude
oil from Canada. Not sure where it began its journey but the symbol was G852
with three units on the point (one off-line) and 100 cars. 

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The Marengo Shuffle

Back when WC had solid business off the White Pine line and into Ashland it wasn't uncommon for the White Pine job to interchange at Marengo Junction with the Ashland Turn. I happened to catch this hand off on a pleasant September day in 1995 back when WC used a former Algoma caboose with remote control/MU equipment on the branch. Neat GP7/GP30 combo on the remote set. 

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Rapids turn a few years back

While going through some older slides I came across this one from January 1997 of the local rolling through Carlton with a few cars, I assume it's the Grand Rapids Local, but for some reason I made note of it being the Brainerd Local, so that got me wondering, did I mis-label it back then or did the Brainerd Local service Cloquet on occasion?

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Proud Heritage

With the newest of the Missabe ore cars still in service being 56 years old (with most over 60), it continues to amaze me to see them in daily service. This morning glint shot at Proctor a few weeks ago shows some of the layers of history painted on the side of the cars. With over 1,100 new cars on the property I wouldn’t expect the DM&IR veterans to last much more than a handful of years. But then again who thought they would last this long!

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Flashback - au naturel WC

This flashback takes us to 1995, a year when natural (red) ore from the Auburn Pit near Virginia was rolling all-rail to U. S. Steel’s Gary Works before the mine put in a dryer that removed excess moisture from the ore and allowed it to move through Dock 1 in Two Harbors. I didn’t get to shoot many of these solid trains, in fact I think just one or two on the Missabe headed for Two Harbors and one on the WC running all-rail to Chicago. This pleasant September day Dan Mackey and I followed this WC train south out of Superior. A pair of SD45s were the power, the leader being a recently acquired Santa Fe burner. Ah, SD45s pulling low side regulars heaped with red ore – hard to beat that combination! 


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