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Friday Flashback - C&NW & UP in Duluth

dmir227's picture

Before the rail scene in Duluth changed forever in 1984 when most interchange traffic was shifted to Superior, it was easy shooting the C&NW as they came over to Duluth at least twice a DAY for interchange traffic. Today, as Kevin nicely showcased on his earlier message, UP makes it over to Duluth twice a WEEK. At least they come over to provide some spice and additional color.

Here a short UP transfer heads for the Soo Line at Rices Point in 2006. I agree with Kevin, the lettered UP units are nice compared to the leased units, but at least today's borrowed power is usually painted in UP colors.

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Twelve years earlier the C&NW was still an independent railroad and had unveiled a truly classy paint scheme on their new GEs. It was very uncommon to find the big GEs in Duluth, so despite crappy light I couldn't resist snapping a shot of this transfer backing cars into BN's Rice's Point yard in Duluth. Provia helped.

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Going back yet another 12 years I was able to capture this North Western transfer arriving in Duluth via BN's MN & WI Draws. This was an unusually short train, but an all-C&NW package. In the early 1980s C&NW typically ran their Duluth transfers with a trio of ex-Rock Island geeps, so getting big power here was a treat (not totally uncommon, but a treat when they did show up). The unused yard tracks in the immediate foreground belonged to the C&NW and was where their removed roundhouse sat (dating back to the solid Omaha presence in Duluth). This is one of my favorite C&NW shots (note the conductor on the rear of the caboose).

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David Schauer
Duluth, MN