dan mackey's picture

Monday on the BNSF

Decided to play hooky from work today, after snow blowing duties I headed out for a few hours, the BNSF was once again a busy railroad.

First up was the Superior-Grand Forks train, got them crossing over at Saunders

The chase was on to Dewey where at track speed they were kicking up the fresh snow

dan mackey's picture

Snowy Sunday Afternoon

With the prospect of the sand train departing this afternoon and the snow finally kicking in, I headed out for probably the best two hours of railfanning I’ve had in a while. 3 tac trains and the sand train.

Managed somehow to get ahead of an empty that had just departed Allouez out at MP 15.9.

A quick circle back to catch a loaded all-rail at Vet’s crossing (Mertes Rd), he was waiting for a Northbound to clear off the Hinckley sub.

dmir227's picture

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.

H-GALGFD, finally caught one.

Since the H-GALGFD has been routed through here, I haven't been able to catch one until this morning. Hearing the BNSF 1039 leading out of Cass Lake, I timed it perfectly to meet my grandparents for breakfast and intercept the train on the way.

For being an H-train it certainly takes a long time for it to get from Northtown to Grand Forks. The train had delays at Boylston then was yarded at Cass Lake. Probably intentional, or Grand Forks wasn't ready for the train... but just seems to take a while for being a priority train.

dmir227's picture

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).

dmir227's picture

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. 

dmir227's picture

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

dmir227's picture

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.  

dmir227's picture

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. 

dmir227's picture

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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