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

Missabefan's picture

More Cold

Another cold one this morning on Minnesota's Iron Range. Readings of -35 in the Babbitt, Ely, Tower areas were broadcast on the radio during the weather report however it was only -27 degrees at United Taconite for this shot just after sunrise.

dmir227's picture

Blue Hour Cold

This morning the “blue hour” gave way to a nice sunrise and CN provided a PRS job setting out a b/o quad into the bomb track at Proctor. The transition between the dark hours and sunset/sunrise can be tricky for exposure but generally that time provides some of the more dramatic lighting and color.

dmir227's picture

The Face of 3702

We are lucky in Duluth to actually still have examples of end-cab BNSF switchers in service (ex-Frisco MP15s 3701 and 3702). They like to couple them nose-to-nose so it is a catch to find one operating sans its sister and in a position to shoot its long hood. Lately 3701 has been the switcher that seems to disappear from the set, probably for some continuing maintenance issue. That has left 3702 by itself for brief periods and this weekend I noticed it was teamed up with a pair of geeps. Yesterday it was trailing upon departure from Rice's Point but today it was leading. What I liked is they had the radiator covered with a canvas tarp due to the cold weather, just like the old days!

dmir227's picture

A Chilly Morning

Yesterday I started my day by shooting the PRS positioning cars on Dock 6 just as the sun was coming up. The steam/smoke rising from all the stacks in Superior make it look cold. The temp was a brisk -8F but the wind in the parking lot of the western Middle School was brutal. Nice set of four Spartan cab EMDs had the honors and today was a 3-unit set working the dock and this set was on another PRS job.

dmir227's picture

Cold & Frosty

I was able to get out for a few shots this morning. One I really liked was of a loaded ore train arriving at Proctor (behind B&LE 904) and snaking into the yard. The cars had a nice coating of frost from their morning trip down the Missabe Subdivision. I shot this with Kevin and he was right on the money when he said these old veterans make it feel like old times on the DM&IR. Not sure how much longer the old cars will last but for now they are well worth shooting.

dmir227's picture

Zoo Washout Update

I was out for a few hours this morning to grab some shots in "code blue" conditions and on the way home snapped a images of the work being done across from the Zoo. BNSF is replacing the fill and flood-prone culvert here with a bridge (might make for a neat new photo opportunity with LS&M and BNSF trains). 

Here are parts for the bridge deck that will be installed.

Missabefan's picture

Workhorses of the CTRR

Here are the three current workhorses of the CTRR

Usually the #35 works the dayshift switching while one or the other smaller ones works the nightshift.

Earlier this fall I was told they are getting another SW1000 to add to the fleet. It's "supposed" to be here this spring and at that time the whole fleet will be re-painted also.

dan mackey's picture

Cloquet Terminal

While Todd was catching the action outside on the CTRR, it was much warmer inside, Jim Ramnes and I were in the shop of the CTRR checking out the progress on the LSRM's steamer D&NE 28.

Progress is going well, Asbestos has been removed, they are digging deeper into the loco all the time to assess the full condition of the loco, they have been removing the super heater tubes to get a good look at everything inside, at this point everything looks good. If these guys find nothing major wrong, who knows where they will stop, the museum may end up with an operable steam locomotive by the time they are done.

Here is the 28 as it was yesterday.

Missabefan's picture


It started out to be a cold and clear morning on Minnesota's Iron Range today with temps. registering at -25 degrees and a nice "breeze" from our friends to the north bringing -40 degree wind chill readings.

No better time to try and shoot some rail action!

First mission was to get a train of steaming taconite pellets.


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