dan mackey's picture

Looking back at the SOO

Here is one from April 1999 of the old SOO yard office and scale track at Stinson Yard. My earliest railroad memories from back in the early 70's start here on the scale track back when my dad would take me along when patrolling the tracks from Stinson to Remer, the speeder shed is in the distance on the left side of the photo.

Dan Mackey
Superior, WI

dmir227's picture

Keetac Expansion on Hold

The president of U.S. Steel officially said the $800-million expansion of Keetac is on hold until business conditions improve and new air pollution regulation impacts can be factored into the overall cost. He did say the expansion of the physical taconite mine at Minntac will continue (not the plant itself, but the mining footprint).   

dmir227's picture

CP Weekend Jobs

A reliable source has noted that CP will no longer have any weekend jobs in the Twin Ports. The Sunday job that ran from Stinson to Duluth and switched the port terminal was always a favorite to shoot. I'm guessing this is all part of the efficiency program EHH is fond of at the expense of shippers. This will likely hurt available hours for the employees here but on the other hand how many railroad operations jobs work Mon-Friday with weekends off (only the local UP transfer job comes to mind)? 

dmir227's picture

Zoo Bridge Update

Excavation work has started on the BNSF washout across from the Zoo with a couple of excavators and a loader digging into the embankment this week. Look for the large crane to be in position soon driving steel pilings. 

dmir227's picture

Laskin to Natural Gas

The switch from coal to natural gas to fuel power plants continues. Currently Laskin receives loaded trains from BNSF (via CN) and Taconite Harbor gets its coal via MERC and vessels from Superior.  Shoot those Laskin trains while you can. They always provided a nice change of pace rolling through Biwabik with black BN hoppers during the Missabe days.

HOYT LAKES — Minnesota Power will invest $15 million into the Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes to convert it from coal-fired to natural gas. The Duluth-based energy company will also close one of three coal-fired units at its Taconite Harbor facility in Schroeder on the North Shore.

R.T. Challenger's picture


I uploaded some older digital images from 2005-07 of local train action I shot. Some of the photos were taken while I was on duty for CN and gives a insiders view most can't get unless one trespasses. Other shots I may have posted before but shows the variety and how much things have changed over the years and are worth showing again in my opinion.

I will just post links, descriptions are included with the photos.

Meet between a all-rail ore empty and the Superior to Northtown train.

Departing Nickerson. Many of these Oakway SD60s are now property of CN.

Superior to Northtown rolling through Askov MN.

dmir227's picture

Iron Range Sub Action

First stop was Two Harbors where a pellet loader was arriving in nice warm early morning light.

We checked out the docks just as the Gott was arriving.

Missabefan's picture

Missabe Morning

Was able to catch the DM&IR 403 leading on a Minntac east loader southbound to Two Harbors the other morning.

I heard the radio feed when they called to depart Minntac and went over to Biwabik for the first shot. It takes them an hour to get from Minntac to Biwabik so all the early morning fog over the yard dissipated.

If you look close, the dirt pile over on the left side is a evolving Minorca overburden dump from their continuing move east.

dan mackey's picture

Sunday review

Had a little time, so I wanted to check out the BNSF/LS&M washout by the Zoo. Heard the CN transfer to 28th street with the BCOL 4604 leading, odd transfer power. Side view at 58th.

headed past the BNSF Engine Terminal, looked a lot like the old BN days, here are a few views.

dmir227's picture

215 at Proctor

I can finally check getting 215 facing north off my list. It had been facing south on this job for most of 2011-12 until
being turned a month (or so) ago.

A little smoke.

Detail shot of the "pellet mesh" that covers the fans on 212.


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