Category Archives: Trackside With Tony (Blog)

Link: “Kenyon, Minnesota: A Two Railroad Town No More”

An old abutment marks the eastern end of where bridge S-844 once carried the Zumbrota branch of the Milwaukee Road over the Chicago Great Western main line (today the unrly strip of land between the fence and "Welcome to Kenyon" sign.)   Photo by the author.
An old abutment marks the eastern end of where bridge S-844 once carried the Zumbrota branch of the Milwaukee Road over the Chicago Great Western main line (today the unruly strip of land between the fence and “Welcome to Kenyon” sign.) Photo by the author.

Bubblews.com is sorely lacking in train-related content.  I am now switching all of my train related posts from this blog to there.

I posted today an article entitled “Kenyon, Minnesota: A Two Railroad Town No More.”   Here is an excerpt from the opening:

Kenyon, Minnesota, once was a two railroad town. The main line of the Chicago Great Western Railway (CGW) passed through from north to south, while the Zumbrota branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific (aka “The Milwaukee Road”) passed through town from east to west.

To read the whole article, click here.

 

 

My latest Kenilworth Corridor photos

Anti freight co location sign along Kenilworth trail Mpls 9 8 2013
I found this sign posted along the Kenilworth Trail’s pedestrian path less than a block north of the 21st Street grade crossing. It had company to the south…
Anti freight rail banner on north side of Burnham Rd bridge Mpls 9 8 2013
…in the form of this banner…
Anti freight rail banner on south side of Burnham Rd bridge Mpls 9 8 2013
…and this banner. The banners were adorning the north and south sides of the Burnham Road bridge. This span crosses the Kenilworth Corridor south of 21st Street. This and the preceding two photos taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
Looking up Kenilworth corridor towards 21st Street Mpls 9 8 2013
A view north along the Kenilworth Corridor. 21st Street is faintly visible in the distance. Railroad tracks once were as thick here as noodles in a soup with the Minneapolis & St. Louis had a yard here. By the early1980s, however, M. &. St. L. successor Chicago and North Western ceased to have any use for this yard and so pulled up all but the main track to the left. The Kenilworth Trail is now flanked by the track to the left and the experiment in prairie restoration to the right. Theoretically freight rail, light rail, and the Kenilworth Trail could be accommodated here. The loss of the prairie restoration experiment would probably generate some howls, however. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9 8 2013.
Pro LRT tunnel and anti freight rail signs at Burnham Rd and Park Pl Mpls 9 8 2013
Pro-LRT tunnel signs proliferate on Burnham Road southwest of the bridge over the Kenilworth Corridor. At the intersection of Park Place and Burnham, pro-LRT tunnel and anti-freight rail/light rail co-location signs engage in a Mexican standoff. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
My engineer cap on anti freight rail sign along Kenilworth trail Mpls 9 8 2013
The imp in me could not resist placing my 1998-vintage engineer cap on the anti-freight rail/light rail co-location sign I came across less than a block north of 21st Street. This picture is my way of saying “Keep freight rail here!” Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
TCW US DOT plate on crossbuck on south side of 21s st crossing Mpls 9 8 2013
Interesting to note is this U.S. Department of Transportation plate bearing the initials “TCWR.” This is affixed to the crossbuck on the south side of the 21st Street grade crossing along the old Tootin’ Louie line by Cedar Lake. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.

More Kenilworth corridor, more contention

LRT protest on K corridor view one Mpls 8 11 2013
I had learned of stickers being left along the Kenilworth Corridor in Minneapolis, MN, protesting co-locating freight and light rail in the line. When I visited the Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing recently, protest signs met my eyes left and right like bad guys in an Expendables movie…and half protested the loss of the trail along with the half that slammed co-location.   These anti-co location leaflets were affixed to the back of a “road closed” sign posted on the north side of the grade crossing…
LRT protest on K corridor view six Mpls 8 11 2013
…these were stuck on a signal power box on the north side of the crossing…
LRT protest on K corridor view five  Mpls 8 11 2013
…along with one more and an anti-LRT one.
LRT protest on K corridor view three Mpls 8 11 2013
Another anti-LRT leaflet…
LRT protest on K corridor view four Mpls 8 11 2013
…decorated a trail-related device on the north side of the Cedar Lake Parkway crossing.
LRT protest on K corridor view seven Mpls 8 11 2013
This signal box on the south side of the crossing was festooned with both anti-co-location, and anti-LRT leaflets. Some ripped off, while others remained fresh.
LRT protest on K corridor view two Mpls 8 11 2013
This ripped-up anti-co-location sign was affixed to the same “road closed” sign pictured above. It could be found beneath the fresh ones. All photos taken by Tony Held on August 11, 2013.

BNSF Wayzata Sub: Volume Seven

BNSF westbound Northtown Lincoln power Long Lake 7 10 2013
I was keeping tabs via the “MN Rail” discussing group of a special load bound out of Northtown on the Northtown-Lincoln: a “drawworks” used by oil companies. It was shipped by rail from Canada, and was bound for the port of Long Beach. The motive power on this train…
BNSF Northtown Lincoln with special car in consist Long Lake 7 10 2013
…was BNSF 7958 (ES44C4); BNSF 5824 (ES44AC); and BNSF 2755 (GP39E-an ex BN GP30!). The train moved swiftly past my vantage point…
BNSF Northtown Lincoln approaching green signal Long Lake 7 10 2013
…and on into the lazy, hazy summer evening.  This and preceding two photos taken by Tony Held on July 10, 2013.
DPU of stopped eastbbound beneath Luce Line Long Lake 7 10 2013
The Northtown-Lincoln photographed above passed this eastbound general freight as it waited to meet them on the Wayzata to Long Lake siding. I could not get the number of the GE pictured above. Photo taken by Tony Held on July 10, 2013.

 

Eastbound BNSF freight departing Long Lake 7 13 2012
Dispatch stopped this eastbound mixed manifest until they gave them a “proceed to next signal” which cleared them down the line. I could only get the number of the trailing unit since it was facing me: BNSF 682 (C44-9W; an ex-Santa Fe warbonnet!) Photo taken by Tony Held on July 13, 3013
Eastbound BNSF grain train Wayzata 7 27 2013
A quick chase from Long Lake to Wayzata netted this shot of an eastbound grain train getting up to speed after being stopped by the dispatcher in Long Lake…
BNSF grain train eastbound at Wayzata 7 7 2013
…as well as this one as the train passed by the old BNSF/Dakota Rail interchange. Power was BNSF 5532, 622, and 979; all of which were C44-9Ws.  The 622 was a treat because it was an ex-Santa Fe Warbonnet!  This and preceding photo taken on July 27, 2013.
BNSF eastbound freight Long Lake 7 27 2013
Turns out another eastbound was hot on the heels of the grain job pictured above. This time it was a mixed manifest I bagged back in Long Lake…
Eastbound BNSF freight in Long Lake 7 27 2013
…which had the following units for power: BNSF 6917 (ES44C4), BNSF 7726 (ES44DC), and BNSF 912 (C40-8W.)   Soon its thunder began to fade…
Eastbound BNSF freight leaving Long Lake 7 27 2013
…as the train rolled away out of sight. This and preceding two photos were taken on July 27, 2013, by Tony Held.
Green main track signal Long Lake 7 27 2013
The approach of the second train was heralded by this signal. Photo taken by Tony Held on July 27, 2013.
Westbound mixed BNSF manifest Long Lake 8 3 2013
Here comes the first of what proved to be three trains I bagged in Long Lake on the same Saturday morning the Tour de Tonka pedaled through town…
BNSF westbound mixed manifest headed for Willow Dr underpass Long Lake 8 3 2013
…this first catch of the morning was a westbound general manifest led by BNSF BNSF 5242 (C44-9W); BNSF 9375 (SD70ACe); and a CSX unit whose number I did not catch. Soon it was followed by…
Another BNSF westbound manifest Long Lake 8 3 2013
…another westbound mixed manifest…
BNSF Westbound ducking under Brown Road Long Lake 8 3 2013
…powered by BNSF 9578 (SD70MAC) and BNSF 8261 (SD75M).
There was an eastbound waiting for them to pass further west of here…
BNSF eastbound splitting the signals at Long Lake 8 3 2013
…which finally hit Long Lake about an hour later…
Eastbound BNSF freight on curve in eastern Long Lake 8 3 2013
…powered by BNSF 4136 and BNSF 5061 (both C44-9Ws). I dubbed this eventful morning the “Train de Tonka”! This and preceding five photos taken by Tony Held on August 3, 2013.
MOW vehicle on Wayzata Sub by signals Long Lake 8 5 2013
No trains thundered through Long Lake on this morning two days later because MOW crews…
MOW vehicle on Wayzata Sub by slow order boards Long Lake 6 5 2013
…were out working on the railroad. This and preceding photo taken on August 5, 2013, by Tony Held.
BNSF Dash nine 4618 Long Lake 8 7 2013
One of the perks of (virtually) trackside living: a view of a locomotive from your apartment! This unit -BNSF 4689 (C44-9W) was the lead of no less than six units on an eastbound mixed manifest that got stopped in Long Lake and then cleared to proceed that also consisted of…
BNSF dash nines 4618 and 5138 outside May St apts Long Lake 8 7 2013
…BNSF 5148 (C44-9W)…
BNSF dash nines 707 and 5138 Long Lake 8 7 2013
…BNSF 707 (C44-9W; BNSF-ized Warbonnet from 1996)…
BNSF GP28M 1544 Long Lake 8 7 2013
…BNSF 1544 (GP28M; ex-BN)…
BNSF SD40 2 1783 Long Lake 8 7 2013
…BNSF 1783 (SD40-2; ex-BN)…
BNSF SD70 MAC 9666 Long Lake 8 7 2013
…and BNSF 9666 (SD70MAC; ex-BN). Only the first three units of this eclectic lashup were under power. The other three were hitching a ride in from Willmar, MN. This and preceding five photos taken by Tony Held on August 7, 2013.

Kenilworth Corridor: The LRT tunnel option

Southbound LRT leaving Ft Snelling station 12 4 2011
A southbound Route 55 LRT leaves the Fort Snelling station behind as it heads for the tunnel beneath Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Photo taken by Tony Held on December 4, 2011.

A tunnel along the Kenilworth Corridor portion of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line could solve the problem of co-locating Twin Cities and Western freight and Metro Transit light rail in the corridor as well as keep the Kenilworth Trail in place.   A group named the Kenilworth Preservation Group advocates one as well, such as in this white paper.

The city of Minneapolis is dead set against it, however.

“I don’t want anybody who is not in these deep conversations to think it’s really practical to do a deep tunnel there. If we could, in this area, afford deep tunnels, there would be one in downtown Minneapolis.”  Minneapolis Transportation and Public Works Committee chair Sandy Colvin Roy claims in this Southwest Journal article.  Roy’s claim conveniently ignores the tunnel on the Green (formerly Hiawatha) Line which passes underneath Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

Southbound LRT arriving at Lindbergh Term station 12 27 2012
A southbound Route 55 train on the Green –aka Hiawatha– Line arrives at Lindbergh Station deep beneath Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul International. Photo taken on December 27, 2012, by Tony Held.

 

“People really should not get their hearts set on the deep tunnel because we have no idea how much cost it would carry with it. We have no idea how extensive the impact to neighboring communities might be. A lot more work would need to be done before we’d be in a position to take that seriously.”  Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak’s policy director Peter Wagenius claimed to the Southwest Journal.  Wagenius’ remarks about having no idea what the impact to the “neighboring communities” a tunnel would have flies directly into the face of support for a tunnel demonstrated by the likes of the Kenilworth Preservation Group.  “We are proposing to those in charge to consider TUNNELING as not only a viable option but as a solution to preserve this natural resource.” The KPG states on their website.  It would behoove Mr. Wagenius to contact this group and get some facts.  In fact, Wagenius claimed to the Star Tribune in this article that: “We’re willing to look at tunnel options to keep the project going,” though he added the that Mayor Rybak was tepid to the idea.

This same Star Tribune article reports that a deep tunnel would cost $420 million, while a shallow tunnel would cost $250 million.

It is my opinion that a deep tunnel would be the best option.  It could start near Cedar Lake, and end after passing under the Twin Cities & Western in the vicinity of Bass Lake in St. Louis Park.   The proposed 21st Street LRT station could be converted into a subway-style one like at Lindbergh Terminal, too.

I believe it would behoove Minneapolis and the Met Council to support a deep tunnel along the Southwest LRT.  It would allow the TC&W to remain where it is, keep the Kenilworth Trail intact, and end this long, drawn-out debate raging over transit issues along the Kenilworth Corridor.

Wake up and support a tunnel for the Southwest LRT line, Met Council and the City of Minneapolis!

 

Twin Cities & Western is “neutral” on reroute issue

Returning St Paul turn with ILSX GP 39 2 1389 and two TCW units crossing 21st street west Minneapolis April 3rd 2009
The Twin City and Western’s St. Paul Turn –bound for Hopkins after interchanging traffic with Twin City railroads– tip toes across 21st Street in Minneapolis as the train slowly rumbles along the jointed rails of the old Minneapolis & St. Louis main line on a gorgeous April 3, 2009. The train is right in the heart of a corridor contested between Minneapolis and the suburb of St. Louis Park as to whether or not freight rail can co-exist here with Light Rail Transit plus the Kenilworth Trail. Photo by Tony Held.

 

In January of 2013, Minnesota regional railroad Twin Cities & Western announced its opposition to being re-routed out of Minneapolis and into St. Louis Park for the Southwest LRT line.  But the railroad had done an apparent about-face from this stance by July.  “We could bring our trains through there safely,” TC&W president Mark Wegner told the Star Tribune in this article in regard to two new proposals that routed the TC&W through SLP.  “We can’t crimp capacity for freight,” Wegner told the newspaper when he expressed concerns that shipments of large loads such as wind turbine blades could not navigate a corridor that shared LRT with it. (This also indicates Wegner would be against the 29th Street corridor being reopened as well, due to the limited clearance beneath the many bridges along it.)

This begs the question: Is the Twin Cities & Western opposed to the re-route, or not?  Mark Wegner gave the answer in an August 3, 2013 Star Tribune guest editorial: “We have not sought to be relocated. We have emphasized the need to continue safe and economic freight service to our customers as we have for the past 22 years. Despite suggestions to the contrary, we have avoided taking sides with one community or another as they have sought allies for or against various options.”

And so the TC&W has declared itself “neutral” on the issue.  However, Wegner does not indicate his willing to let the trains be moved about at the whim of local governments, which is a good sign.

The only way this issue will be resolved ultimately boils down to whether Minneapolis will force St. Louis Park to abandon their stance on the re-route, or vice versa, not what the TC&W wants.   I do hope, however, their trains can stay where they are.  It is a much better option than having to beef up the Canadian Pacific’s MN&S spur –the former Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern main line– in an expensive rebuild that would carve a swathe through St. Louis Park which dislocated home and business owners.

 

The Kenilworth Corridor “bottleneck”

Bye-Bye-Bike-Trail_Page_12
This image from the “LRT Done Right” website perfectly sums up what a bone of contention the Kenilworth Corridor along the former Chicago & North Western/Minneapolis & St. Louis line from Cedar Lake Junction in Minneapolis to Bass Lake Yard in St. Louis Park has become. The line –now operated by the Twin Cities & Western but owned by the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority– is slated to be replaced by a twin set of light rail tracks for the new Southwest LRT line. St. Louis Park is supposed to inherit the freight traffic. They do not want it moved; and residents in the Kenilworth corridor do not want to sacrifice the trail.  The result is a swell boondoggle. Image courtesy LRT Done Right.org.

 

Looking up the tracks at Cedar Lake Parkway 11 5 2011
No place causes more contention along this contested railway line than in the so-called “bottleneck” sector of the route. Here we are at Cedar Lake Parkway looking north on a mild day early in November of 2011. The space at right used to host at least two more sets of tracks, if not more. If you took out the trail and moved the freight track over a bit, you could co-locate both here. However, the trail –the Kenilworth Trail– is super-popular, and those who use it will not see it go without a struggle.

 

Cedar Lake Parkway trail grade crossing 11 5 2011
Another look at the “bottleneck” along the Kenilworth Corridor as it looks on the north side of the Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing. It is interesting to note here that the Kenilworth Corridor did not have a “bottleneck” in it for the longest time, as this aerial photo from 1972 demonstrates. The reason why it now exists at all will become obvious the further south we go along it.

 

Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing 11 5 2011
A view of the Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing looking east. South of this point is where “the bottleneck” begins in earnest.
ROW stuff at Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing 11 5 2011
We are on the west side of the corridor looking south here. Residential development at right encroaches on the current corridor from here to Lake Street.  The 1972 aerial photo reveals that this spot was once much wider thanks to rail yard-related trackage here; it can be seen in the right-center background of the photo down from the apartment building that occupies the same area of the picture.
Signal on south side of Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing 11 5 2011
The corridor on the south side of Cedar Lake Parkway as viewed from the eastern side. The narrowing of the corridor is especially notable here. This and preceding four photos taken by Tony Held on November 5, 2011.
TCW line by townhomes between Cedar and Lake view two 7 22 2012
We are down along the curve along the TC&W which starts south of Cedar Lake Parkway on a warm late July afternoon. The townhome development that was built on former rail yard land is visible at left. Kenilworth trail is at right. The “bottleneck” is at its most tightest here; but it is a pinch caused by lack of foresight when the yard land was sold after Minneapolis & St. Louis successor Chicago and North Western abandoned the Kenilworth and Cedar Lake yards in the early 1980s.
Anti co locate sign by townhomes along TCW Mpls 7 22 2013
The banner for the “LRT Done Right” website flies like a Yankee flag planted on Rebel earthworks during the Civil War at the townhome development built on former rail yard land post-abandonment.
TCW by townhomes between Cedar and Lake view one Mpls 7 22 2013
We are now looking south along the TC&W towards Lake Street. The townhome development marches practically up to the road on former rail yard land.  If these homes had not been built, there would be none of the issues and opposition hampering co-location today.   The question of whether it was the C&NW or the HCRRA that sold the freight yard land is one worthy of investigation; whoever sold it was extremely nearsighted, needless to say.
Underside of Lake St bridge view two Mpls 7 22 2013
At Lake Street along the TC&W’s current alignment on the ex-C&NW, exx-M&St.L. route from Cedar Lake to Bass Lake. Note how there is space for at least two tracks under the bridge deck at the right. A freight rail track could be threaded through there and the two LRT tracks could go through the center, though the bridge itself doubtless will need work to accommodate the overhead wires and other infrastructure.
Underside of Lake St bridge view one Mpls 7 22 2013
We are on the south side of Lake Street. The “bottleneck” has ended, and elbow room exists for co-location of the freight rail and LRT tracks…
Looking northeast along TCW by Lake St Mpls 7 22 2013
…as you can see further…
006
…and further south of Lake Street.
Looking southwest on TCW near Lake St Mpls 7 22 2013
We are now looking southwest from the vantage point of the photo above. Again, you could put the freight rail line further over and co-locate the LRT. The matter of whether to cross the lines at grade at Bass Lake or via a bridge is another matter of contention. I must concede that a bridge would be the best solution, since it would allow LRT operations to be unaffected by freight rail operations. The bridge could begin in this area for the gentlest grade possible for LRTs. Of course, should the LRT be put in a tunnel from Cedar Lakr to Bass Lake a bridge would become a moot point.  This and preceding seven photos taken on July 22, 2013, by Tony Held.

BNSF Wayzata Sub: Volume Six

Westbound BNSF grain train pulling out of siding Long Lake 6 9 2013
Here comes a westbound BNSF grain job with BNSF 7709 (ES44DC) and 6930(ES44C4) at the crew’s disposal. Photo taken on 6-9-2013 by Tony Held.
Departing westbound BNSF grain train at Brown Road Long Lake 6 9 2013
Here is another view of the two units on the June 9 catch as the hogger takes the train beneath the Brown Road bridge (a span that is a staple landmark in many of my pics taken in Long Lake.) Photo by Tony Held.
Tagged hopper on grain train 1 Long Lake 6 9 2013
The June 9 catch had a bunch of colorful “tagged” smoothside covered hoppers in the consist like this one…
Tagged hopper on grain train 2 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…this one…
Tagged hopper on grain train 3 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…this baby…
Tagged hopper on grain train 4 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…this example…
Tagged hopper on grain train 5 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…this example…
Tagged hopper on grain train 6 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…this example…
Tagged hopper on grain train 7 Long Lake 6 9 2013
…and finally these babies. All photos by Tony Held.
Westbound BNSF freight Long Lake 6 19 2013
Here comes yet another westbound general freight (I really have to learn my train symbols) rumbling through Long Lake on June 19, 2013. Motive power is BNSF 5023 and 5241(both C44-9Ws.) Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight approaching pedestrian bridge Long Lake 6 29 2013
Here is an eastbound freight storming through town bound for Wayzata and on into Minneapolis just after the lead units “split the signals” at the west end of the Long Lake-Wayzata siding (I can’t recall the proper name for that piece of track.) Motive power was BNSF 4306 (C44-9W) and 5694 (AC44CW.) Photo taken on June 29, 2013, by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight Long lake 6 29 2013
The same two units as they scoot out from under the pedestrian bridge over the Wayzata Sub/Hwy 12 corridor in Long Lake. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF grain train Long Lake 7 6 2013
I really composed this shot of this eastbound grain job very good; I did not need to crop it at all! Photo taken on July 6, 2013, by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF grain train headed  for Wayzata Long Lake 7 6 2013
There they go, headed for the bridges carrying the Luce Line over the BNSF/Hwy 12 corridor. Motive power was BNSF 6852 and 6654 (both ES44C4s.) Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF DPU unit on eastbound grain train Long Lake 7 6 2013
This grain job I caught on July 6 had this Grinstein Green-painted SD70MAC on the hind end as the DPU…
Another view of BNSF DPU unit on eastbound grain train Long Lake 7 6 2013
…the road number of which was 9627. Both photos by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound BNSF train with UP power Long Lake 7 6 2013
You can find motive power from other railways on the Wayzata Sub. Usually they are NS and CSX units, but other roads show up as well. I also caught on July 6, 2013, this empty eastbound ballast train that the dispatcher stopped in town for a time before clearing on through. Motive power was UP 4984 and 4771 (both SD70Ms.) I am glad I caught it! Photo by Tony Held.

BNSF Wayzata sub: Volume Five

Stopped BNSF eastbound general freight Long Lake 5 31 2013
BNSF dispatch loves to halt trains in Long Lake, MN, and not just on the siding, too. At times the trains they stop right on the main track yield terrific catches like this one on May 31, 2013! Photo by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound BNSF freight Long Lake 5 31 2013
The motive power on this May 31, 2013 catch of mine was a trio of ex-BN units …
Stopped BNSF eastbound freight Long Lake 5 31 2013
… 8100 and 8103 (SD60Ms), and 1916 (SD40-2.) Both photos by Tony Held.
RailGon gondola 29658 in stopped BNSF eastbound freight Long Lake 5 31 2013
Here is one of three interesting freight cars I found on this stopped eastbound freight with the ex-BN power. This is Rail Gon gondola 29658.  Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF gondola 516196 in consist of stopped eastbound freight Long Lake 5 31 2013
Here is a new BNSF gondola, 516196, complete with “swoosh” logo.  Photo by Tony Held.
Tagged AGPX hopper 12057 in consist of stopped  BNSF eastbound L Lake 5 31 2013
This hopper car was the third interesting freight car I saw on the May 31 catch, AGPX 12057. It was “tagged” with some vibrant –but clean– graffiti! It got parked half under the Brown Road bridge when the hogger stopped the train for the red signal. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight with dash nine 5032 and ES44DC 7312 Long Lake 6 3 2013
Here comes another eastbound general freight, one BNSF dispatch is letting roll right through town. It has BNSF 5032 (C44-9W) and 7321 (ES44DC) on the point. Photo taken on 6-3-2013 by Tony Held..
Going away view of eastbound BNSF freight about to head into siding Long Lake 6 3 2013
Here are the two units again as the hogger takes the train east. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound freight DPU passing under Brown Road Long Lake 6 3 2013
Here comes the DPU unit on this train, BNSF 6117 (an ES44AC.) It is emerging from beneath the Brown Road bridge. Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF ES4AC 6117 on eastbound freight Long Lake 6 3 2013
Another look at the 6117. Photo by Tony Held.
Tagged BNSF hopper Long Lake 6 3 2013
Before the DPU appeared I saw this tagged BNSF hopper sporting the old logo …
Tagged ex Southern boxcar Long Lake 6 3 2013
…this very well tagged ex-Southern boxcar…
Ex BN covered hoppers Long Lake 6 3 2013
…and these two lightly graffiti-clad ex-BN ribside hoppers. All three photos by Tony Held.
Westbound BNSF freight Long Lake 6 6 2013
Westbound thunder! Here comes a westbound general freight (I really need to learn the train symbols for the Wayzata sub!) rumbling through Long Lake on the 69th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2013. Photo by Tony Held.
Westbound BNSF general freight about to duck under Brown Road Long Lake 6 6 2013
There goes the motive power on what I dubbed the “D-Day anniversary express”, ducking under Brown Road. The crew had BNSF 4108 (C44-9W) and 7688 (ES44DC) for power. Photo by Tony Held.
Tagged CN boxcars in westbound freight Long Lake 6 6 2013
I spotted these tagged boxcars in the string of cars hanging off the knuckle of the rear unit …
Tagged boxcars in westbound freight Long Lake 6 6 2013
…along with these specimens. Freight yards and other open access rail areas sure bring out the street artists. Photo by Tony Held.

Canadian Pacific/Progressive Rail: Volume three

PGR 36 and freight house sign Bloomington 8 21 2012
Here is PGR’s ex-MN&S SW1500 36 (now back in MN&S-style paint and an MN&S-style PGR logo) sitting at the Bloomington freight house on a late summer evening. Photo taken by Tony Held on 8-21-2012.
Load of lumber on spur near PGR freighthouse Bloomington 8 21 2012
And here is HE center-beam flat -26114- sitting on the spur tracks off of the line into the PGR Bloomington freight house. This HE car is loaded with lumber. Are these spurs some kind of team track now? Photo taken by Tony Held on 8-21-2012.
PGR 38 at Rosemount 9 16 2012
Now we are down in Rosemount, Minnesota, where Progressive Rail operates the former Milwaukee Road line from Rosemount to Eagan, MN. Here PGR SW1500 38 sits beneath a balmy early fall sky at the PGR/UP interchange. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-16-2012.
Rosemount PGR depot 9 16 2012
Progressive Rail actually went and built and honest to goodness depot in Rosemount after they took over ops on the old Milwaukee Road from Canadian Pacific … and it looks like a younger sibling to the Princess Depot up in Minnehaha Park! Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-16-2012.
End of cut of cars parked on hi line east of Penn Avenue south 10 14 2012
Late on a mid-fall Sunday morning I came across this cut of freight cars just sitting on the Hi-Line east of Penn Avenue in Bloomington. Was this a cut of interchange awaiting being pushed down to Nesbitt Siding? Photo taken by Tony Held on 10-14-2012.
W102nd street grade crossing Bloomington 10 14 2012
Here we are looking towards the W102nd Street grade crossing along the Hi-Line in Bloomington, MN. Photo taken by Tony Held on 10-14-2012.
PGR sticker on signal for W102nd street grade crossing Bloomington 10 14 2012
Progressive Rail has taken over operations along the Hi-Line to the point they put up their emergency contact stickers on all grade crossings, like this one adorning the one at W102nd Street. Photo taken by Tony Held on 10-14-2012.
Queen Ave grade crossing Bloomington 10 14 2012
And here we are just down from W102nd Street at the Queen Avenue grade crossing along the Hi-Line looking west. Photo taken by Tony Held on 10-14-2012.
CP 4609 and PGR 36 at CAT plant Bloomington 1 19 2013
Here is a Canadian Pacific visitor to Progressive Rail’s Hi-Line idling away down by Zeigler Cat on a cold late Saturday morning in January. It is none other than an ex-Milwaukee Road unit, GP40 4609! Note PGR 36 in the background on the spur track into Zeigler. Photo taken by Tony Held on 1-19-2013.
CP GP40 4609 on PGR High Line by CAT plant Bloomington 1 19 2013
A roster shot of CP ex-MILW GP40 4609 down by the Zeigler plant off of the PGR Hi-Line in Bloomington. Unit was either here for work at Zeigler or was being leased by PGR for extra motive power. Photo taken by Tony Held on 1-19-2013.