Tag Archives: railroads

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.

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.

 

Take a ride on these rusty, weedy rails?

The ex Milwaukee Road line on west side of Chamberlian SD 9 29 2011
Photo by Tony Held.

 

The photograph above is the ex-Milwaukee Road route through Chamberlain, South Dakota, that is now owned by the state and operated by short line Dakota Southern.  This is how it looks on the west side of town as the line heads for the Missouri River and the majestic bridge that carries the line over it.

These rails do not look passable, do they?

Believe it or not, some intrepid speeder (aka track inspection) owners took a ride on this line recently as documented in this You Tube video. The only worrisome thing about the rails I saw was that a few seemed to be trying to get out of gauge on the line on the east side of the wide Missouri.

However, this line is slated for upgrading and further use. Speeders will not be the only thing you see on this line in the near future!

Canadian Pacific/Progressive Rail: Volume one

Northbound CP SOO MNS local approaching Excel Blvd SLP 12 17 2012
Canadian Pacific operates the former Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern main line from MN&S Junction in Crystal, MN, to Nesbitt Siding in Bloomington, MN, where it interchanges with Progressive Rail. On December 17th, 2012, only one empty gondola was being toted back to Humbolt Yard by the crew aboard this duo veteran Soo Line GP38-2s (4410 and 4449) as they approached Excelsior Blvd in St. Louis Park, MN. Photo by Tony Held.
Northbound CP SOO MNS local about to cross Excel Blvd SLP 12 17 2012
A going-away shot of the two units as they near the Excelsior Blvd crossing. Photo by Tony Held.
Northbound CP SOO MNS local crossing Excel Blvd SLP 12 17 2012
And a view of the whole train as it crosses the road. Photo by Tony Held.
Zoom shot of northbound CP local approaching Brunswick Ave SLP 12 17 2012
Now we are looking at the same train via a zoom shot taken from Brunswick Avenue in St. Louis Park. We are farther north along the old MN&S at this point. Photo by Tony Held.
CP local northbound on curve at Brunswick Ave SLP 12 17 2012
The train rounds the curve at Brunswick Avenue …
Northbound CP local on curve at Brunswick Ave SLP 12 17 2012
…looking like it was the 1980s instead of 2012…
Northbound CP local on curve by Brunswick Ave SLP 12 17 2012
…and then continues on north. All photos by Tony Held.
CP caboose on spur near Laurel Ave Golden Valley 12 17 2012
By the time I had reached Golden Valley this day I had lost the northbound CP local on the old MN&S. I did however find this fine compensation: a CP center cupola caboose parked on a short spur just south of the Laurel Avenue grade crossing! Photo by Tony Held.
CP caboose at Laurel Ave spur Golden Valley 12 26 2012
On the day after Christmas I returned to get another portrait of this hack …
CP MOW gondola and caboose at Laurel Ave spur Golden Valley 12 26 2012
… along with a CP tie loader/un-loader that had been spotted on the Laurel Avenue spur since my last visit. Photos by Tony Held.
CP MOW gondola at Laurel Ave Golden Valley 12 26 2012
A roster view of the CP tie un-loader. Photo by Tony Held.
Milwaukee Jct SLP 12 26 2012
As the post-Christmas sun sets, we are now back in St. Louis Park at Milwaukee Junction. Here the old MN&S main line has a connection to both local industry (now confined to just one shipper, J.B. Hill Co.) and the former Pacific Coast main line of the Milwaukee Road now operated by Twin Cities & Western. Photo by Tony Held.
Spur track into Skunk Hollow from Milwaukee Jct SLP 12 26 2012
A view down the track from Milwaukee Junction leading into “Skunk Hollow.” Another track leads out of Skunk Hollow and connects with the former Milwaukee, meaning the junction is made up in the form of a giant wye. Photo by Tony Held.
PGR 36 and loaded lumber flats Bloomington 4 30 2013
Now we are at the freight house Progressive Rail operates in Bloomington, MN, located at the north end of a rabbits warren of spur track off of the former MN&S “High Line” west of 35W. On April 30th, 2013, I found PGR 36 coupled up to two bulkhead flats loaded with lumber at the freight house. Photo by Tony Held.
Gondola and lumber flat on spur near PGR freight house Bloomington 4 30 2013
And speaking of lumber, I also found on April 30th this loaded bulkhead flat along with a gondola spotted on a spur track that branches off the track into the freight house. Like I said, there is a rabbits warren of tracks here! Photo by Tony Held.

 

BNSF Wayzata sub: Volume three

Stopped eastbound ethanol Wayzata 5 8 2013
Here is an eastbound ethanol job that took the hole on the Long Lake to Wayzata siding on May 8th, 2013. I was only abler to get this shot of the head-end. It had a still in Grinstein-Green SD70MAC (9774) and a Norfolk Southern unit on the point. Photo by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound ethanol DPU Long Lake 5 8 2013
I had much better luck with the unit on the hind end of the May 8th, 2013, ethanol catch. It was ES44C4 6755. Photo by Tony Held.
Westbound BNSF grain train Long Lake 5 10 2013
Here comes a westbound grain train on May 10th, 2013. I kicked off National Train Day early with this one! Motive power was BNSF 7737 (ES44DC), BNSF 7913(ES44DC), and BNSF 6615 (ES44C4.) Photo by Tony Held.
Westbound BNSF freight Long Lake 5 11 2013
And here is my National Train Day BNSF Wayzata Sub catch! It was a westbound general freight that had BNSF 5191 (C44-9W), BNSF 7649 (ES44DC), and BNSF 9451(SD70MAC) for power. Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-11-2013.
Westbound BNSF freight and signals Long Lake 5 11 2013
A going-away view of the three units as they charge for the green signal on the main track. Photo by Tony Held.
Ex CNW covered hopper and spare whell set flats Long Lake 5 11 2013
This job had an ex-C&NW grain hopper and two flats with sets of wheels in the consist. Photo by Tony Held.
Hind end of westbound BNSF freight Long Lake 5 11 2013
And there my National Train Day catch goes as the main track signal now glows red. Soon it will shut off completely … until the next train is due. Photo by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound BNSF work train Long Lake 5 15 2013
On May 15th, this maintenance-of-way job rolled into town to unload some ties. I could not get a clear shot of the power due to a time crunch; but you can clearly make out the tie un-loader in the back of the consist. Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF work train unloading ties Long Lake 5 15 2013
The tie un-loader at work on May 15th, 2013, as its operator drops the ties beside the high iron of the Wayzata Sub in Long Lake. Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF work train at Wayzata 5 17 2013
Speaking of maintenance-of-way, this little train operates out of Northtown Yard and is a common visitor to the Wayzata Sub. Here it is stashed in the “yard” at Wayzata that consists of the former Dakota Rail interchange trackage. Note the classic BN hack number 11770; what appears to be another un-loader of some sort; and the “motive power” consisting of a hi-rail semi. Photo taken by Tony Held on May 17th, 2013.
Eastound freight in siding view one Wayzata 5 17 2013
Parked down the way the same evening I bagged the MOW job above was this eastbound general freight parked on the siding starting directly beneath the bridge that connects Highway 12 with County Road 15 in Wayzata. Motive power at the crew’s disposal is a pair of C44-9Ws, 5127 and 4699. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound freight in siding view two Wayzata 5 17 2013
Another shot of the motive power on the general freight I bagged in Wayzata on May 17th, 2013. Note how the logo on the nose of the 4699 is “broken” by a replacement front door. Photo by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound freight Long Lake 5 18 2013
On May 18th, 2013, the BNSF dispatcher halted this eastbound freight right in Long Lake proper on the main track. The lead unit was BNSF; the other two CSX! Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF C44 9W 4936 Long Lake 5 18 2013
Roster shot of the lead unit, C44-9W 4936 …
CSX C40 8 7640 Long Lake 5 18 2013
… the middle unit, CSX C40-8 7640 …
CSX C44 9W 9036 Long Lake 5 18 2013
… and the last unit in the lash-up, CSX C44-9W 9036. (All shots by Tony Held, natch.)
Stopped eastbound freight and tie piles Long Lake 5 18 2013
Incidentally, this train was stopped practically next to the piles of new ties unloaded by that eastbound MOW job I bagged a few days previously. Photo by Tony Held.

Milwaukee Road 261: volume two

261 passing May Street Long Lake June 16th 2008
It is not often you see a steam locomotive from your apartment! Here is the 261 as she runs in reverse as the 2008 BNSF employee appreciation special passes through Long Lake on the BNSF Wayzata sub bound for Minneapolis Junction. This would be my last photo of the engine for a long time. Photo taken by Tony Held on 6-16-2008.
261 rounding curve view one Andover 5 11 2013
The long dry spell ended on a blustery National Train Day 2013 in Andover, Minnesota. As she appeared chugging around a curve south of the Bunker Lake Blvd grade crossing on the BNSF Hinckley Sub, I took my first photo of her since that Monday back in 2008. This and following photos all taken by Tony Held on 5-11-2013.
261 rounding curve Andover view two 5 11 2013
Then I proceeded to take an even better one …
261 approaching Bunker Lake Blvd NW grade crossing Andover 5 11 2013
… then this really cool shot of that classy Milwaukee Road Class S-3 4-8-4 (who looks even better without her Mars light!) …
261 charging up BNSF  Hinckley sub at Bunker Lake Blvd NW Andover 5 11 2013
… then I wound up being like O. Winston Link quite by accident (that’s Amtrak Genesis number 12 behind her by the way) …
Domes and Cedar Rapids crossing Bunker Lake Blvd NW Andover 5 11 2013
… and made sure to catch the Skytop obs “Cedar Rapids” as it brought up the markers with a grand total of four (count ’em, four!) big dome cars ahead of it. Too bad it blurred around the Mars light a little. Note the spectators in the right background.

CP 2816/MILW 261 doubleheader!

CP 2816 leading MILW 261 through BNSF Union Yard at Minneapolis September 15th 2007
On September 15th, 2007, Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 2816 (back in the service of it’s old owner) and Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 261 (now operated by The Friends of the 261) doubleheaded on an excursion to Winona, MN, with a side trip to LaCrescent, MN. Here the dynamic steam duo is chugging through BNSF’s ex-GN Union Yard approaching the Highway 280 overpass. Photo by Tony Held.
CP 2816 and MILW 261 about to duck under U of M transitway St Paul Midway area September 15th 2007
Now the two locomotives are approaching the University of Minnesota transit way overpass east of Highway 280. The morning was cool and crisp; perfect for white plumes of coal smoke! Photo by Tony Held.
CP 2816 and MILW 261 whistling for grade crossing on track between old GN and NP mains St Paul Midway area September 15th 2007
To my great surprise, the doubleheader suddenly turned onto the “Union Cutoff” that connects the former Great Northern to the former Northern Pacific in BNSF’s Midway area trackage. Here they are approaching the Energy Park Blvd grade crossing on the Cutoff. Photo by Tony Held.
The MILW 261 behind the CP 2816 St Paul Midway area September 15th 2007
There’s the 261, chugging along behind the 2816 like the champ she is. Photo by Tony Held.
Going away view of Skytop observation car Cedar Rapids on tail end of 2816 261 doubleheader excursion St Paul Midway area September 15th 2007
The excursion heads on down the Cutoff with the Milwaukee Road Skytop obs “Cedar Rapids” bringing up the markers. Love the steam plumes in the distance! Photo by Tony Held.

Milwaukee Road 261: Volume one

MILW 261 at speed Long Lake June 15th 2008
In June of 2008 Milwaukee Road Class S-3 4-8-4 261 wheeled a couple BNSF Employee Appreciation specials through Long Lake, MN. This picture is one of my favorites of the bunch; here she is splitting the signals in Long Lake as her crew gives her plenty of steam for the run from Minneapolis Junction to Howard Lake and return. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 15th, 2008.
MILW 261 with BNSF empolyee appreciation train Long Lake June 15th 2008
A wider shot of the 261 splitting the signals. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 15th, 2008.

BNSF Dash 8 515 on hind end of BNSF employee appreciation special Long Lake June 15th 2008
A BNSF Dash-8 (515) was the unit tacked onto the hind end of the 2008 Employee Appreciation runs to Howard Lake. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 15th, 2008.
261 BNSF Employee Appreciation special meeting eastbound sand train Long Lake June 16th 2008
The first three pics were taken on a Sunday evening; I made sure to put in for the next day off from work so I could catch the following shots of the 261. Here the Employee Appreciation Special is easing past an eastbound freight that is making a run-around the westbound excursion via the siding that stretches from eastern Long Lake to western Wayzata on the BNSF Wayzata sub. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 16th, 2008.
Close up of MILW 261 Long Lake June 16th 2008
A close-up shot of the 261 with the westbound BNSF EAS. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 16th, 2008.
Green signal for 261 after see saw meet with sand train Long Lake June 16th 2008
With the eastbound in the clear, the east-facing main track signal at the Long Lake end of the siding glows a welcome green for 261’s crew. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 16th, 2008.
Santa Fe Super Dome Bay View Long Lake June 16th 2008
Here is a former Santa Fe Super Dome -the Bay View- which was included in the 2008 BNSF EAS trips from Minneapolis Junction to Howard Lake. Photo taken by Tony Held on June 16th, 2008.
261 BNSF Employee Appreciation special accelerating for Howard Lake Long Lake June 16th 2008
There goes the EAS special leaving Long Lake behind as Dash-8 515 brings up the rear. Photo taken by Tony Held on 6-16-2008.

 

BNSF Wayzata sub: volume two

Eastbound BNSF oil train taking siding Long Lake 5 4 2013
CSX run-through power can also be regularly found on the BNSF Wayzata sub along with NS units. Here we have an eastbound oil train taking the siding at Long Lake with BNSF 4936 (C44-9W) CSX 7640 (C40-8) for power. Interesting to relate, the crew of this train and that of another eastbound that was clearing the siding as this job pulled in were playing “musical chairs” with a westbound general freight. Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-4-2013.
Westbound and eastbound freights meeting Long Lake 5 4 2013
Here the second eastbound and the westbound pass each other. The former at something akin to a brisk walk; the latter at something akin to a crawl. Luce Line trail crosses bridge in background. Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-4-2013.
BNSF ES44AC 6038 and dash nines 5377 and 4904 with westbound freight  L lk 5 4 2013
The westbound continues to crawl along the main track as the oil train tip-toes into the clear. Motive power is BNSF 6038 (ES44AC), BNSF 5377 (C44-9W), and BNSF 4904 (C44-9W). Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-4-2013.
Westbound freight waiting for eastbound to clear Long Lake 5 4 2013
The westbound comes to a quick stop as the long line of oil cars on the eastbound unit oil (or was it ethanol?) job straggles into the clear as the main track signal glowers red at the hogger on the westbound. Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-4-2013.
Westboud freight with clear signal 5 4 2013
All is clear now with the signal green and switch aligned for the main track again. Soon the westbound hogger will have a wheel into the train again. Photo taken by Tony Held on 5-4-2013.