Tag Archives: trains

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Canadian Pacific/Progressive Rail: Volume two

Looking north on PGR High line from American Blvd crossing 7 23 2012
This is Wilson Siding in Bloomington, MN, on Progressive Rail’s former Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern “Hi-Line” as viewed from the north side of the American Blvd grade crossing. Photo taken on 7-23-2012 by Tony Held.
Zoom view south along PGR High Line from American Blvd W crossing 7 23 2012
Here is a zoom view looking south along the PGR Hi-Line from American Blvd. The industrial branch nature of this route is evidenced by the sight of the hopper car parked on the main track in the distance. Photo taken on 7-23-2012 by Tony Held.
CP MOW equipment parked on siding off of MNS spur Edina 7 23 2012
Now we have moved west to a siding off the Canadian Pacific MNS Spur (ex-MN&S main line) where a bunch of MOW vehicles are parked on this cloudy evening. This siding begins north of where the line ducks under West 78th street, Photo taken on 7-23-2012 by Tony Held.
Close up of MOW equipment parked off of MNS spur Edina 7 23 2012
A closer look at the MOW equipment parked on the siding north of West 78th street on the MNS Spur. Canadian Pacific sure has a lot of lightly used track at their disposal around the Twin Cities. Photo taken on 7-23-2012 by Tony Held.
End view of MNS 102 parked by Ziegler Cat Bloomington 7 30 2012
Progressive Rail has an former MN&S caboose stashed along the Hi-Line down at their open air shops located along the spur into the Ziegler Cat facility located east of 35W in Bloomington. A gap in the gate provided this clear view of one end of it on a sunny late July evening. Photo taken on 7-30-2012 by Tony Held.
RRVW 4014 at Ziegler CAT Bloomington 7 30 2012
Here is Red River Valley and Western GP15C 4104 at the Ziegler facility as viewed via a zoom shot from the perimeter fence. Note how the long hood is off the unit apparently for a new engine block or related machinery to be installed. Photo taken on 7-30-2012 by Tony Held.
PGR 36 and woodchip car at Bloomington freight house 7 30 2012
Here is another piece of the old Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern back on home rails: SW1500 36. It is parked just outside the gate into PGR’s Bloomington freight house located at the end of a rabbit’s warren of spur tracks off the Hi-Line west of 35W. Note the woodchip car behind the MN&S veteran. Photo taken on 7-30-2012 by Tony Held.
Looking east across Hi Line 35W bridge Bloomington 8 13 2012
Here we are looking east across the Hi-Line bridge over 35W. The chain link fence is something of a tacit admission as to how the bridge can be an unofficial pedestrian crossing (and I admit it is nice to walk across an old train bridge that still has rails!) Just watch out for trains before you decide to stroll across. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
RRVW 4104 at Ziegler CAT Bloomington 8 13 2012
A week after I first bagged it, RRV&W 4104 was still having work done at Zeigler CAT. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
PGR 36 at Bloomington freight house 8 13 2012
That same day I caught the PGR 36 inside the PGR freight house grounds. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Centerbeam flat parked off spur near PGR freight house Bloomington 8 13 2012
Here is an empty center-beam flat -HE 26115- parked on a spur track that juts off the line into the PGR freight house. Apparently either a customer is served directly on this spur or it is used for car storage. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Waiting interchange cars at Auto Club yard Bloomington 8 13 2012
Here we have a cut of cars for interchange waiting on the long siding that starts at the north end of the long dormant Auto Club yard over on the MNS Spur in Bloomington. Lead car was Soo Line center-beam flat 600398 followed by Southern Pacific boxcars 247876, 252048, and 247708, and finally UTCX smooth-side covered hopper 51229. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Detail of Soo centerbeam flatcar Auto Club Yard Blmgtn 8 13 2012
A detail shot of Soo Line  center-bream flat 600398 as it waits at the head of a small cut of cars awaiting pickup tomorrow by Canadian Pacific down by Auto Club yard in Bloomington. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
PGR waybill in coupler of Soo centerbeam flatcar Auto Club yard 8 13 2012
A glimpse of the PGR waybill stuffed into the open coupler of  Soo center-beam flat 600398. Quite a place to store one! Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Looking south into dormant Auto Club Yard Bloomington 8 13 2012
Here we are looking south into the dormant Auto Club yard from where the Hi-Line meets the MNS Spur. Note how the switch in the foreground has been replaced by straight track. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Locked but useless switchstand Auto Club Yard Blmgtn 8 13 2012
The locked but now-useless switch stand for the Hi-Line/Auto Club yard junction. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Overgrown track at Auto Club yard 8 13 2012
A glimpse of the heavily overgrown track at Auto Club yard, Bloomington, along the MNS Spur. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.
Looking south along main track at Auto Club Yard 8 13 2012
And now we are looking south along the main line next to the long-dormant Auto Club yard. The yard was last used to scrap old freight cars. Main line has been used by Twin Cities & Western to reach the port of Savage in the past and probably will do so again in the future. Photo taken on 8-13-2012 by Tony Held.

 

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 four

BNSF ES44AC 6406 and SD70 9580 stopped with eastbound coal train Long Lake 8 12 2012
The BNSF dispatcher loves to halt trains in Long Lake until whatever bottleneck or meet schedule at the siding has been resolved. On August 12th, 2012, this eastbound (loaded) unit coal train got tagged in town. Lead units were BNSF 6406 (ES44AC) and still in “Grinstein Green” SD70 9580. Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF SD70ace 9371 DPU on stopped eastbound coal train Orono 8 12 2012
The train stretched all the way through Long Lake and into neighboring Orono. Here is the train’s DPU unit, BNSF 9371 (SD70ace) as viewed from the Old Crystal Bay Road bridge. Photo by Tony Held.
DPU SD70ace 9371 and coal train Orono 8 12 2012
The same DPU unit and the long line of coal cars ahead of it as viewed from the Old Crystal Bay Road bridge. Photo by Tony Held.
Head on view of DPU SD70ace 9371 Orono 8 12 2012
Finally, a classic roster shot of BNSF 9371 as viewed from the Old Crystal Bay Road bridge over the Highway 12/BNSF corridor. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight taking the siding Long Lake 2 9 2013
Sometimes the BNSF dispatcher tags eastbound trains in Long Lake so they can be shifted onto the Long Lake to Wayzata siding. On a gloomy February 9th, 2013, this eastbound grain (?) job headed on into the hole. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight motive power view 1 Long Lake 2 9 1013
Motive power on this train was BNSF 5234 (C44-9W) and BNSF 7239 (ES44DC.) Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight motive power view 2 Long Lake 2 9 2013
A going-away shot of the two units as they emerge from beneath the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Highway 12/BNSF corridor in Long Lake. Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound freight DPU unit view 1 Long Lake 2 9 2013
The DPU unit on this job was coupled nose-first to the hind end; it was BNSF BNSF 5921 (ES44AC.) Photo by Tony Held.
Eastbound BNSF freight DPU view 2 Long Lake 2 9 2013
A going-away view of BNSF 5921. This train was taking the siding so a westbound snowplow extra bound for western Minnesota could pass. A temporary foul-up with my camera left its passage unrecorded, unfortunately. Photo by Tony Held.
Stopped eastbound BNSF freight Long Lake 3 3 2013
On March 3rd, 2013, the first train of the day in Long Lake. was this eastbound general freight that the dispatcher halted in town for a time. The rising sun made for a nice backdrop to this shot! Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF AC44CW 5650 Dash 9 5220 and ES44AC 5876 Long Lake 3 3 2013
Motive power was BNSF 5650 (AC44CW), BNSF 5229 (C44-9W), BNSF 5876(ES44AC.) Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF Dash nines 4501 and 1087 on point of westbound freight Long Lake 3 24 2013
Despite how many times trains are stopped in Long Lake, they also can roar through town in a heartbeat. Here is a westbound freight charges through town on a chilly afternoon. Photo by Tony Held.
BNSF Dash nines 4501 and 1087 ducking under Brown Road with westbound freight Long Lake 3 24 2013
The train as it ducked under the bridge carrying Brown Road over the Highway 12/BNSF corridor. Motive power was BNSF 4501 (C44-9W), BNSF 1087 (C44-9W.) Photo by Tony Held.