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A visit to the Milwaukee Road 261 Shop 8/10/2009

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up at the Best Western Kelly Inn and after a free breakfast in their restaurant, I drove into Minneapolis via Minnesota Highway 9 and Broadway that took me to where I found once again the shop of the Milwaukee Road 261. I called Judy Sandburg and she told me Steve was having breakfast and would be here soon to show me my old friend the Milwaukee Road 261. Joe Harper stopped by for a brief visit and we got caught up on things. Joe left for Duluth and I waited for Steve who showed up twenty five minutes later. He opened up the shop door and for the first time I entered the building that today holds two 4-8-4's.

A Visit to the Milwaukee Road 261 Shop

At the east end of the shop is the Milwaukee Road 261 not looking like it normally does like this view on my first trip to Duluth with this great engine.

The fire box door is missing and all of the jacketing exposing the bare skin of the Milwaukee Road 261. The engine is undergoing its 15 year rebuilding but work has stopped until the lease agreement with the National Railroad Museum is decided.

The bell on the Milwaukee Road 261.

The fireman's side of the engine.

Stay bolts on the walkway.

The engineer side of the Milwaukee Road 261.

Looking down the engineers side of the Milwaukee Road 261.

The fireman's side of the Milwaukee Road 261.

The view into the smoke box. I climbed in for the next picture.

Looking into the boiler minus all of the boiler tubes.

Back to the fireman's side and I went into the cab of the Milwaukee Road 261.

Inside the stripped down cab of the Milwaukee Road 261.

My final view of the Milwaukee Road 261 is of the driving wheels. Now Steve would take me to the other end of the shop to see the other 4-8-4 here, the Southern Pacific 4-8-4 4449.

The Daylight Engine is laying over here after its trip to TrainFestival 2009 in Owosso and will be here to pinch hit for the Milwaukee Road 261 October Fall Colors Trip before returning to Portland after that.

Two views of the Southern Pacific 4449.

The SP 4449 had no problems fitting into this shop building.

Looking down the side of the SP 4449.

The tender of the SP 4449.

This is a joke for the crew of the SP 4449 when they come back to their engine. Steam crews love pulling jokes on each other. Steve and I had a fantastic visit while we walked through the shop building plus their new lounge car they got from the Georgia Southwestern Railroad I rode in on Bart Jenning's Rare Mileage Trip there in Georgia. When I finished, I thanked Steve and drove to my next stop where I would railfan.

Minnesota Commercial Railroad

I pulled up and parked across the street and walked into the office and asked for a release to take pictures at the roundhouse. They handed me a release and I signed it then he signed it and I was now free to take pictures around the roundhouse. When I was done I had to return my copy to them when I was finished. Now it was time to go outside and take the pictures of this unique railroad.

In the roundhouse were B-23-7's 1983 and 1978.

On the turntable was B-30-7 54.

Slug T-2.

The T-2 and 54.

T-1 known as Sluggo.

C424 313.

C-36-7 59.

B-23-7 1982.

Yard scene.

C-30-7 56.


RS-18u 83.

C424 314.

SF-30C 50.

Roundhouse scene. I returned to the office, thanked them for my visit and gave them back my copy of the release.

Bandana Square

I drove to my next location of the morning Bandana Square.

The complex opened in 1984 after several early twentieth century railroad buildings (the Northern Pacific Railway's Como Locomotive Shops) were converted as an envisioned festival marketplace. The venture was unsuccessful and the facility was transformed into office space.

Out in front is a Grand Trunk Western 0-8-0 8327. Once I was done here, I drove to my next stop the Minnesota Transportation Museum.