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NRHS Lake Superior Limited 8/11/2009

by Chris Guenzler

The day started with me up early putting up stories and then I thought I had put one up for Winston to proof, but alas I did not do it! A tired Chris! I checked out of the Days Inn and gassed up the rental car for the last time. I went to McDonalds for breakfast and met someone going to the Convention Train and gave him a ride to the Amtrak Station. I turned the rental car keys to Hertz and then waited for the line to form to get our tickets for the convention activities. That was great that the NRHS did that. They announced that all luggage would have to be trucked to Duluth. In the Convention Booklet it stated that only Holiday Inn and Radisson guests would have their luggage trucked. I could not do that because of my computer. I was with Joe Harper and Richard at the time and Richard offered to take my luggage to Duluth in his truck and deliver it later that afternoon. I was now relieved as I would not have to carry it up the hills of Duluth to the Best Western Motel.

Passengers waiting for our train to be spotted for loading.

The Amtrak crew then put the engine on the point of our train.

Our train then pulled forward to past a switch.

The train then backed into the station. Our train consisted of Engine 166, Mount Vernon 800708, Kitchi Gammi Club VRIC7 800705, Southern Pacific Coach Golden Sands 800748, Southern Pacific Coach Golden State 800881, Santa Fe Mojave Lounge 800651, Braddock Inn Parlor 800854, New York Central 38 Parlor 800655, Super Dome 800862 and Cedar Rapids 800040. All coach passengers like me had to board only the Mojave, Braddock Inn or the New York Central 38 as they weren't using the Southern Pacific coaches to Duluth. I took a lounge car seat in the Mojave and settled in for my trip. They announced that due to BNSF track work we would be heading east out of the station and taking the ex Northern Pacific Freight Route to get to the normal route to Duluth. A piece of very rare passenger mileage.

As we left backing up, we passed the private cars that reside in the Twin Cities.

Our train passed the Amtrak Midway Station.

The former Art Train Observation Car.

Inside of the Mojave.

Our train would be turned at the wye at the Minnesota Commercial Railway Shops.

Taking the southwest leg of the wye.

This is the track we would travel down once our entire train cleared the switch.

The train pulled forward crossing Transfer Street passing the Minnesota Commercial Railway Roundhouse.

Passing more of the Minnesota Commercial motive power.

Our train now pulling forward onto the normal Amtrak Route to St. Paul.

Our train dropping down Short Line Hill.

Fordson Junction.

Passing a Twin Cities Western train as we finished dropping down Short Line Hill.

The train has reached the bottom of Short Line Hill.

Our train passes downtown St. Paul.

The Mississippi River.

Robert St.

St. Paul Union Station.

Turning to the north at West Division Street.

At Seventh St. I entered my second stretch of new mileage of the day, the first being that wye we turned on after leaving the Midway Amtrak Station.

On Milwaukee Road 261 trips we have used the tracks on the right to climb Westminster Hill.

Our routing took us through the tunnel underneath the BNSF mainline to head to Minneapolis Jct and a highway.

The other track joins our route as we continued north and west.

Milepost 1.

At E. Mississippi we took the diverging route.

Our train continued to climb and turn.

At Soo Line Jct we crossed under the old Soo Line.

We continued west down the old Northern Pacific Freight Route.

Our train met a BNSF freight with an ex Santa Fe Freight unit on the point.

We continued west down this double track route.

The former Northern Pacific Como Shops now Bandana Square.

Midway Stadium is home to the St. Paul Saints Minor League Baseball Team.

Union Jct.

Downtown Minneapolis Skyline could be seen at this point.

Park Jct.

We ended our rare mileage trip when we returned to the normal routing to Duluth. Now I can sit back and enjoy the rest of this trip to Duluth.

Click here for the rest of the trip to Duluth