Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific

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Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:32 AM

To think you could ride a regular scheduled train, an International one at that, with overnight sleeping accommodations from Fort Francis, Ont. to Duluth, Minnesota boggles my mind as to how far removed from a civilized society we have managed to find ourselves in. 

Thank you Classic Trains for todays picture. Good old Fort Francis. 

Steam on “the Peg”

Pacific 5127, leased from parent Canadian National, pauses at Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific’s elevated station (hidden behind train) in West Duluth, Minn., with the overnight accommodation from Fort Frances, Ont., in September 1954.
Philip R. Hastings photo

 

Also this area on the Ontario side was the CNR's last great stand for the 2-10-2's Sante Fe types, needed due to the hilly and rough terrain between Rainy River and Fort Francis. One is preserved in Rainy River, a bit over an hour to the East.

 

 

 Last runs 1958-some early 1959.

 

 

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Posted by GeoffS on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 8:36 AM

Any chance the station is still there?

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 9:07 AM

The Duluth Depot is a historic train station in DuluthMinnesotaUnited States. The union station was built in 1892, served seven different rail lines, and accommodated 5,000 passengers. In 1973 it re-opened as the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center, housing the Duluth Art InstituteLake Superior Railroad Museum (which operates the North Shore Scenic Railroad), St. Louis County Historical Society Museum, a Veteran's Memorial Hall, and five performing arts organizations.[1] Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) provided rail service to the station from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.

DescriptionEdit

The Depot is located at 506 West Michigan Avenue in the shadow of the elevated I-35, which runs immediately southeast of the depot. (On the southeast side of the Duluth Harbor Basin of Lake Superior.) The depot is easily accessible from northeast bound I-35 by way of the Michigan Avenue interchange (exit 256A). It is also fairly accessible from southwest bound I-35 by way of the Lake Avenue/5th Avenue West interchange (exit 256B). (However, since West Michigan Avenue is a one-way street, vehicular traffic must turn northwest [right] onto South 5th Avenue West, southwest [left] onto West Superior Street, and then southeast [left] onto South 6th Avenue West before reaching West Michigan Avenue.) The station has one side platform and three island platforms that provide access to its seven tracks. The outer southeast active track is utilized by the North Shore Scenic Railroad, with the remainder being used to display various trains and train cars by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.[2]

North Shore Scenic RailroadEdit

Scenic tours from the station continue to be provided by the North Shore Scenic Railroad (a heritage railroad operated by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum), which provides several different excursions from Duluth to points northeast along Lake Superior's northern shore.[5] Regular tours are round-trip, ranging from one to six hours long, with destinations including the Lester River, the area of Palmers, and the city of Two Harbors.[6] The railroad also provides a multitude of special excursions throughout the year,[7] as well as opportunities for charter trips.

 

HistoryEdit

The current depot was built on the site of the previous wood framed depot building (constructed in 1870) and was designed by architectural firm Peabody and Stearns. (The original depot building remained on site until it was disassembled after its replacement was complete.) Many local materials were used in the French Norman-style building, including granite, sandstone, and yellow brick. After two years of construction, the depot was completed in 1892 at a cost of $615,000. A large Train Shed originally covered the building's platforms, but it was removed in 1924 and replaced by the canopies that remain. Over the next seventy-seven years it served seven different railroads (Duluth & Iron RangeDuluth, Missabe, & Iron RangeDuluth, South Shore & AtlanticDuluth Missabe & NorthernGreat NorthernNorthern PacificSaint Paul & Duluth) before it closed in 1969.[4]

Although the depot was scheduled for demolition following its closure, it was eventually saved and in 1971 the Duluth Union Depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places.Music Although the depot was purchased from the railroad owner for the bargain price of a quarter of a million dollars and the edifice was in excellent condition, the cost of the necessary renovations to prepare The Depot to its current condition cost another $4.7 million.[9]

Former Amtrak serviceEdit

While The Depot continued to house its other tenants, Amtrak provided rail service to the station for nearly a decade (1977-1985). In 1975 Amtrak initiated the Arrowhead to provide service from the Great Northern Depot in Minneapolis to SuperiorWisconsin[10] (which is south of Duluth, just across the Saint Louis Bay of Lake Superior). By 1977 service by the Arrowhead was finally extended the 4 miles (6 km) north to this station[11] (previously thuway connection bus service had been provided between the stations). In 1978 the North Starreplaced the Arrowhead and extended the rail service south from Minneapolis–Saint Paul to ChicagoIllinois.[12] The next stop for both Amtrak trains was in SuperiorWisconsin. In 1981 service by the North Star was truncated back to the Midway Station in Saint Paul.[13]However, in 1985 Amtrak ended all passenger rail service to Duluth when the North Star was entirely discontinued.

 

Proposed rail serviceEdit

 

Renovations to the depot are in planning to serve the Northern Lights Express Higher-speed rail service from Minneapolis to Duluth. This 155-mile (249 km) project will roughly follow the route of Amtrak's former North Star and is expected to include stops in Coon RapidsIsantiCambridge, and Hinckley in Minnesota and in Superior, Wisconsin.[14]

Former Canadian National Railway Station

4th St. W. (west of Central Ave.), Fort Frances, Ontario, P9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/06/01

 
 
Corner view of Former Canadian National Railway Station, showing both the rear and side façades, 1993.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, Murray Peterson, 1993.
Rear elevation
 
No Image
 
 
No Image
 
 

 

OTHER NAME(S)

Former Canadian National Railway Station
Canadian Northern Railway Station
Canadian Northern Railway Station

LINKS AND DOCUMENTS

CONSTRUCTION DATE(S)

1913/01/01

LISTED ON THE CANADIAN REGISTER: 2007/02/28

  STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

The former Canadian National Railway (CNR) station at Fort Frances, which was originally part of the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) system, was built in 1913. It is a relatively large 1 ½ storey station with a distinctive profile featuring a capped tower and steeply pitched gabled roofline. Today it serves as a local museum.

HERITAGE VALUE

The station at Fort Frances has been designated a heritage railway station because of its historical associations, and also for its architectural and environmental significance. 

The former Canadian National Railway (CNR) station at Fort Frances, which was originally part of the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) system, was built in 1913. It was designed by the CNoR Engineering Department in Winnipeg, and still retains a form recognizable in early 20th century prairie and western railway stations. Once the CNoR was built, Fort Francis took advantage of its strategic location as one of the railway links between the United States and Canada to develop the community as a milling centre for raw lumber material from both sides of the border. Over the years, this station has accommodated traditional railway services for passengers and freight, as well as customs and immigration services. A sympathetic 1928 extension to the east end provided additional space for the express room and an office.

The heritage value of the former CNoR station at Fort Frances resides the extent of its integrity and the railroad history to which it bears witness. It lies in the legibility of the station’s design, simple massing, traditional materials, and modest architectural detail.

Source: 
Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Northern Railway Station, Fort Frances Ontario, October 1993. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-170, 1993.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Character-defining elements of the Former Canadian National Railway Station include:

- the elongated footprint due to the 1928 east end baggage addition, its 1½ storey massing, and low-pitched hipped roof with projecting bell-cast eaves and dominant off-centre square second storey capped pyramidal roof cut by gable dormers, a conically-capped tower, and projecting chimneys,  
- its defining profile, dominated by complex, many layered roof forms from all four angles,
- its substantial proportions,
- the station’s dual function as a public railway facility and residence,
- the balance inherent in its vertical definition, 
- the asymmetrical yet rhythmic placement of its apertures and eave brackets, 
- the picturesque inspiration of its details: irregular roof forms, segmentally-arched aperture heads, multi-paned windows, prominent brackets, broad bell-cast eaves, gabled dormers, octagonal tower,
- the varying colours and textures of its original materials: red brick walls on a concrete foundation, cut stone lug sills, wooden doors and trim,
- the station’s platform frame construction technology,  
- any and all original fabric inside the station, 
- any and all surviving indications of the station’s original functional and spatial configuration.

  RECOGNITION

  HISTORICAL INFORMATION

  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 1:08 PM

Sad but true, the United States is removed from being a civilized nation and has become an insane place on the planet not far from Hell itself. 

Just look what we have today: A government in Washington D.C. that doesn't work for We The People; human beings dying in Puerto Rico (remember the Berlin Air Lift when the Soviet Union cut this major German city off by land?): and now  another mass killing, this time in Las Vegas; or to make matters worse, there's still no way you can travel by train from Texas to Colorado or take another train from there North by Northwest so you can make a connection in Montana with the Empire Builder to reach a destination such as Spokane or Seattle, down the coast from there to Oregon or up Puget Sound to Vancouver, B.C. by rail in Century 21.

Indeed, a Sorry State of affairs!

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 2:18 PM

Well I can't and won't comment or pass judgement on the political things and events, lets just keep it to the trains and railroad's.

Not sure when this train was discontinued, and will search. At least as late as Sept. '54 you could take a sleeper between these points, Fort Frances and Duluth as well as countless other locations across our lands. 

It seems to me there was a fast rush and came on very suddenly to get rid of these numerous trains everywhere as soon as possible, that they were perceived as being inefficient and old fashioned, that assets and manpower could be better used elsewhere. It was a corporate mindset. Yes, yes, we know that losing mail and express made it much worse. 

Don't tell me that the New York Central, and others, was in better shape after shedding so much of it's "money losing passenger" trains. 

That is just the "line" and does not pass the eye test one bit. 

 I think it was artificial, a created perception that suited the think alike lemmings. It really only happened in North America, no where else. Of course few will agree with me, being thoroughly  and effectively brainwashed by the auto industry, the oil industry, Madison Avenue and money money money. Ike warned us all, even if it was a bit vague and cryptic. 

I maintain we could have not rushed to judgement, held the railroads feet to the fire regarding passenger trains as to the original "deals" and charters, offered reasonable subsidies, offered degregulation in exchange, taken a more calmer keep it together philosophy. 

Overall we would have had a kinder, gentler, more focused society and maintained our important services and structure. 

Overnight service with express service, mail and us good folks would be most welcome and work well today if we had not dismantled everything. Alternate universe thinking, but we lost way way too much.

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Posted by GeoffS on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 3:54 PM

Miningman thanks for the info!

GS

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Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 5:23 PM

ALL:

The DWP used the Omaha (CNW) station in Duluth.

From "RDC, The Budd Rail Diesel Car" by Duke and Keilty, Page 166: "Service was the discontinued in 1961, and the RDC was signed over to the Canadian National." "Eventually it became part of the Via Rail Canada rolling stock." Page 166 has a picture of the Omaha Chicago bound train with the DWP RDC on a very cold evening.

Ed Burns

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 9:10 PM

Yes, knew it went to RDC's...always the kiss of death. Trying to find out the last time it carried sleeping accommodations and standard passenger cars. Probably not to long after 1954...maybe another year. 

Don't know how many have been up to that area but the Lake of the Woods area from Rainy River/Fort Francis area up to Red Lake is outstanding and pristine. 

That would have been a great trip in a sleeper, especially in winter, all toasty warm with your CNR wool blanket, whistle blowing away, gradually getting to your destination. A real life Polar Express! 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:14 PM

Aside from the unfortunate, relatively early demise of its passenger service, the DW&P always had a strong freight business.  A real diamond in the rough financial pictures of many Canadian National lines.  Eventually, in some creative accounting CN merged it (on paper) with the Grand Trunk Western and Central Vermont, both chronic money-losers.  The effect was that DW&P's profits were cancelled out by the losses of the other two, and the combined corporation paid no U.S. income tax. 

Its diesels (and the RDC) started out being painted in CN's schemes, but this was later changed to GTW blue & orange with the slogan "delivered with pride" under the logo. 

The company was further absorbed into CN in the early 1990s and lost its individual identity, but there are still a few boxcars rolling around out that have escaped repainting.  Many more newer cars bear DWC or similar reporting marks, but are simply painted with the CN noodle.  Another flag fallen, but not forgotten.

Today the ex-DWP is one of CN's busier lines, and forms a key part of the Winnipeg-Chicago corridor.

Image result for dwc boxcarImage result for dwp boxcarImage result for duluth winnipeg pacific

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:29 PM

Miningman

Also this area on the Ontario side was the CNR's last great stand for the 2-10-2's Sante Fe types, needed due to the hilly and rough terrain between Rainy River and Fort Francis. One is preserved in Rainy River, a bit over an hour to the East.

The Santa Fe's were the most powerful locomotives on CN, but were not speed demons.  I'm told that even at 35-40 mph the rods & drivers were a fabulous blur, and the exhaust one continuous jet-like roar.  Not sure if they were supposed to be run faster than that, but some guys obviously did. 

I've always wanted to see one in person, but have yet to travel through the Fort Frances-Rainy River area.  I will be sure to go that way on my next trip east. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:26 AM

SD70M-2Dude-- It is an enchanting area. When you see the lay of the land you will understand well what those 2-10-2's were up against.  If they were not going up they were going down and rarely straight, always in curves. Added bonus for you is that it is all ex-Canadian Northern  territory, They should have called it the up, down and around.  

You will know instantly that you are not in Kansas anymore...or Alberta.

Go South from Red Lake to Fort Francis and take the "Moms" highway to Thunder Bay...no traffic, very light, nice leisurely trip and be sure to stop in Atikokan and check out the yard and branch lines breaking off. 

Quiet area now but very historic. Wish to heck I could have seen those days there, say during the war, and after, until late 50's. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:10 AM

The introduction of the Budd RDC was the railroads last ditch effort to continue passenger service during the post-WWII era when John Q. Public began to use his own "private car" (Chevy, Ford, etc.) instead of waiting down at the station for a train that in many cases prevented him from returning home in the late evening be it from his job of work or having spent a day out with the family due to the lack of the railroad to provide a realsitic schedule.

The RDC also saved the railroads the added cost of crews and fuel.  If memory serves me well, the Western Pacific maintained the longest run of RDCs in the U.S. while in historic New England, both Boston & Maine and New Haven ran trains with muliple RDCs on runs.  Not to be outdone, even poor old Katy operated a single RDC on the loney run between the Texas towns of Denison and Wichita Falls. 

Even The Friendly Southern Pacific subsidiary Northwestern Pacific operated one on their line and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" a dual RDC set started their career in California on the Surf Line.  The list continues and now in Century 21 we have an entirely new form of rail diesel cars returning to rails all across the United States and Canada as human beings re-discover the train again.  Why, even a few elderly members of the original RDC family can still be found as they continue to run off miles in North America.   

Like it or not, it's called Progress...not only on the C&O!

 

 

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Posted by NP Eddie on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:45 PM

ALL:

My post about the DWP in Duluth brings to light another question about stations.

Please see my new post regard that issue.

Ed Burns

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 13, 2017 9:00 AM

SD70M-2Dude-- Nice pics. Thanks. Hope the few boxcars still around in DW&P remain as is..always exciting to catch one in a consist. 

Trinity--Well as I stated, thats progress as defined by big auto, big oil and spin. That did not happen anywhere else.

NP Eddie--threw in my 2 cents on your thread.

Cold and snow up here...brrr..in for the long haul now. Got a new all wool overcoat, not an import, made in Canada, heavy, warm, bring it on. 

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Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, October 13, 2017 9:33 AM

Miningman:

I remember penny candy, but thanks for your 2 cents!

Ed Burns

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 13, 2017 10:08 AM

Yeah, penny candy...we sure used to drive those store owners nuts with our " two of those, one of those, one of those, ..how much do I have left now ? '...take our little brown paper bag and compare with friends. 

Now we look at credit card balances and freak out every month, and pick up piles of pills at the pharmacist. Yeesh.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, October 13, 2017 10:17 AM

One interesting bit about DW&P was the newsprint boxcars with the "DWC" reporting mark.  They were stencilled as Canadian built for international service only.  The Peg may have been a CN subsidiary but it was incorporated in the United States.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Miningman on Friday, October 13, 2017 10:40 AM

Yes, both Canada and the US had (have) a large presence in each others countries. Sometimes in full view, sometimes hidden in corporations and reporting marks.  In my hometown there was Pere Marquette, Wabash and New York Central all very visible. The CASO is legendary, but Wabash and PM go back a long way. The Wabash even had a scheduled passenger service, all within Southern Ontario.  Later C&O and N&W and Penn Central, then Conrail. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, October 13, 2017 11:25 AM

C&O...for Progress...CSX for...?

Regarding penny candy.  My wooden nickels weren't worth very much and even less so after an angry army of termites had attacked them turning same into a pile of sawdust.

I switched a lot of CN and DWC boxcars in Texas between 1968 and 76 while employed on the AT&SF that were loaded with news print destined for The Dallas Morning News in Big D.  The tracks that served the loading dock were laid out on a slight grade which made it next to impossible to couple up cars equipped with cushion underframes which resulted in lots of naughty four letter words in the process.

After the empties had been pulled, loads spotted with hand brakes set, we'd cut for beans making a bee line to the News' air conditioned lunch room to cool off both bodies and mouths.

Any Dallas railfans know if the "News" receives news print by rail in 2017?

 

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Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, October 13, 2017 12:43 PM

ALL:

Nowdays, a quarter will buy you a "penny" candy.

If my memory serves my correctly a "Fallen Flags" story about the DWP appeared in a "Classic Trains" magazine one or two years ago. A good article.

Ed Burns

 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, October 13, 2017 5:37 PM

No Fake News, just an honest message to DWP shippers: Delivered With Pride! 

I feel sorry for shippers located on CSX.  Better known as the Chicken S*** eXpress by my Tampa Bay railfan buddies!

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