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Mid-'50s Name Train on the Soo Line?

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Duluth, MN
  • 247 posts
Mid-'50s Name Train on the Soo Line?
Posted by OT Dean on Friday, April 27, 2018 12:33 AM

Something triggered a memory the other night.  Back in 1954 or so, two of my model railroading buddies and I got to ride the cab of an F7 off a northbound Soo Line passenger train switching head end cars at Waukesha, WI, at around eight in the evening.  (One of the boys' fathers knew someone.)  The train, on its way north every evening, stopped at Waukesha in mid-evening, uncoupled a baggage car or two, pulled them just north of the Arcadian Avenue grade crossing, then backed them onto a siding on the other side of the access drive to the station.  The Cummings engined EMD SW would move them to the freight house across from the beautiful dressed stone depot in the morning.

It was a bit of a thrill to stand behind the engineer and watch him handle the throttle, brake, and reverse levers while the cab swayed through the frogs.  I've always had a soft spot in my heart for those First Generation Diesels anyway, besides the fact that my second HO locomotive was an Athearn "Hi-F (rubber band drive)" F7 (my first was a Model Engineering Works GE 44-tonner).  Now that I'm in O scale, I'd dearly love to get my hands on one of the GMC/All-Nation F7As and do it up in that nostalgic Soo Line Maroon and Dulux gold livery.

It would compleete my memory to know if that evening train had a name, so I'd know if I've been right in thinking, all these years, that it was The Laker or not.  Thanks, guys--and Happy Railroading!

Deano

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 6,808 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Friday, April 27, 2018 7:36 AM

Hi, deano

Here's a copy of a 1955 Soo Line timetable.

http://sooline.railfan.net/resources/timetables/55ptt.html

The Laker, No. 17 is table 8: Looks like it stopped in Waukesha from 8:55 PM to 9:20 PM.

http://sooline.railfan.net/resources/timetables/55ptt6.jpg

Hope that helps, Ed

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 9,657 posts
Posted by dknelson on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:47 AM

And I'd love to see an O scale model of the Waukesha depot.  It's a classic.  Go for it Deano!

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Duluth, MN
  • 247 posts
Posted by OT Dean on Saturday, April 28, 2018 12:37 AM

Thanks, Ed.  That was a lo-o-ong time ago and I don't know if I even knew the name then!  I later built three HO Soo Line locos for a retired engineer, an 0-6-0 (with Belpaire firebox and square tender, the first loco he fired), a (WC) Pacific, and an F7A and B set, in the old maroon and gold, plus a train of heavyweights to them to pull.  Got a bit of lore from him: "I liked those ALCO FAs, but in the wintertime you had to pile on all the clothes you had, 'cuz the heaters weren't worth a damn, not like the GM engines."  Thanks again.

Deano

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