South Dakota

2912 views
52 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: KS
  • 746 posts
South Dakota
Posted by SFbrkmn on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:22 PM

Last wk the Mrs & I took a vac to western SD and visited Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Bear City. My intent was to keep this totally rr free but did not turn that way--for a day anyway. 

Found an abandoned CB&Q branch that ran Edgemont-Deadwood. It now is a walking trail. Don't think I would want to walk too far--might meet up w/ a bear out doing the same. Does anyone have any history of this line? How did CBQ/BN operate it? When did the trains stop running and when was it officially abandoned? 

Took a side trip south to Edgemont. Pop 900. Likely the most lonely isolated crew base on BNSF. Wife had family there from 1800's into 1920's. Great and great great parents lived there. Great great grandfather lost an arm in a link & pin switching accident. Local history museum has a rr display. She also found more history of the family. Found the graves at cemetery. We want to return someday and put flowers. 

BNSF had 77 engines stored parked. These were in 8800 & 8900 series. This is the afht for Alline crews and a Oak Tree Inn is active for that purpose. Lots of young seniority there. I can see why. 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,545 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:57 PM

Lots of young seniority on most all carriers - Baby Boomers are retiring and there was a long period of limited hiring during the 70's, 80's and 90's as the carriers went through their pre-Staggers line and facility eliminations and then the post-Staggers plant rationalizations and further line eliminations, buy outs and all the other tactics the carriers used to reduce work force numbers.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 4:55 PM

     You don't have to worry much about the bears. The last ones were probably long gone 100 years ago.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,292 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 9:27 PM

I don't have my book handy on the CB&Q Black Hills branch, but IIRC the last train ran about 1983.  The traffic toward the end was coal for the Kirk power plant near Deadwood, and a gravel dealer in Lead.  There may have been occasional traffic for the Homestake Mine.  A couple of road units brought the train to Deadwood, and the Deadwood switcher would handle the Lead branch.  In the steam era, it was the home of a couple of articulateds (I believe the only ones on the CB&Q).  I was fortunate to visit the line in 1981.  There was a small branch out of Hill City that still has the Black Hills Central tourist train.  

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,836 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 9:51 PM

Been in South Dakota a few times in my lifetime and can only give that territory/state compliments. Not a lot of railroading going on there but the scenery is fantastic. The eastern portion is prairie, the western part is the Black Hills, and in between are the Badlands. Seen from a small plane the whole state is beautiful because of it's varying scenery. I speak from experience having been both on the ground in Spearfish and Deadwood and seeing most of the state while flying in a Cessna 182.

Wall Drug in Wall is nothing more than a tourist trap but if you haven't been there you have missed a huge portion of the local culture. I was there in my early teens and a few years ago had a chance to revisit and take photos.

You haven't experienced America if you haven't been in South Dakota. It is closer to Heaven than West Virginia, but in winter be sure to wear your parka. It gets chilly there from the "Alberta Clippers".

Norris, was my description accurate?

Norm


  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 17,350 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 10:03 PM

Alas, my only contact with the Dakotas was a whirlwind trip to dissemble radars at (why not) Minot AFB and Grand Forks AFB.  I think that trip also included a stop in Kansas - McConnell AFB?.

It is nice country, even if we did not do any sightseeing.

I do recall seeing an amber beacon, probably on a locomotive, in the distance while at Minot.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, November 02, 2017 10:02 AM

Norm48327

Been in South Dakota a few times in my lifetime and can only give that territory/state compliments. Not a lot of railroading going on there but the scenery is fantastic. The eastern portion is prairie, the western part is the Black Hills, and in between are the Badlands. Seen from a small plane the whole state is beautiful because of it's varying scenery. I speak from experience having been both on the ground in Spearfish and Deadwood and seeing most of the state while flying in a Cessna 182.

Wall Drug in Wall is nothing more than a tourist trap but if you haven't been there you have missed a huge portion of the local culture. I was there in my early teens and a few years ago had a chance to revisit and take photos.

You haven't experienced America if you haven't been in South Dakota. It is closer to Heaven than West Virginia, but in winter be sure to wear your parka. It gets chilly there from the "Alberta Clippers".

Norris, was my description accurate?

 

That's about right. Everybody passing through has to stop at Wall Drug once, just to wonder why they bothered to put up all those billboards. If you miss Wall Drug, you really haven't missed much.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,510 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, November 02, 2017 10:46 AM

I have been in South Dakota, but (sorry, Norris) it was a brief passage, as I was flying from Chicago to Salt Lake CIty many years ago; we passed over Sioux City. I simply did not have the opportunity to get to South Dakota while there were still passenger trains in the state.

Johnny

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, November 02, 2017 1:11 PM

Deggesty

I have been in South Dakota, but (sorry, Norris) it was a brief passage, as I was flying from Chicago to Salt Lake CIty many years ago; we passed over Sioux City. I simply did not have the opportunity to get to South Dakota while there were still passenger trains in the state.

 

pssst.... Sioux City is in Iowa.Whistling

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 4,171 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:49 PM

Perhaps he thought he meant Rapid City by conflation ... Cedar Rapids and Sioux City are both kinda on that great circle route (but any visible part of South Dakota itself is much too far north...)

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: Lombard (west of Chicago), Illinois
  • 12,947 posts
Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, November 02, 2017 7:39 PM

We drove through South Dakota in early 2016, and I thought it was neat.  We wold stop as necessary for fuel and meals, and if there was any sight of freight cars in the distance.  We went into the Corn Palace, and were given the tour of Sioux Falls by Norris and wife (thanks again!).  They also steered us in the right direction to a treasure trove of freight equipment in Dell Rapids, just north of Sioux Falls.

As for Wall, we were also suckered in by the signs, etc.:  we had a great lunch and I still have my little "Free water" plastic cup.  We did well at the book division of the store.  But my best memory of Wall was the RCPE flat car I found sitting by the elevator mere blocks away from the drug store.  It didn't take too long to discover that it was a cut-down box car (the coat of CNW "Zito" yellow gave it away), but I was able to narrow things down to the Rock Island series in which it originated!  That bit of sleuthing made the day for me.

Carl

Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 8,872 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:43 AM

Murphy Siding

 

 
Deggesty

I have been in South Dakota, but (sorry, Norris) it was a brief passage, as I was flying from Chicago to Salt Lake CIty many years ago; we passed over Sioux City. I simply did not have the opportunity to get to South Dakota while there were still passenger trains in the state.

 

 

 

pssst.... Sioux City is in Iowa.Whistling

 

 

Can you move it back now?

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,163 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, November 03, 2017 6:57 AM

Carl,

Your well-deserved pride in your detective work reminds me of my college days.  Writing papers on this, that and the other thing was tedious at times but the research before the actual writing was the one part of the assignment that I really enjoyed.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:18 AM

They're trying. There;s a North Sioux City SD and a South Sioux City NE. No word yet on East Sioux City IL.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,163 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, November 03, 2017 10:19 AM

Maybe he was really thinking of Sioux Falls.  When I was a mere child, I would make that mistake.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,510 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, November 03, 2017 10:27 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

Maybe he was really thinking of Sioux Falls.  When I was a mere child, I would make that mistake.

 

It wasn't either one--the plane passed over the tip of South Dakota that must have been trying to escape the cold weather. My apologies to all who are in the know as to what is where.

Johnny

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: US
  • 13,360 posts
Posted by Mookie on Friday, November 03, 2017 11:35 AM

Deggesty
-the plane passed over the tip of South Dakota that must have been trying to escape the cold weather

  You are doing just fine, Johnny.  So Dak is always trying to leak into Nebraska to escape the boredom and polar cold.  Smile, Wink & Grin

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, November 03, 2017 12:48 PM

Mookie
 
Deggesty
-the plane passed over the tip of South Dakota that must have been trying to escape the cold weather

 

  You are doing just fine, Johnny.  So Dak is always trying to leak into Nebraska to escape the boredom and polar cold.  Smile, Wink & Grin

 

 

Because it's more exciting to watch corn grow in Nebraska than in South Dakota?

What's the difference between polar cold and just plain old ordinary cold?

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, November 03, 2017 12:54 PM

SFbrkmn

Last wk the Mrs & I took a vac to western SD and visited Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Bear City. My intent was to keep this totally rr free but did not turn that way--for a day anyway. 

Found an abandoned CB&Q branch that ran Edgemont-Deadwood. It now is a walking trail. Don't think I would want to walk too far--might meet up w/ a bear out doing the same. Does anyone have any history of this line? How did CBQ/BN operate it? When did the trains stop running and when was it officially abandoned? 

 

In the late 70's the trucking firm my father drove for was starting to haul coal from Gillette Wyoming area mines to the power plant in Deadwood. I believe that was the beginning of the end of hauling coal in by train.

      The trail is used a lot during tourist season. Some parts are very scenic. There is a place to rent bikes, ride downhill for a long time and then get a ride back to the beginning.

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:19 PM
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 8,510 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:45 PM

LaughThanks, Mookie and Norris--a good laugh after lunch helps the digestion.

Johnny

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 4,171 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:56 PM

Murphy Siding
What's the difference between polar cold and just plain old ordinary cold?

That’s cruel.  Your ‘ordinary’ likely includes most peoples’ idea of sub-dry-ice temperature.  Before wind chill effects...

Polar cold to me is when you feel like the 30-30-30 rule is applicable.  A bit like this

 We in Tennessee are famed to have a different view of Arctic cold, at least if Bob Service is right.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 11,398 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, November 03, 2017 1:56 PM

Deggesty

LaughThanks, Mookie and Norris--a good laugh after lunch helps the digestion.

 

Yeah, Mookie is always trying to rub it in about the weather in tropical Nebraska.Paradise

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
  • 2,836 posts
Posted by Norm48327 on Friday, November 03, 2017 3:09 PM

Deggesty
It wasn't either one--the plane passed over the tip of South Dakota that must have been trying to escape the cold weather. My apologies to all who are in the know as to what is where.

Johnny,

You are forgiven. We all can't be expected to know everything gut the great circle route from Chicago to Salt Lake City does not pass over South Dakota. OTOH, weather may have dictated a small change of course. Even at 30,000 ft thunderstorms are a hazard the airline try their best to avoid in the interest of keeping their passengers reasonably comfortable.

I try my best to avoid the hassle of flying commercial but have flown many thousands of miles with a friend in a single engine Cessna R182. Small planes avoid hazardous weather like the plague.

Your lack of knowledge of your exact location is common.

Norm


  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Matthews NC
  • 190 posts
Posted by matthewsaggie on Friday, November 03, 2017 4:57 PM

My impression of SD when we drove across last summer, " A whole lot of nuthin". We took US 14 east between Wall and Pierre- you could literally drive for 15 minutes and not pass another car in either direction. And this was on a Saturday afternoon. 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • 957 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:52 PM

If you ever get the chance to ride the Black Hills Central from Hill City to Keystone it is well worth it.

The ride is very scenic, and they operate a standard gauge 1928-built Baldwin 2-6-6-2T as their main power.

That unit puts on quite a show:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lonmaxco77Q

 

There are some very stiff grades that really make 110 work hard.

In addition, they are restoring No. 108, which is another similar 2-6-6-2T built by Baldwin in 1926.

Well worth the time and the ride.

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: US
  • 13,360 posts
Posted by Mookie on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:06 PM

matthewsaggie

My impression of SD when we drove across last summer, " A whole lot of nuthin". We took US 14 east between Wall and Pierre- you could literally drive for 15 minutes and not pass another car in either direction. And this was on a Saturday afternoon. 

 

Ditto Kansas....  (sorry Sam!)  And the sandhills of Nebraska!  (Sorry Mookie)

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • From: Iowa
  • 2,685 posts
Posted by Semper Vaporo on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:15 PM

Hey!  There is nothing wrong with South Dakota...  What would be there if it weren't for South Dakota?  Seems to me to be a fine state to take up that space!  Ditto Nebraska and Kansas!

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 12,545 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:08 PM

Why is there North and South Dakota - Not just Dakota?

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    July, 2011
  • 161 posts
Posted by runnerdude48 on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:45 PM

Three years ago I ran a marathon over the trail that was once the BN roadbed into Deadwood.  Can I claim the mileage?

A ride on the Black Hills Central was a good way to recover after the race.  That mileage I did claim.  South Dakota Railroad Museum was right next door.

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community