News Wire: Friends of the 261 forced to cancel June steam trip

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Friday, May 04, 2018 11:28 AM

MINNEAPOLIS – The Friends of the 261 has informed ticketholders it was forced to cancel its planned positive train control fundraising trip from Minneapolis to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minn. The trip is a victim of Amtrak's...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/05/03-friends-of-the-261-forced-to-cancel-june-steam-trip

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, May 04, 2018 6:18 PM

Thinking way, way, way outside the box, I wonder how much it would cost to construct a wye on the southeast side of Granite Falls, MN on which 261 could turn?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Granite+Falls,+MN+56241/@44.8094965,-95.5305007,449m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x878a837c79c2a489:0x533660371a575812!8m2!3d44.8099575!4d-95.5455752

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, May 04, 2018 7:09 PM

Amtrak wanting to play bad cop and worse - drive the market away and report nobody uses the service so you can eliminate the service.

         

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, May 04, 2018 7:36 PM

What is really sad is this trip was completely sold out before Amtrak cancelled it.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, May 04, 2018 9:24 PM

kgbw49

Thinking way, way, way outside the box, I wonder how much it would cost to construct a wye on the southeast side of Granite Falls, MN on which 261 could turn?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Granite+Falls,+MN+56241/@44.8094965,-95.5305007,449m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x878a837c79c2a489:0x533660371a575812!8m2!3d44.8099575!4d-95.5455752

 

 

In the general scheme of things, probably not very much.  The ground looks nice and flat, so minimal grading would be required, just laying track and ballasting.

Certainly a lot cheaper than putting in a turntable.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 8:31 PM

Don't know how many Trains Forum contributors check in with Classic Trains but here is todays 'Photo of The Day'.

261 knows what it's like to face adversity. 

PHOTO OF THE DAY

20180509

Light duty for a Milwaukee 4-8-4

With a consist of just two freshly painted boxcars, two dead Fairbanks-Morse diesels, and a bay window caboose, Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 is westbound at Elm Grove, Wis., in September 1954. The dirty, underutilized S3 looks like she’s at the end of her rope, but remarkably she began a second career in 1993 as an excursion engine based in Minneapolis.
Philip R. Hastings photo

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 10:29 PM

261 is a classy unit. I hope they can get an opportunity to run yet this year.

http://railpictures.net/photo/607945/

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:59 AM

Steve Sandberg and the rest of the "Friends of 261" are strong people, they'll survive one way or the other.  But I couldn't blame them if they feel from time to time they're spitting in the wind. 

First PTC, now a hostile Amtrak.  Where will it end?

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Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, May 11, 2018 1:06 PM

Can the "Friends" sue Amtrak for breach of contract?  "Friends" had to incur extra expense to refund the fares, etc.

Ed Burns

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, May 11, 2018 5:26 PM

NP Eddie

Can the "Friends" sue Amtrak for breach of contract?  "Friends" had to incur extra expense to refund the fares, etc.

Ed Burns

 

That's a good question.  There's a "Can Amtrak Be Sued..." thread already, but aside from a "...anyone can sue anyone else for anything..." statement there doesn't seem to be any consensus of opinion.

I'll tell you, if I were the "Friends" and had a lawyer on retainer I'd certainly have him look into it.  I'm sure the "Friends" took a hit to the wallet over this they really don't need.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, May 11, 2018 5:34 PM

It really is too bad, because they needed the money for PTC.

The BNSF mainline to Duluth is in tip-top shape, just like the rest of BNSF's property, the scenery is great, and there are nice hotels and decent restaurants all within walking distance of Duluth Depot.

And you have the Lake Superior Transportation Museum right there, complete with a Missabe 2-8-8-4 behemoth in pristine condition. It is great fun to have a beer by the ship canal and watch the 1,000 foot lake boats traverse in and out of the harbor just a stone's throw away from you and your pint.

It is well worth the trip, and hopefully the 261 crew and BNSF will figure out a way to make it happen yet this summer.

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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, May 13, 2018 11:07 PM

261 for many years ran excursions on the CP's former Milwaukee Road line to LaCrosse WI. Not sure why that ended, if CP wanted to stop the trips or what. If the problem is operating on non-Amtrak lines, the St.Paul - LaCrosse route is the same used as the Amtrak Empire Builder.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, May 14, 2018 5:47 PM

I am pretty certain that when EHH took over CP he told all steam to pound sand. Figuratively speaking.

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 8:57 AM

Why can't the private cars be moved on freight carrier's. I know the cars can't be humped. But we moved passenger cars, in the past, that were not amtrak complicant. Thier is some risk to them in terms of vandalism. However some railroad permit rider's. Other time we shadow the trains in our personal vehicles.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 7:48 PM

kgbw49

I am pretty certain that when EHH took over CP he told all steam to pound sand. Figuratively speaking.

 

As I understand it that was the exact reason steam disappeared from CP, ol' Hunter had no use for it, either CP's own steam locomotive or anyone elses.

It wasn't personal, it just didn't fit his railroad "world view." 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, May 17, 2018 10:04 AM

Railaroaders can answer from their personal experience on occupied passenger cars on freight trains.  Slack action can be pretty rough at the rear of the train.   Having some experience on the B&M in passenger and freight service, handling passenger trains is done quite differently that freight, even with the same locmotive (GP7 1567 or 1568 assigned) and the same engine crew.

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:00 PM

I been on passenger cars and cabbose on freight trains...all depends on head end crew. Not life threatening. At least my buddy and i survived.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:00 AM

It should be noted that cabooses were equipped with seat belts and safety rules stated that they were to be used.  Slack action can be a problem even with excellent train handling.

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 BaltACD on Friday, May 18, 2018 8:08 AM

When cabooses were in use freight train size was nowhere near the size of today's freight trains.  Back in the caboose days a 6000 foot train was considered a absoloute monster.  Today's railroaders would look at a 6K foot train and believe they have lucked out and gotten a short train.

I hate to think what the slack action would be at the rear end of today's 12K-13K-14K and larger trains.  It is possible that even seat belts would not be sufficient to keep crews safe when such large trains 'cracked the whip'.  Engines under maximum load can and do occasionally 'drop their load' and a second or two later regain their load - such a happening creates a massive slack action incident.

         

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