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Happy Birthday to me - North Shore March 20th.

How on earth can one link the economic downturn, trainspotting and my birthday? If you are paying attention I'll explain. Due to the recession Wisconsin State Power has found itself with an excess of coal cars for bringing coal from the Powder river basin to Superior. By arrangement with the North Shore Scenic Railroad some of these surplus cars are being stored on the NSSR near Two Harbors. One storage movement of these cars was to take place on March 20th - my birthday.
Friday morning arrived and we left hme about 10:30. A little later than I wanted but not to worry we'd still be in Duluth by 12:30. As we arrived in Duluth I looked around for a string of 60 coal cars there were none to be seen. The train had left! I had so wanted to grab a shot like this one. We grabbed a bite of lunch at Grandma's and decided to head up the North Shore scenic highway to see if there was anything to be seen. We drove on and on and then just as we got to Larsmont there it was ex-DMIR 194 and SOO 700 pushing the cut of 60 cars. We sped past it and I jumped out at the first available level crossing* to get a picture.
DMIT 193 pushes
The chase was on! The train wasn't going too fast so we quickly hauled it in. There was a reason it wasn't travelling too fast, it was stopping. For we quickly arrived at the rest of the stored cars. We turned around and came back to the train to get some more pictures
the two locos
No 193
 just about ready to return
Aa you can see the snow was really starting to come down now...
After the crew had secured the train they headed for home and we decided to chase it. We caught it at Knife River,
knife river
Crossing a bridge just south of Old Toms Logging camp
by old toms
and another one just south of Palmers siding
by palmers
After Palmers the line runs away from the road so I decided to head back into Duluth and grab some shots at the Duluth Steam plant. We easily beat the locos back and even had time to fill the car up with petrol before settling into the car park by the steam plant. A few minutes later with the snow really coming down the two locos arrived and I got a couple of last shots as they arrived and pulled away
arriving in the snow
leaaving in the snow
All in all it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a Birthday even if the weather wasn't great.
* grade crossing