superior trails | lake superior sunset superiortrails - shovel point

Milwaukee Road Steam Locomotive 261 & Classic Railroading Cars arrives in Duluth on a Fall Color Excursion

Duluth Steam Train
The 261 Steam Locomotive and heritage Milwaukee Road passenger cars
traveling from Minneapolis on the Burlington Northern rail tracks
arrives in Duluth for the weekend. See photos and a video in the article below.


The last time we saw the amazing 261 Steam Locomotive in action was in the fall of 2007 when it ran a fall color rail excursion along the Mississippi River. We didn't get tot ride the train on that occasion but followed it from Winona, Minnesota to LaCrosse, Wisconsin getting several photos of the train and its classic railroading cars.

A year after that trip the 261 took a "leave of absence" from rail trips to undergo some major maintenance to its boiler and running gear. During this interim til the 261 returned to service, we did get to ride on the same vintage rail train on a fall excursion to Superior, Wisconsin . . . except the train was pulled by a pair of Amtrak diesel locomotives. It was truly a blast from the past riding the train and being waited on and entertained by a staff of railroading afficinados playing the roles of 1950s era conductors, porters, etc.

The 261 returned to service in 2013 but other travel plans prevented us from riding or seeing her back in action. When the announcement came for the 2014 Fall Color Excursion to Duluth we were a little too slow in ordering our tickets as in almost no time all of the seats were sold out. But we decided to travel by car to Duluth to see it coming into town and at the Depot of the Duluth Lake Superior Railroad Museum. Below are some pictures of the locomotive with descriptions and a video I made of the train as it came into town.

In 2016, the Milwaukee Road 261 Steam Train excursion (from Minneapolis) returns to Duluth on June 4 and 5th. It will arrive at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum on Saturday afternoon and overnight there until departing on Sunday for the return trip. You can see the train at the station Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.

- click on small pictures for a larger image -

Photos of the Milwaukee Road Steam Locomotive 261

These two photos give you an idea of the size of this beauty. Standing 15 feet 6 inches high and weighing in at 460,000 pounds; a ultra heavy weight fighter indeed. In the one photo you can see the fire burning in the boiler through the headlight.

261 Steam Locomotive in Duluth Station
Ross with 261 Steam Locomotive

 

 

 

 

 



The 261 Engine and Tender is 109 feet 7 inches long and can carry up to 25 tons of coal. It's water capacity is 20,000 gallons. She is an S3 style locomotive with a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. The S3 was the zenith in steam engine technology.

The 261 was built by the American Locomotive Company, Schenectady Works for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad Trust , and was completed in July of 1944 (serial # 71974).

Milwaukee Road Steam Engine 261
Milwaukee Road Steam Locomotive 261 S3 class

 

 

 

 

 

In its excursion to Duluth and back the 261 carried a roster of impressive, restored classic railroad passenger and baggage cars including the 1914 Pullman Lamberts Point Sleeper & Lounge Car and the 1948 Cedar Rapids Sky Top Lounge Car designed by famed industrial designer Brooks Stevens. These and other classic heritage railroading cars are shown in the following video.


Milwaukee Road St. Croix Valley Vintage Passenger Car

< < < Interior of the St. Croix Valley 1st Class Passenger Coach. On our ScenicPathways website you can see some pictures of the interior of some of the vintage rail cars and our article on our 2012 Milwaukee Road rail trip. This trip had essentially the same set of classic cars as the one shown above - with the exception of being pulled by an Amtrak Diesel instead of the 261 Steam Locomotive.

red tri Rail Fans who'd like details on this Steam Excursion will enjoy Robert Taburn's 261 Duluth Steam Trip Route Guide.

Steam Locomotive #2719 - North Shore Scenic Railway

Duluth Steam Train 2719

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum & the North Shore Scenic Railway also operate Steam Powered Fall excursion trains but presently, like what was needed on the 261, Steam Engine #2719 is on layoff for needed repairs and required maintenance. But I've been told by a North Shore volunteer train fireman that by the spring of 2017 another steam locomotive will be ready for service: the Duluth and Northeastern Locomotive #28.


SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2017

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner


bentleyville tour of lights
Bentleyville Duluth Christmas Lights Village opens Nov 18, 2017

gooseberry falls park Winter - Minnesota
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - Wisconsin
Winter - Sault Ste Marie

Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden
Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.

Pride of Baltimore II Sailing Vessel
Duluth Tall Ships Festival

Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.

bay furnace campground
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.

books and guides on hiking and camping
Hiking and Camping Guides & Books

Reviews Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews & Ratings of Minnesota North Shore golf courses.

About the Superior Hiking Trail



lake superior circle tour map
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Agate?
Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.



Regional Weather from the Weather Channel

Snow & Weather Reports

John Beargrease Race
John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon
Duluth to Grand Portage
Minnesota North Shore

Grand Marias Harbor and Trading Post Grand Marais Minnesota and its beautiful harbor voted as the favorite village around Lake Superior by circle tour travelers.

Best Minnesota
North Shore
Agate Beaches

burlington bay beach

Minnesota North Shore CampgroundsSuperior Trails Guide to MN North Shore State Park Camping and Campgrounds.

Understanding and Finding Agates
Our Reviews of the best guides to Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks

Duluth Enger Park Tower
Duluth's Enger Park and Enger Park Tower

red bar
Hotel, Motel Lodging
Duluth, Mn, Two Harbors, Grand Marais, Minnesota
North Shore

red bar

Canoe Trails:
Wabakimi Canoe Trips
Canoe Trip Stories

Weather Reports
Regional Weather from the Weather Channel