From mid-September to mid-October, the North Shore Scenic Railway and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum sponsor a special color train between Duluth and Two Harbors, Mn. In 2007, what made this excursion especially neat was that one of the antique steam locomotives from the museum was pressed into service: Steam Locomotive #2719 built in 1923 by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Schenectady, New York. See the photos from our trip below.
Steam Engine #2719 for many years served the Soo Line Railroad pulling both passenger and freight trains, including the popular Pullman Car night train between Duluth and Chicago. It was retired from active service in 1959 and at that time was the last remaining "working" steam locomotive in Wisconsin. It was later restored to service for excursion runs by Locomotive and Tower Preservation Fund, Ltd who has leased it to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum for display and excursion runs.
In 2013 the schedule is a little different. Steam Engine #2719 runs its route to Two Harbors from mid-August to mid-September, while the fall color tour special is deisel powered. See links to schedules below
The Union Depot
The day before the train ran, the sky was blue with hardly a cloud in sight when we stopped by Union Depot to inquire about tickets.> > >
That evening the weather forecast was rain and a cold front moving in, so Jo and I elected to chase (and photograph) the train to Two Harbors instead of ride it.
Duluth Steam Train Ride
< < < The next morning it was cold and rainy. I waited in the rain for over an hour on top of the tunnel by canal park. Just when I was about to give up I saw the headlight and smoke in the distance as #2719 came chugging along.
We rushed ahead towards Two Harbors and found a railway intersection where we waited for old #2719 to catch up. And there she came . . . blowing smoke announcing her arrival.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While in Two Harbors, we had lunch at the Vanilla Bean Cafe and there talked to some folks from North Dakato who had come to Duluth specifically to ride the color train. Even with the rain, they said they thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the scenery.
Visitor Information - Duluth, Mn
Continuing your Travel & Trekking
A Guide to Cross Country Trails in Minnesota's Spectacular Lake Superior Region. By Andrew Slade, a Duluth resident who has hiked, skied and camped extensively along the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior.