10 May 2014

Running on Train Day

BNSF Hoppers sitting still in Fargo
There will be plenty of people out for National Train Day in Fargo. Most of them will be running in the Fargo Marathon. And no trains will delay the races.
Those spectating the runners from downtown Fargo can watch trains too.
There are 2 ideal spots.
On the north end of downtown off of Broadway is the old Great Northern Depot (now Great Northern Cycles). Tracks run adjacent to the depot and there are a few places to sit. Mixed freight usually passes on this former Great Northern mainline.The Amtrak Station is just next door- but don't expect to see Amtrak during daylight hours. The Empire Builder stops in Fargo in the wee hours of the morning.
On the south end of downtown at the corner of Broadway and Main is the Northern Pacific Depot. The depot is historic itself- it was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert.
The depot is adjacent to BNSF's mainline. Plenty of traffic runs through this corridor. These days you can see plenty of unit crude oil trains heading to or from North Dakota oil country. Double stacks and trailer trains pass through daily along with unit coal trains and the occasional unit grain train. BNSF power predominates but I have seen Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific, and Kansas City Southern engines pass the depot. One day I even saw an unusual light green Erie locomotive.
Fargo is a railroad town but really does not have many historic displays of its railroad heritage. I would suggest that Fargo needs a railroading museum. 3 roads operated out of Fargo- Northern Pacific, Great Northern, and Milwaukee Road. A remaining Milwaukee Road freight depot is just east of downtown. There is some signage that commemorates its former usage. Most of the Milwaukee Road's trackage is no longer in place. One segment has been turned into a bike path.

No comments: