15 October 2014

The Pride of Proctor: 225

A former room-mate of mine was from Proctor. He was a cross country ski champion. And there was another guy from Proctor, Garry Bjorklund, who was pretty good runner- he broke high school records and was named an All-American numerous times. He also competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal in the 10000 meters. In Proctor I found no monument to my room mate or Garry.
Instead I found a giant of a monument at the top of the hill- a Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Yellowstone class locomotive.

2 Railroads in Duluth


The DMIR once served Duluth and the region
Actually there are more than 2 railroads operating in Duluth and Superior.
At one time there were 11. But that is entirely different topic.
Just next to I 35 sits the Lake Superior Railroad Museum
This post is going to focus on the 2 passenger railroads in Duluth. Yes, there are 2.
Most know the North Shore Scenic Railroad that has its headquarters at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.Their operation is top notch and features numerous excursions throughout the year. Last year I rode a Pizza Train. It was a very memorable excursion up the North Shore from Duluth to a little bit past the French River. It of course included pizza and an onboard music performance. We sat in an old Northern Pacific coach and then sat in a double decker Chicago Northwestern commuter car.
GE 50T Industrial Switcher as seen from safari car
Perhaps the lesser known of the passenger railroads is the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad but that is not to say it is any less of a railroad. I only discovered this line last year after the pizza train trip on a single brochure I discovered at a hotel. The LSMRR follows a portion of route of the first line to Duluth from the Twin Cities and in fact takes its name from that first railroad. A good portion of the route is even on 100 year old track which must be traversed at less than 10 mph. A GE 50T pulls 2 old coaches and a safari car on a 90 minute jaunt along the St. Louis River and back. The all volunteer organization does a superb job of providing a quality train excursion.