Heritage Rail news roundup

By March 23, 2020March 29th, 2020HeritageRail News

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

Short news items from all over

Maine’s Downeast Scenic Railroad carried over 8500 passengers in 2019, up from 6631 in 2016. For the first this year, passengers will board at Washington Junction, the railroad’s storage and maintenance site. It’s located next to the restoration of Maine Central locomotive #470.

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After years of deterioration in the hands of a private owner, the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range depot in Knife River, MN is being restored. It sits on its original site next to the ex-DM&IR line from Duluth to Two Harbors, now the county-owned North Shore Scenic Railroad. The county rail authority has taken ownership of the depot and leased it to the new Knife River Heritage & Cultural Center. The restoration is expected to be completed in 2021.

The Knife River depot, with ex-Great Northern SD45 #400 passing on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. David Schauer photo, from the Lake Superior Railroad Museum Junction magazine.

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Recent acquisitions:

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 #1744 to Niles Canyon Railroad. The engine is currently disassembled.

Baltimore & Ohio heavyweight MOW coach #X4106 (Pullman 1916) has been donated to the Whitewater Valley Railroad. It ran in passenger service until 1949, then MOW until 1967. The coach seats are gone and it has been serving as a stationary meeting room at a quarry. Restoration options are still in the air.

Illinois Railway Museum has acquired the Pullman private car Pawnee. It arrived at the museum on its own wheels on Thursday, December 12th. Built in 1930, Pawnee is the second-to-last traditional “heavyweight” private car built by the Pullman Company of Chicago.

IRM also acquired a 1979 Toronto CLRV that was recently retired.

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The Golden Gate Railroad Museum has been moving its collection from the Niles Canyon Railway to a newly constructed yard in Schellville, CA. Originally almost everything was to have moved in a special “hospital” train. Then along came Precision Scheduled Railroading and the Union Pacific ruled out special moves. A number of cars have been moved in regular local freights. For awhile UP was telling GGRM that Southern Pacific 4-6-2 #2472 and some other pieces would have to be loaded on flat cars, whereas previously they were to move on their own wheels. UP apparently had a change of heart, because the 2472, a Fairbanks-Morse switcher, an ex-SP GP9 and caboose were moved on their own wheels in March as a special train.

Restorations

Brookville Equipment Company has completed the restoration of San Francisco double-ended PCC #1010 and returned it to owner San Francisco Muni for service on the E and F Lines.

The F Line’s schedule adherence has improved noticeably since the city recently banned auto traffic on a portion of Market Street.

Virginia Blue Ridge caboose #2 was it terrible shape. It has now been restored by private individuals and donated to Nelson County, VA and a wayside display. Here it is with Ed Hughes, who led the restoration.

Windsor streetcar #351 was a stripped body discovered fully enclosed inside a house. It has been cosmetically restored without trucks by the City of Windsor and will be placed on display on the waterfront in Assumption Park.