New Locomotive in Town, well new to the neighborhood

By Chad Kluck on

There is a new locomotive in town, delivered this week to the old Nor Lakes building in Hugo, Minnesota. Over the last few weeks many tanker cars have been delivered to the location by Minnesota Commercial. Nor Lakes usually took in just a few a week but vacated months ago. Now the tankers are back and about 8-9 are waiting on the track at a time. I got a little surprise when I also noticed a new addition, a strange locomotive.

It is a switcher, and I was quick to ID it as an ALCO (American Locomotive Company) model, but it's windows were covered permanently and it's markings were CTM1. Upon researching CTM I found out CTM is the ARR Reporting Mark for the Chicago Terminal Railroad. However that is not what this CTM stands for.

I spent an hour or two looking at Alco S1, S2, S3, and S4s online, but could not make a match. Finally I had luck when I searched for MN Commercial Alco locomotives and came up with this page: alcoworld.

According to alcoworld, CTM in this instance stands for Commercial Transload of MN. CTM1 is a 660hp MLW S11 (Montreal Locomotive Works - a subsidiary of ALCO - Switcher) built in 1959. It is an ex-CP #3779, and before that CP #6621.

It was rebuilt in 1993 and renumbered 3779 as a "remote controlled" unit (hence the covered windows). One of my sources says it isn't technically "remote" controlled as there are push buttons by the front wheels)

Mountain Railway has older pictures of the locomotive including one with the original CP paint from 1977 when I was just a few days old.

More info: Yard Limit.

Welcome CTM1. Are you staying long? I hope so. I love tanker cars and switchers and am glad there is more rail traffic in Hugo. My son will enjoy riding past, waving and exclaiming, "Choo Choo."

[Picture of Alco locomotive CTM1] A drive-by shot of Minnesota Commercial Alco locomotive CTM1 outside the old Nor Lakes facility, Hugo, Minnesota