Following Minnesota Commercial from White Bear Lake to Hugo

This is video from three separate runs of Minnesota Commercial along the Hugo line in June of 2010. This particular portion of the line starts at M&D Junction just south of Hwy 96 and Hwy 61 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It then goes as far north as Hugo where it serves a construction company […]

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Minnesota Commercial Railroad Midway Yard in St. Paul – Video

This is video from around 8am Tuesday, August 10, 2010, taken from the Pierce Butler bridge overlooking the Minnesota Commercial (MNNR) Midway yard. There are walking platforms on both sides of the bridge. I had just missed the Amtrak. We start by looking west towards the hazy Minneapolis skyline and then panning over the north […]

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A “Ballast Tamper” tamps ballast – I knew that

We regularly slow down, or rather are forced to come to a complete stop, and watch road construction crews. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I love seeing big machines rip stuff up, dig holes, or lift heavy steel beams into place. The equipment is familiar: cranes, front end loaders, excavators, bulldozers, and skid-steers with […]

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Ghost Tracks in White Bear

On an outing this summer trying to capture pictures of the old White Bear Boat Works (Johnson Boat Works) I came across a startling discovery: Ghost Tracks. While exploring the pedestrian path that crosses the ex-Northern Pacific Skally Line (now run by Minnesota Commercial Railroad) I noticed the path didn’t cross just one, but two […]

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Video Tour: Northern Pacific Skally Line at Mile Post 7

I’ve really taken to my Flip video camera and started capturing location shots where I walk around an area filming video giving a short tour with annotations. This can be done in about 30 minutes and, if I am careful about my shots, it requires little editing. I’m getting better with steadying my hand and […]

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Friendly Message from the North

“Census/Count Yourself In!/May 15” and “Recensement/Soyez du nombre!/le 15 mai” emblazoned on the side of a train hopper was enough to entice me into making a stop on my way to work Wednesday. The U.S. is gearing up for the 2010 Census, and I had assumed this train car, perfectly positioned so traffic on both […]

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Sharing the road

Typically, while my wife is away for an evening, my son will request that we “watch trains.” We have two ways of doing this, pulling out documentary VHS tapes highlighting the glory days of steam or trans-continental train rides, or going to YouTube. Last night he wanted YouTube–to which I happily agreed–and the first video […]

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St. Paul and Duluth Skally Line

Originally built by the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad to connect its namesake cities of St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, the Skally Line defined the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad as it was their only main track. The main line ran north and south through towns like St. Paul, present day Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Hugo, […]

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