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The Iron Horse Central Bumblebee Train Trip "The Highline Route" 8/10/2009

by Chris Guenzler

I left the Minnesota Transportation Museum and drove Interstate 35E to I35 north to US Highway 8 which I took to Chisago City. I first stopped at the Post Office for directions to the Iron Horse Central but when they could not help me, they sent me to the City Hall/Police Station. There I got a flyer on the railroad. In the park across from the office I found this.

Northern Pacific Wooden Caboose 64. I then followed the directions on the flyer which got me to my destination. There I was met by Erik Thompson guide for my visit to the Iron Horse Central.

Northern Pacific L4 0-6-0 927 on display.

Duluth Missabi & Northern Tool Car X-3060.

The bathrooms are from an old station.

Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Tool Car 57767.

Coal from Solider Summit in Utah.

Third car of the Bumblebee Train undergoing repairs.

Duluth & Northeastern Caboose that was once Elgin Joliet and Eastern 48.

Milwaukee Road Caboose 02212.

The station from Groningen, Minnesota built 1895 and is one of three remaining St Paul and Duluth Stations still standing.

The Famous BumbleBee M-6 that I would be given a ride on later during my visit.

Next we went inside the station building full of displays.

Displays inside the station building.

What every northern plains station must have, a good stove to warm the place in the long winter months.

Motor Car named Sault Ste. Marie.

The last engine made by Baldwin was this switcher type S4300 #2 named Mathias W. Baldwin.

Baldwin Builder Plate 76151.

Soo Line car turned into an open air coach.

This Porter Steam Engine #4 was built in 1923 for the construction of the Dix Dam in Kentucky and was built as a saddle tank engine.

The Porter Builder Plate on the 4.

The tender of #4.

Northern Pacific Wooden Caboose 1666 built 1907.

Iron Horse Central Coach 221.

Northern Pacific 1989 was built in 1870 by the Wason Car Company as a coach then turned into a Second Class Coach before it became a Business Car in 1913.

This car was a Santa Fe Reefer built in 1894 then sold to the Duluth & Iron Range before being sold again to the Duluth Northeastern.

Another view of the Northern Pacific 1989.

Soo Line Caboose 119.

BN Dynamometer Car B10 ex Northern Pacific.

The inside of the car. The Chef who was with JFK on PT 109 worked on this car when he worked on the railroad after the war.

Duluth South Shore & Atlantic Caboose 572.

Plymouth Switcher #3.

Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Bunk Car 69928 built in 1916.

Trap Rock Porter 0-4-0 #1 from Dresser, Wisconsin.

Soo Line Caboose 206 built in 1906.

Soo Line 0-4-0 2495 from Endeline, North Dakota.

Burlington Northern 529 started life as MKT Denton 1207 then became Northern Pacific 6402.

This is the last Wooden Milwaukee Road Caboose 0870 in existence having been built in 1910.

Flat car frame.

Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Bunk Car 70010.

Santa Fe Caboose 999739.

This former CB&Q Car went to the Grand Trunk Western then to the Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Bunk Car 70030.

Soo Line Flat Car 54203.

Soo Line Box Car 135292.

We have completed our tour of the grounds to see the equipment they have collected over the years.

One more view of the Duluth Missabi & Northern Tool Car X-3060. It was now time for my ride aboard the Bumblebee.

I boarded the trailer and this was the forward view before we started the trip. We would make two loops around the grounds to equal 1.5 miles.

Leaving the station platform.

Passing the equipment.

Leaving the station area behind.

Taking the first curve.

Passing the switch to the Home Track.

Crossing over the Cattle Guard.

Still on the first curve.

Looking back.

The west straight track.

We passed a Hobo Camp.

Leaving the Hobo Camp behind.

The Bumblebee took the next curve to reach the Highline.

Views from the Highline.

Warning of the grade ahead.

The Bumblebee took me around the third curve.

The Bumblebee has reached Miller Summit.

The Bumblebee took me around the final curve.

We passed through the station area and I asked Eric if we could stop for some static picture on the next loop and he said Yes!

The Bumblebee near the Colorado River Crossing.

Eric running the Bumblebee.

The Bumblebee at the Hobo Camp.

The Bumblebee at Newton Pass.

Another view near Newton Pass.

The Bumblebee on the Highline. We returned to the station and I thanked Eric for allowing me to visit his operation today. He gave me some flyers for me to take back to my Orange County Railway Historical Society members. I said my goodbyes then drove back to the Twin Cities stopping at KFC on University Ave for dinner to go and checked into the Midway Days Inn for the night.