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Steamarama on the Soo Line Part 2.

The Dresser Turn 9/09/2007

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up at the Days Inn and after a continental breakfast, I drove over to Shoreham Yard for the second day of Steamarama on the Soo Line. Today we would travel from Shoreham Yard to Dresser and it would be brand new mileage for me from the yard to Marine-on-St. Croix.{Marine}.

I got there as the CP Rail Crew was cleaning and polishing the locomotive.

They were checking over all parts on the Canadian Pacific 2816.

A view of both the engine and the water car.

Still working on the engine and I needed a new disc so I went back onto the train. I put a new disc and got "Disc Error". I had twenty discs and tried them all and none of them would work. I tried all of my tricks but none worked. The drive had given up the ghost. No pictures could be taken but since I rode this line a few years ago I will add those so you will at least get an idea of the part the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Excursion Train runs over. I got to just sit back and relax on a trip for a change. This train consisted of Canadian Pacific 2816, Water car 35508, Tool Car CP 29114, Generator Car CP 96, HR Bowen PPCX 5534, Baggage NS 9107 {in CP colors}, Coaches Dominion CP 101, Ernest "Smokey" Smith, VC CP 102, Wisconsin Valley NRHS 3103 800757, Super Dome 800862 and the Cedar Rapids 800040. After I got the consist, I then kept trying the discs with no luck. The CP 2816 started backing up at 10:25 AM past the switch that leads to the east yard bypass. We traveled by the Shoreham Container Facility and by the old roundhouse on the way out of Shoreham Yard. The Canadian Pacific 2816 then ran along the Columbia Golf Course before taking a right onto the Paynesville Sub at Central Avenue. The train ran past homes and a Walmart. The train crossed the Minnesota Commercial Railroad Line at New Brighton. The train crossed I35W and we saw Lake Johanna to the south. Next to the north was Island Lake and just before I694 was Grass Lake before we reached Cardigan Jct where the line to St. Paul took off to the south. The train ran by Vadnais Lake to the southeast. We next ran by Sucker Lake and Gifillan Lake to the north before we ran beneath I35E. Birch Lake could be seen to the south before we saw Bald Eagle Lake before our train crossed US 61. White Bear Lake and Pine Tree Lake were to the south of our route and then we ran by Mann Lake to the north. This section of track offered our fastest speed of the day. The train ran by the Pine Tree Orchard before we arrived at Withrow where our train turned northeast onto the 24 mile Dresser Sub. Our train ran at restricted speed since the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Excursion Train was running ahead of us at Marine. I would be riding over the tracks I took the day after the Erie Mining Trip I took a few years ago. The train passed many unnamed lakes before we reached Maple Island. We ran by Long Lake to the north and a few minutes later the train passed Terrapin Lake before we reached Marine with its 3,094 foot siding thus ending my new mileage for the moment. Our train crossed Cough Road on a high fill which the road tunneled through before it ran through William O'Brien State Park. Our train then proceeded out onto the large 286 foot Cedar Bend Drawbridge.

A pair of pictures from the 2003 trip as we crossed the St. Croix River. Once off of the bridge we crossed a long fill that once was part of the wooden trestle. We slowly climbed the grade along the river beneath the cliffs protected by slide protector fencing. I played the spot the waterfall game finding both with Buttermilk Falls being the larger of the two. There are a lot of springs coming out of the rock and in the winter turned into ice flows which were very dangerous to operating trains on this route. To the east was the old abandoned Bethema Mineral Springs Bottling house before we ran along the vertical rock with the railroad cut out of the slope. The train passed the Osceola Station where a large group watched our train pass by the depot.

Section House in Osceola from 2003. As we left Osceola a large parade was going on in town. The trip to Dresser was through woods then out across the farmlands with businesses and homes scattered about. At Dresser the Excursion Train was in the siding and most passengers detrained for a Photo Runby. I stayed on the train and got to see the runby from the train before I got more new mileage around the Dresser Wye. The train headed down the former mainline to Sault Ste Marie, backed around the wye to the former Duluth mainline. We returned to Dresser where we did another photo runby. The train left Dresser at 2:42 PM. On the return trip at Cardigan we passed a Canadian National freight. At University we went straight staying on the Paynesville Sub instead of returning to Shoreham Yard the way we came out. Good news! I will connect my mileage. Well almost. The Canadian Pacific 2816 came off the "High Line" and took a track that looped around the west side of Shoreham Yard. The Canadian Pacific 2816 got stopped by an outbound stack train before we pulled around to clear the switch then backed into the loading area ending another fantastic trip behind the Canadian Pacific 2816.

Homeward Bound

I drove back to the airport and returned the rental car and headed to Security. A TSA agent said if anyone was going to Gate C to come with him. We took the train to Sky Cap Check In and went through Security in three minutes verses the thirty at the other check point. I went to Gate C3 finding a flight to New York. I checked my boarding pass finding it said G3 all the way at the other end of the airport. I had less than 18 minutes to get to the flight. I ran but pooped out about the E Gates. A cart came but he said "I going on break". The next cart came and he took me to Gate 3 where I found my flight hadn't even arrived. I caught my breath as I waited for Northwest Flight 310. We took off thirty minutes late but got into LAX only fifteen minutes late. I went down to wait for the shuttle back to Easy Park. I paid to get out and drove home ending another excellent rail adventure behind the Canadian Pacific 2816.