Rails & Trails Pages

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brushing The North Shore Scenic

On Monday, August 18, 2014, a group of motorcar (speeder) enthusiasts gathered in Duluth to brush the North Shore Scenic Railroad.  Trees and brush were crowding the right-of-way, reducing visibility and hitting the train as it passed by.  A group of 11 men was organized but with a weather prediction of 90% rain and thunderstorms, four people didn't chance the weather considering the long distances they had to drive.  The previous night experienced hard thunderstorms but the rain stopped by 7 AM when we gathered to begin our adventure!!!  Also helping us was NSS brakeman John Peterson until he had to leave and run trains for the day.  This group cut a LOT of brush during the day and when I start my A-1 Tree Service, I am hiring them!!  Here is Bill Ash from northwest Minnesota with his speeder.  Joe Lewis of Bloomer rode with Bill for the day.

Fred Hoeser of Durand, WI brought his spiffy GB&W car.

Brothers Kyle and Paul Johnson of Eau Claire, WI brought their CNW putt-putt which has a turntable to turn it!

Here are Kyle and Paul cutting brush along the run-around track at Lakeside.

We took time to have a delicious breakfast at the New London Cafe at Lakeside.  I heartily recommend their omelets and hashbrowns, some of the best I have ever had.  At the Lester River bridge we cut some brush.  Apparently these "brushers" can't read!!

After we got north of Highway 61, there were stretches where we didn't have to do much brushing so we could speed along!!

The North Shore Scenic Railroad crosses several small rivers which are a long way down.  Here are a few of them.

Nearing Palmer's, the group cuts brush just before the Little Sucker River.

This neat bridge is over old Highway 61 near Knife River and advertises the railroad.

The group pauses on the Knife River bridge.  Left to right, Fred Hoeser, Kyle Johnson, Paul Johnson, Bill Ash, and Joe Lewis.

From the Knife River bridge, looking towards Lake Superior.

And looking upriver.

Ken Buehler, General Manager of the NSS, offered us a free meal at Emily's.  This picture was taken from the Knife River Bridge.

We all enjoyed a walleye meal and it sure hit the spot.  Thanks, Mr. Buehler and the NSS!!!

The speeders wait to be turned around and head back.  We had cut a lot of brush, it was getting late, and more thunderstorms were predicted!!!  It was time to "speed" back on the speeders.

Waiting to cross busy Highway 61.

And crossing Highway 61.

Paul and Kyle load up their motorcar.

AND--just when we finished loading all the speeders, the rain started.  Great timing and a great day of speeder riding and brush cutting.

Fred Hoeser and I stayed overnight in Duluth on Monday night.  After another night of storms, the rain let up and on Tuesday morning we took a speeder ride on the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad and cut a bunch of brush.  A speeder group had brushed this line earlier in the summer but again foliage was causing interference with operations.  Before we headed out, we had breakfast at the Duluth Grille.  I had a smoked salmon omelet and Fred had a wild duck omelet.  Very delicious!!  We set on at the Munger Boat Landing.

A few shots on our ride.

A CN train was on the Oliver Bridge, which we will go under.

The end of the LS&M track.  The engine runs around its cars on the track at the right and pulls the train back to the depot.

There has been lots of rain in Duluth the last couple of days and with the red clay base, the water does not drain well!

Heading back.

We saw deer, eagles, partridge, and this cormorant along the line.

And would you believe, just as we finished loading Fred's speeder onto his trailer, the skies let loose!!

A fun 2 days in Duluth!!!


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