Photo of the Month

November 2019

A 1958 view of the sprawling U.S. Steel Duluth Works and Universal Atlas Cement plant in far western Duluth. This complex was the DM&IR's largest non-mine customer. Notice on the far right a DM&IR SW9 switching the cement plant. Basgen Photography   

August 2019

It's very apparent that the steam era is ending on the Missabe in this December 15, 1959 photo of the Virginia engine house. There are no steam engines in sight, only a few SD9s and an SW-9. DM&IR photograph, MRHS Archives

July 2019

A ballast regulator stands ready to clear the right-of-way of snow at Biwabik, while SD38-2 #215 and train wait in the yard for a fresh crew to take them to Two Harbors. DM&R photograph, MRHS collection.

June 2019

Before the 400 series SD40-3 rebuilds arrived on property, the Missabe tested several different styles of 3,000 hp turbocharged locomotives. In 1995, Helm Financial SD40-3's with CLC (Computerized Locomotive Controls) were tested. These proved successful and were followed with an order for 20 locomotives. One of the demonstrations is pictured at Biwabik with trailing SDM 306 running in isolation from the two lead engines. Operationally, these engines allowed the railroad to largely reduce Iron Range trains from 3 locomotives to 2 and eliminate the crew change at Biwabik.


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