August 2010


Mixed train MRF at Biwabik in 1984 - Photo by Dave Schauer As Don Shank told me early, it is pronounced Bye-Waw-Bick. The MRF heads towards Keenan on July 19, 1984 with a very special load, Reserve Mining business car Dolly Madison (ex-GN, I think). I had the pleasure of driving the "chase car" following this car from Babbitt to Duluth. Dolly had been purchased by John Larkin of the E&LS and was headed from Reserve to Escanaba with the president of the railroad himself riding along. Keeping him company was Tim and Randy Schandel and SRG 180. Did I mention the chase car was a Lincoln Town Car! Mr. Larkin had good relations with Reserve and would later end up purchasing a few SD-9s and switchers from the court. John (or SRG?) talked the Missabe crew into letting the business car and four side-dumps he leased trail behind the caboose for a great view of the railroad. The head-end side dumps were Reserve cars headed off-line for lease due to the iron ore depression in the mid-1980s