The Milwaukee Road 261 locomotive will pay a two-day visit to Duluth, its first excursion since undergoing a four-year overhaul.
A historic locomotive will steam into Duluth this weekend, pulling a trainload of more than 500 rail enthusiasts on a trip from the Twin Cities.
The Milwaukee Road 261 locomotive will pay a two-day visit to Duluth, its first excursion since undergoing a four-year overhaul. Built in 1944, the locomotive is operated by the Minneapolis-based Friends of the 261. The passengers will ride in 15 cars dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
Planning for the inaugural trip began some time back, the Duluth News Tribune reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/10lrTF5 ). Visit Duluth helped advertise the trip, which sold out.
Passengers are coming from as far away as England, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and South Africa, said Friends chief operating officer Steve Sandberg, who is also the 261's engineer.
"We love coming to Duluth; it's an extremely popular trip, and the overnight thing works well," he said.
One reason the group selected Duluth is that it's home to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, which will be hosting several events Saturday for National Train Day, commemorating the May 10, 1869, meeting of the Union and Central Pacific railroads in Utah to create America's first transcontinental railroad.
"We'll take a nice leisurely trip up," Sandberg said. "We'll just chug up there at 40 or 50 mph, giving everyone the opportunity to see the scenery."
Friends of the 261: http://www.261.com
Lake Superior Railroad Museum: http://www.lsrm.org