#2719 is a restored Pacific type locomotive
(4-6-2) originally operated by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, also known as the Soo Line. It was built in 1923 by Alco, one of six H-23 class locomotives built for the railroad.
It began making excursions for the North Shore Scenic Railroad in September 2007, on lease from the Locomotive and Tower Preservation Fund, Ltd. In the off season, it is stored at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, MN.
Lake Superior Museum is based in the former Duluth Union Passenger Station building and has a great collection. You can see locomotives and equipment housed in the museum on the Lake Superior Museum page of this website.
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#2719 ran until the mid-1950s, when it was put into storage. It came out of retirement to haul the last steam train on Soo Line tracks on 21st June 1959, a round-trip from Minneapolis, MN, to Ladysmith, WI. It was then given to the City of Eau Claire, WI, for display in Carson Park.
In May 1996, the Locomotive and Tower Preservation Fund began restoration and, two years later, #2719's first steam run was held on 19th September 1998. In June 2000, it was moved to the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Spooner, where it ran summer excursions until 2003.
During the off season, #2719 was stored at the Altoona, WI, roundhouse but, with the roundhouse levelled in June 2004, it sat outside exposed to the elements until the end of 2006, when it was moved to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. After extensive work during the summer of 2007, the engine was test fired on 24th August 2007, and made a successful round trip from Duluth to Two Harbors, MN, the following day.
#2719's partner locomotive, #2718, is in Green Bay, WI, and there are a some photographs of it on the National Railroad Museum page of this website.
#2719 now runs regular excursions each summer for the North Shore Scenic Railroad through Duluth, Canal Park, along the Lake Superior shoreline to Two Harbors, and into the North woods.
I joined a return excursion from Duluth to Two Harbors on 12th September 2008.
The train consist on the day I travelled included an open car, from which the photographs in this section were taken.
The Duluth-Two Harbors line was built in 1886 for the Duluth & Iron Range. It runs north east and is always within a few hundred yards of Lake Superior. Once the track gets out of Duluth, the way side is mainly wooded but, occasionally, there are views of the
The D&IR was formed in 1874 to haul iron ore from the Minnesota Iron Company's mine in Soudan, MN, to Two Harbors. The railroad was acquired by Illinois Steel in 1887, which became part of the United States Steel Corporation in 1901. In July 1938, the D&IR merged with the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway to form the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway.
Over the years the Duluth-Two Harbors line carried freight and passengers and, during the boom years, many thousands of logs to sawmills in Duluth. In 1953, steam hauled passenger trains were replaced by a single diesel Budd Car and then, in 1961, all passenger services ceased.
Above, the Two Harbors depot, built in 1907, is home to the Two Harbors Depot Museum, part of the Lake Shore Historical
On the left above, Duluth & Iron Range #3 "Three Spot" is displayed at the depot.
Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Yellowstone (2-8-8-4) M4 #229 is also on display just across the street from the depot.
You can see more of both "Three Spot" and #229 on the Two Harbors Depot Museum page of this website. There are also other DM&IR Yellowstones on the DMIR #225 page of this website and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum page
While we had lunch in Two Harbors, #2719 went off to turn through the wye, but local railroad traffic prevented that, so it came back without turning.
Above, #2719 stands at Two Harbors (note the disk-type middle driver).
At about 1.00pm, the mist that hung about all morning lifted.
We left Two Harbors at about 1.30 pm, with #2719 pulling the train in reverse.
Above, we pull off the DM&IR tracks.
In the early 1980s, with declining business, the DM&IR applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the Duluth-Two Harbors line, but members of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, recognising its historic significance, lobbied to create the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority, and bought the line with the help of the State of Minnesota.
On 8th June 1989, the Lakefront Line was renamed the North Shore Scenic Railroad and was officially dedicated by Governor Rudy Perpich.