261 At St. Paul Union Depot

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SOO2719
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261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby SOO2719 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:01 pm

Here are a few shots I took during the day on December 9 before returning to visit with Mark and the 261 later that night.

In this shot, we see the 1 P.M. North Pole Express about to depart from St. Paul Union Depot.
261 at SPUD with North Pole Express 12 9 2017.JPG


In this view, the train is passing under Highway 52 and the signals located at the east end of SPUD.
North Pole Express passing under Highway 52 St Paul 12 9 2017.JPG


In this pic, the 261 is nearing the end of the line. The crew is putting on a fine show as they do.
261 near end of tail track SPUD 12 9 2017.JPG
Last edited by SOO2719 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

SOO2719
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Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
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Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby SOO2719 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:07 pm

Continuing:

The full passenger load aboard coach "Wenonah", the fifth and final car in the North Pole Express consist, shows just how popular these trips were.
Coach Wenonah North Pole Express 12 9 2017.JPG


No trip to the North Pole is complete without Santa Claus and his Elves. These two Elves were tallying up how many "nice" kids were aboard and how many "naughty." The Elf at right is giving a "nice" kid a thumbs up to show a successful placement on the "good" list. The sign he is holding says "Coal For Naughty Kids", and he turned the sign to face the train once while I was watching when he apparently spotted a kid as naughty as Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes aboard.
Santas Elves greeting the kids North Pole Express 12 9 2017.JPG


Finally, here is this shot of the 261 at the end of the line.
261 up close St Paul 12 9 2017.JPG
Last edited by SOO2719 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

SOO2719
Conductor
Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
Interested in trains?: Yes

Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby SOO2719 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:17 pm

Here are pics of the double decker cars the Friends of the 261 uses for just the North Pole Express trips due to how popular the trips are. Oh man, if they could add these to the coach section for fall color trips, they could sell more tickets for those trains too.

First double decker car in North Pole Express consist 12 9 2017.JPG


Second double decker car on North Pole Express 12 9 2017.JPG
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

Mark D
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Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby Mark D » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:28 am

Nice photo's Tony. I can't get pictures like that at 3:00 AM.
Thanks for sharing them on the forum so I among others could see them.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

John Bohon
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Location: North Carolina

Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby John Bohon » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:15 pm

With the sign on the pilot the first photo sure reminds me of 2101 on the Freedom Train.

Nice pictures.

John Bohon

Fitz
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Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby Fitz » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:23 pm

Great lighting conditions on number 3, Tony. Thanks for sharing the photos.
Image

Mark D
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: 261 At St. Paul Union Depot

Postby Mark D » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:44 am

On the last night of the Santa train the coal was down so far that I had to continuously climb up onto the tender and then drop down into the very bottom of the coal hopper and cut coal forward so I could reach it from the cab. By the time the morning crew came along it was down much more since we had all sorts of steam heating running to keep the water in the various pipes and appliances from freezing. I burned a lot more coal last Saturday night than I normally would. However, I was also advised by the previous hostler that I was supposed to conserve coal so we could make it through the last day of trips (Sunday) and get back to the shop before we ran out of coal. I have no clue what they did about it, but I'm pretty sure that if they didn't get a small load of coal they would be burning ties, tie butts and old pallets to not only get home, but to handle the last couple of trips too.

Last Thursday I should have climbed up there to see how much, if any, coal was in the hopper. But I got my punishment by going into the firebox with a hose to blast all the black carbon off the inner sheets. I had a guy in there with me who had a bucket of Super Clean and a brush on a stick. He scrubbed, I rinsed. He stayed relatively dry, I got soaking wet from head to tow. I came out of there as black as black can be from head to tow. That's not my first time doing that, so I knew going in there what was going to happen.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve


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