Christmas Train - Santa Train

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Brent A
Conductor
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: Twin Cities

Re: Christmas Train - Santa Train

Postby Brent A » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:30 pm

Fitz, I was in the cab on the trip up the hill. I am also pretty sure Robert was the engineer.
That was a memorable trip for me as the tracks are about 600 feet from my house.
It's like the same thing, only different. (Tommy Chong)

alco636
Conductor
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: Christmas Train - Santa Train

Postby alco636 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:33 am

Mark, IIRC your first ride was up Shortline Hill. May 15th, 1998. We departed from the shop eastbound to SPUD. Then marched up Shortline Hill. We continued west all the way through to Hopkins on the former Milwaukee Road mainline west. I may have audio of the charge up the hill. It was kinda cool.

Al Seever
Minneapolis, MN
I don't know everyone, but everyone seems to know me...

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 3326
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Christmas Train - Santa Train

Postby Mark D » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:46 pm

Al, I believe you are correct. My very first ride was on the TC&W. I had no clue how we got to the TC&W, but once we were there I knew where I was.
But I always thought that on that trip we went out via the 29th street depression, the former Milwaukee Road track. It was still in use in those days as a railroad, not a bicycle path. I'm still pretty certain that's how we got to the TC&W in those days. I remember riding through there at some point in those early days, anyway.

Just after that trip, sometime in late June, IIRC, 261 went to Chicago to run trips to Galesburg. You were on that trip, but I couldn't make it - I had to work.
But after that memorable event, 261 was on active display at a micro brewery in Green Bay. I flew out there to make the trip home.
And it was on that trip when I first got the idea of making the servicing of rods a bit more efficient.
We had two guns, and only one crew would go out. And they'd take all day. The railroad hated it.
I conned Steve into letting me gather up some willing guys and we had two teams out there. It cut the time in half right there. I believe you were involved in that, too, but my memory is a bit vague on who did what during those early pit-stop style grease stops.
I do know that starting that August, on the EAS it was Tim O'Neil and I who worked on perfecting the procedures. No wasted motion is the crux of the whole thing.

So, apparently there's no real name for the grade that's east of SPUD that anyone knows of. But is Short Line Hill an official name? On timetables? Or is it just something that locals use to refer to the hill?

And which one has the steeper gradient? Which one is longer?
Anyone know?
I don't.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve


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