Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

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

Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby Mark D » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:24 pm

All went well save for not getting any sleep. Pretty much I just kept on running 24 hrs. 'till I got home last night. I did accidentally nod off sometime around 2:00 AM Sunday morning. That meant I had to fix my fire again. But that was to no real avail because about an hour later I suddenly had a brainstorm that said, "Dude, don't you think you still have to do the soft grease"?
So I got the stuff and did the soft grease. By the time that was done I had to fix my fire again. Oh well. And it was raining, so I sort of had to close the skylight, that or get way wet in the cab.
I've been down those same bouncy tracks many times now, but it was still cool standing in one of the four baggage doors that have gates so we can't fall out.
On my first night I took over at about 10:00 PM (same on Saturday) and was surprised to see what, in the dark, was a little girl. Later on it turned out to be a little boy. I swear that if he turned sideways I wouldn't see him at all. In any case, he said he was 15 years old and he is solid determined to get in with the 261 crew and help with all that it takes to keep a steam engine operable.
I thought I was done with him when he said it was time to go home. I asked where lived. I forget all what he said, but somewhere in a northern suburb of Minneapolis. He takes his bike to the bus, rides the bus and uses the bike to get to the choo choo shop.
He left at 2:00 AM. I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, "Doesn't he have any parents? and to go along with that was, "Don't his parents give a rats as about their child?" A kid that age riding a bicycle through the most derelict part of town at 2:00 AM?

Well, he showed up at the 261 in the morning and climbed into the tool car to go out on the Saturday trip. This kid's got nerve, I can tell that. He's also pretty smart, judging by his talk. He's no dummy.
I don't even know his name. Never asked. I was hoping he would go away because I don't want to be his best buddy at the choo choo shop.
The next morning he showed up again, in the tool car. Someone must have shooed him out of there because later he was waiting with other people trying to get that elusive perfect photo of a dirty, noisy ancient beast that has its own temper.
Like I say, he's got guts to find people who will allow him to go with them as just a little child.

Otherwise, all was just fine. I hope the paying patrons were satisfied, because they had to shell out more than a few shillings.

Steve's new toy came with us too. At the other end of the train was what I used to think was an F unit, but in truth I found out it's an E-9. Kind of rare I hear. Don't really care - it's just another diesel. It looks fine from the outside, but it's not going to stay that way. It's going to be better. Back to Milwaukee Road colors - it's original colors. The interior desperately needs help. It's a mess with monkey style wiring to keep it going. It does have house power however. That means it can light the whole train and we don't have to run under car generators. Lots of good points.
I've noticed a lot of rust, but it's repairable and I suspect I might be involved with that. It'll take a lot of grinding and welding before it can be painted. It will also help with the Santa train at Christmas time. Steam locomotives in winter need an awful lot of care, and still water will freeze things, often causing damage.
So I think he got a good deal in the end.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Fitz
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Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby Fitz » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:32 pm

Mark, after seeing photos of 261 out on the road, I was wondering if you crewed the trips. No rest for the hostler, eh? Interesting story about the boy, and I'm with you as to "Does he have parents and do they care?" It is interesting that he first of all knows about the 261 and second of all wants to become part of the crew. I suspect that that is rare among 15 year olds these days. Thanks for the report.
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Robert T
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Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby Robert T » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:44 pm

Mark,

I can still remember about 10 years ago when I was with you at the shop before a trip. This young man came around and started snacking on the food in the tool car and neither of us knew who he was.

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 3294
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby Mark D » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:42 pm

Fitz, I also was wondering the same thing about how in the heck did he get hooked into it. I don't have a clue.
Robert, I had forgotten all about that. I can't even bring up a picture in my mind. Must not have been very high on my list of things to do that day. I might have figured that he belonged to someone on the crew.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

SOO2719
Conductor
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Interested in trains?: Yes

Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby SOO2719 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:16 pm

A couple pics of said choo choo and new toy in St. Louis Park last Saturday:
Attachments
Milwaukee 32A on  261 excursion St Louis Park 6 22 2019.JPG
Milwaukee Road 261 westbound at St Louis Park 6 22 2019.JPG
Richard "Tony" Held

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

SOO2719
Conductor
Posts: 407
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
Interested in trains?: Yes

Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby SOO2719 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:18 pm

And in Eden Prairie last Sunday:
Attachments
Milwaukee 261 at track speed Eden Prairie 6 23 2019.JPG
Milwaukee 32A Eden Prairie 6 23 2019.JPG
Richard "Tony" Held

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

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 3294
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Choo-Choo time in Minnesota Last Weekend

Postby Mark D » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:01 am

Nice photo's! I presume that E9 will be painted in original Milwaukee Road colors.
The insides of that diesel thing sorely need attention. Last time I was inside of it they were using extension cords to get it to run.
Not kidding. That's the condition it was in when purchased, but the 261 crew will likely hold their noses and put it into a state of good repair.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve


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