Old 07-12-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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Talking Minnesota Zephyr finally moving from dead rails (photo op)..

Maybe the wrong forum for this but since it doesn't seem to fit anywhere just move it where you like it.

Figured I should mention this, though anyone close enough for pics is probably already aware.

You can look up the train I don't really have room for its full history but its a pair of F7's with appropriate passenger rolling stock, its current status was that they had stopped doing the moving dinner train with it and its been rotting for a fair number of years now stuck on a 5 or so mile chunk of track that was cut off from any live rail.
After many delays (and apparently yet another last minute paperwork delay), the MN Zephyr is finally getting moved back to live rail. Its several miles north of a Coal power plant and the Anderson windows plant which have live rail running to them, so since the DNR bought the land the tracks are on, the whole train is getting loaded onto absolutely massive semi trailers and hauled right through downtown Stillwater in the early morning hours. The first two cars are on trailers already and apparently get moved tomorrow morning now (if they got the paperwork sorted) Then 2 more get loaded tomorrow and they go overnight the next day.
I'm going to do my best to be there when there is 230,000 lbs of F7 hanging in the air and drop a photo cluster bomb all over everything. Hafta nail down the date and time though, nothing is going exactly on schedule. I'm also going for a possible all nighter to get pics of them moving, Not every day an F7 wanders down main street either. I think they have enough street lights to actually make a picture possible. These things are going to absolutely crawl down the road because the way they have it loaded is tipsy as all hell and only stabilized by 4 huge chains for the cars loaded so far. For the sake of simplicity in putting it back on the rails they left the wheel assemblies complete which had to add a massive amount of weight to the mess.
I wasn't there for any of the fun so far, but it appears the F7's still run because they pulled the train forward and backed it onto the other siding close to the depot to give a straight shot for the trailer.
Regulations aside I think the whole train could technically drive away right now as soon as its on good rail again but I'm sure it will get a ton of maintenance and inspection before Union Pacific (who owns the lines out I think) allows it on their lines.
At least they won't scrap it, not after what this circus costs. I keep hearing about interested parties but it wasn't selling before because it was stuck in an inaccessible spot. Thankfully the $4.25 million land purchase was a good incentive (and funding) to get the train moved. Its in fairly sorry shape at the moment but VERY restorable and essentially complete and functional.
I actually took a self guided tour recently of the northbound engine #788 because the rear door is broken and doesn't latch, VERY cool to look over the 16 cylinder diesel and the odd cummins diesel wedged behind it which is apparently a generator for passenger trains (I think its called a HEP or some odd acronym like that). I even took a pic sitting in the driver seat. Odd how different the controls of the 2 F7's are.

EDIT: I hear now they may actually be put on rail cars and hauled to Oregon that way.

Here is the best way for me to link to it, its just a google search for all the news stuff as it comes up. Lots of pics so far.
EDIT (again) deleted link, apparently it doesn't always work right, just search for it, tons comes up.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 07-12-2012 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:25 AM   #2
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[Snark removed.]

Here is a recent shot from the database; the other shots are from 2006.

Image © Todd M.
PhotoID: 374550
Photograph © Todd M.

Good luck catching shots of the move.
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots

Last edited by JRMDC; 07-12-2012 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:33 AM   #3
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and the rest of the story...
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