Scenic USA - Minnesota
Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.
Milwaukee Road 261
A relatively late entry into rail service, Milwaukee Road 261 belongs to the final era of steam locomotives. Soon to be replaced by diesel power locomotives, 261 operated on the Milwaukee Road (formerly Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific) for only ten years.
One of a group of ten S3 Northern type locomotives, 261 rolled from the American Locomotive Company shops in Schenectady, New York. Weighing nearly a million pounds, the ALCO engines’ short period of service made for an excellent opportunity to provide power for a tour train. On loan from the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, the Friends of the 261 launched an excursion tour through the Midwest states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. Fresh from its boiler inspections and refurbishment, 261 coupled up to a vintage line of Hiawatha passenger cars built by the Milwaukee Road Shops. The tour train often included the Skytop lounge car and the #53 Super Dome (Pullman Standard).
Unfortunately, a lot good things come to an end. The same holds true for the #261, when lease agreement negotiations turned sour. The Railroading Heritage of Midwest America plan offers a faint glimmer of hope for the #261, putting the excursion train back on the tracks once again.
Copyright ©2010 Benjamin Prepelka
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