1998 – October – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1996 – March – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1994 – December – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1994 – August – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1994 – March – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1993 – August – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1993 – April – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1993 – January – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

1992 – October – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

UP 9001

In December 2017 the Friends of the 261 purchased two dome cars from Canadian National. The cars are former Western Pacific California Zephyr dome coach Silver Palace and former Union Pacific dome ...

2019 – November – Northern Lines

North Pole Express on the ready track 2018 North Pole Express at Union Depot in St. Paul. The 2019 trips will operate Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 12-15. ©Steve Glischinski The 2019 North Pole Express is on ...

2019 – Spring – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

2018 Car Shop Report Fall

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

2018 – September – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

2018 – Car Shop Report Summer

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

PTC Could End Mainline Steam Excursions

Now that we have your attention we want you to know how critical PTC is to the future operations of the 261. Without it operating a steam powered passenger excursion train on any mainline will not ...

2018 Dues Notice and Appeal

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

2016 – Spring – Northern Lines

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Northern (On)Lines! – July 2015

Northern (On)Lines! Welcome to the first edition of Northern (On)Lines! We’re planning this short email newsletter to keep members and friends informed about what’s happening with the ...

Windy City Weekends May 2015

The Friends of the 261 operated the “Windy City Express” round trips from St. Paul to Chicago on two weekends in May 2015 behind Amtrak’s Empire Builder. Three cars were used: Milwaukee Road Skytop ...

2015 National Train Day

The Friends of the 261 and BNSF Railway teamed up to participate in the annual Amtrak Train Day at the Union Depot in St. Paul on May 9, 2015. BNSF ES44C4 No. 8143 pulled the Friends business car ...

2015 – Spring – Northern Lines

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2014 – December – Northern Lines

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Old locomotive’s trip to Duluth pays tribute to longtime volunteer.

Judy Sandberg was the backbone of the Friends of the 261, a nonprofit group that owns and operates a rebuilt steam locomotive and its fleet of historic cars. Sandberg volunteered daily for nearly 25 ...

Cedar Rapids Restoration

Steve Glischinski Shoreview, MN MINNEAPOLIS – Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 was steamed up Sept. 13 for the first time since October 2013. Friends of the 261 Chief Operating Officer Steve Sandberg ...

2014 – June – Northern Lines

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Restoration work progressing on Milwaukee Road Skytop ‘Cedar Rapids’

By Steve Glischinski Published: January 31, 2014 MINNEAPOLIS – The Friends of the 261 are progressing on the restoration of former Milwaukee Road Skytop parlor lounge observation car Cedar Rapids. ...

2013 – Winter – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

Station2Station

Friend’s car fleet travels cross-country on “Station to Station” artist train “Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening” an Avant-garde traveling music, film, and art extravaganza hired the Friends ...

Bonton Model Shoot

September 2013, the Friends of the 261 opened the Cedar Rapids up to Bonton to use as a background for their fall catalog. Their theme for the fall catalog was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Among ...

261 Test Runs

Milwaukee Road No. 261 makes test runs, preparations continue for Duluth excursion By Steve Glischinski Published: April 22, 2013 MINNEAPOLIS – On April 20, Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 successfully ...

First Steam Excursion in Four Years!

Notice: The Radisson in downtown Duluth is expected to remain closed through May 15th after a water line broke and flooded parts of the hotel’s basement causing its guests to find other ...

2012 – Winter – Northern Lines

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Lamberts Point Project

Over the last few months, Friends of the 261 employees and volunteers have been busy working on the business car Lamberts Point. The car was always ‘ready to roll’ and was kept up to Amtrak, ...

2012 – Spring – Northern Lines

MILWAUKEE ROAD 261 GETS ITS WHEELS BACK, BOILER WORK PROCEEDING On Dec. 9, 2011, the rebuilding of Milwaukee Road 261 reached a milestone when the locomotive was placed back atop its four sets ...

Milwaukee Night at Model Railroad Club

Final Night Trains  Join the Friends of the 261 & the Twin City Model Railroad Museum on a special Saturday night “excursion” to see the final episode of Night Trains for the 2011 ...

2011 Engine Lift

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2011 Winter Project

This summer the Friends of the 261 completed work to upgrade coach No. 203, the Nokomis, to full Amtrak compatibility. This car has a fascinating history, both when it was built and when it came to ...

Super Dome Make Over

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Wheel Pressing

During the week of March 6, a special custom-built machine was used to press apart the main driving axle on Milwaukee Road 261. The work was done to inspect the main roller bearings on the wheel, ...

Loram Specail

In 2011, Loram, along with CP, ran a special train as part of the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association show held at Minneapolis’s own Humboldt yard and Convention Center in ...

2011 – Spring – Northern Lines

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...

2010 Winter Projects

Every year, the Friends take on some of our bigger projects during the winter and early spring months. Last year we took on the challenge of renovating the upper level of Super Dome 53. This year we ...

2010 Abduction

<<Gallery August, 2010 – Clocker Coaches used in filming of a new movie, “Abduction” The Friends were contacted by a movie company and asked if we had any coaches they could temporarily ...

2008 BNSF EAS

Every so often the BNSF does Employee Appreciation Specials, in 2008 the Friends was asked by the BNSF if we would do the honors in pulling the BNSF cars from MPLS Junction to Howard Lake, just west ...

2008 Public Enemies

In 2008, the Friends where contacted by Universal Studios and asked if they could use the 261 and the fleet in an up and coming movie about John Dillinger Called ‘Public Enemies.’ Here ...

1992 – August

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the 261, this news is for members of the Friends of the 261. To become a member click here ...