2020-Summer-Northern Lines

Restoration, upgrades to Milwaukee Road E9 32A near completion Volunteers and employees of the Friends of the 261 are making great progress with the restoration and upgrading of Milwaukee Road E9 32A. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, crews have been practicing social...

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2020-Covid Update

Hello Friends, I’m writing to you in the hopes that you and your loved ones are safe & healthy.  In this unprecedented time, I wanted to let you know that we are all thinking about you and your families.  We view you as part of our big railroad family and we are...

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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 the ready track to spread holiday cheer at Union Depot in St. Paul. The...

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2019-Engine Report

Engine Report April 2019 Steam locomotive 261 undergoing signification firebox work before the 2019 season. As the snow has melted and Spring has sprung work begins on getting the 261 ready for the 2019 season. Work crews have undertaken the major job of replacing one...

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2019 – Spring – Northern Lines

Friends of the 261 now proud owner of Milwaukee Road E9A No. 32A By Don Crimmin Through the hard work of long-time members and volunteers Dr. Robert Schoeder and Mary Walters and the generosity of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad and WATCO, the Friends of the 261...

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2018 Car Shop Report Fall

2018 has brought big changes to the fleet of the Friends of the 261. 2 new domes and a complete overhaul on the Fox River Valley, former Henry Hudson. New Gaskets and windows are on their way for the Silver Palace, former Western Pacific coach dome. Custom carpet is...

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2018 – September – Northern Lines

Frank E. Sandberg, Jr. 1941-2018 One of the founders of the Friends of the 261, Frank E. Sandberg Jr. passed away June 13 at age 77. Together with his wife Judy (who died in 2014), Frank founded the Friends of the 261 in the early 1990s as restoration of Milwaukee...

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2018 – Car Shop Report Summer

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 Algoma Central dome coach observation. The cars were last used on CN’s Algoma...

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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 happen. Positive Train Control, PTC, federal mandate becomes effective...

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2018 Dues Notice and Appeal

It’s dues time again for the Friends of the 261, but before I speak briefly about our activities and goals, I want to say thank you to all our members and friends for your generous support over the years. Thanks to your dues and donations, we’ve been able to keep 261...

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