Oct 14, 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 Friends of the 261 on a timelier basis. We’ll try to get it out monthly, but you know how Minnesota summers can be – busy – so bear with us if we don’t make it every month while it’s warm.May and June have been exciting months running special charter trips to Chicago in May (twice!) and our trip to Ireland. If you want to check out updates from our Ireland steam tour, check out our Facebook Page

We are still awaiting the go ahead on where our 261 steam specials will be going on Oct. 10-11. Please keep those dates open – you will have a train to ride, we just don’t know where yet!Have a great summer, and see you soon!


Steve Sandberg
Friends of the 261

Restoration of Lamberts Point Under Way

We have begun restoration work on Norfolk & Western business car Lamberts Point at our Minneapolis Junction shop. We intend to restore the car to its original appearance as an N&W business car. We’ve started this effort by removing the newer modern roof, which has exposed the original clerestory roof underneath. We intended to repair and restore the roof to its original appearance, plus do a lot of updates and other repairs before repainting and lettering the car for N&W. As always donations are needed for this effort, so feel free to make a donation at www.261.com

Windy City Express trains a hit with passengers

We had two sellout weekends in May for the Windy City Express charters from St. Paul to Chicago. Three cars were used on the trips behind Amtrak’s Empire Builder: baggage car No. 2450, Milwaukee Road Super Dome No. 53, and Milwaukee Road Skytop parlor lounge observation Cedar Rapids. We recently completed a lot of exterior sheet metal work on Super Dome 53 and then repainted the car. It really looked sharp rolling down the old Milwaukee Road main line! We had many nice comments from passengers, such as this one:

“My two daughters and I recently rode and REALLY enjoyed your Windy City excursion from St. Paul to Chicago.” – David Bier
Keeping our passengers happy is what it’s all about!

“London Calling II” this fall, South America this winter

Our next international tour kicks off this September with a tour to the United Kingdom beginning Sept. 13. The tour will include several heritage steam railways, as well as main line steam excursions pulled by Duchess, Royal Scot or Coronation Class passenger locomotives. We have arranged a trip on one of the great train journeys of Britain, the Settle & Carlisle Railway. This route is extremely rare and considered to be on the “Bucket List” for many rail enthusiasts. After over a week of steam action, we return to the United States on Sept. 20. There is still space available for this tour so if you’d like to come along check out www.261.com or call 651-688-7320.
This winter the Friends of the 261 will be offering an exciting tour to the South American countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. This trip will allow visitors to see the railroads of these countries while also seeing their museums and scenery. We are still working out the details of this tour but it will include a steam train trip and museum tour in Colombia. In Ecuador we will ride the luxurious Tren Crucero down to Guayaquil, dropping 10,000 feet on our journey including a steep drop descending Devil’s Nose. We are working on a tour of the locomotive shops and a charter over a portion of the FerroCentral (FCCA) Railway in Peru. Keep an eye on our web site and futures issues of Northern Lines for information on this tour as we work out the details.

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