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On August 1, 1870, the first train arrived in Duluth, Minnesota from St. Paul. This train traveled along the first railroad Duluth had, which was the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. This train arrival was often regarded as one of the most important events that happened within Minnesota’s history. Also, the arrival of this train marked a monumental moment for railroad history, significance, and development within the United States. Since the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad had approximately 154 miles of railroad track that connected these two rivers from land made good transportation and trading easier than usual.
The original Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad eventually became the St. Paul & Duluth Railway, which then again changed its name and affiliation to the Northern Pacific Railway. The Northern Pacific Railway served as a transcontinental path for goods from the West to Duluth.
The current Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad was created by a group of people affiliated with the Lake Superior Transportation Club. This group of volunteers used part of the original railroad track that ran by the St. Louis River to create the new Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. Currently, the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad serves as a tourist attraction.
There are two main attractions at the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad: the rolling stock collection and the train excursion. The Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad has the following rolling stock collection:
· Locomotive 46 was built in 1946 and is an electric center cab. Locomotive 46 was used as a switch engine until August 1984. One year after the locomotive retired, it was donated to the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad by one of its owners, the Flambeau Paper Co.
· Safari Car was built in 1928 with the Northern Pacific Railway in mind. The Hallett Dock Co. donated the Safari Car to the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. The Railroad renovated and adjusted the Safari Car so it would be accessible to passengers.
· Coach 85 was built with the Missabe and Northern Railway in mind. In 1912, the American Car and Foundry created Coach 85. Later in its lifetime, Coach 85 was used as a car for crew bunks. Currently, Coach 85 has 1950s fitted coach seats for its passengers.
· Coach 29 was also built by the American Car and Foundry the same year Coach 85 was built. This specific model has been remodeled since 1939, but many original designs are preserved.
The second attraction at the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad is the train excursion. The train excursion happens Saturdays and Sundays for approximately two hours. For more information about the train excursions, check out the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad’s website.
Currently, the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad does not offer any specialize educational opportunities. This is mainly because the tour of the rolling stock and train excursion is an educational opportunity within itself.
While the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad does not host any public special events, the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad offers a variety of private special events. Private special events are also called charters. During special events, the entire train is available for guest usage. As long as the charter does not interfere with regular scheduling, guests are free to request when the train leaves and returns, as well as any stops the train makes along the way. In addition to full control over the train’s travel, guests can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages aboard. In order to comfort guests, a full crew is provided for the ride. It’s important to note it is required for groups of 30 or more to book a charter in advanced. Also, this type of specialized charter is for any occasion, such as a wedding, other than a birthday party. There is a separate charter package for birthday parties.
The birthday party charter package is an approximately two hour train ride on the historical Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. Birthday parties can be held privately or alongside other guests. If a birthday party chooses to ride with other guests, members of the party get priority boarding, as well as a choice of the seating arrangement. Also, birthday party guests receive a discounted ticket from general admission. It’s important to note birthday parties must give the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad an advanced notice.
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6930 Fremont St, Duluth, MN 55807, Phone: 218-624-7549