Take a journey across the former Milwaukee Road mainline from St. Paul, Minnesota to Summit, SD. The line’s current operators, Canadian Pacific, Minnesota Commercial, Twin Cities & Western, and BNSF keep this line active and interesting, and we will see all of them in operation. We take a look back to TC&W’s operations in the early to mid-1990’s, as well as current operations. A cab ride from Hopkins to St. Paul Yard aboard TC&W’s short-lived SD20’s, through the Depression Corridor and over Short Line Bridge, is something you won’t want to miss! Along with the SD20’s, we capture TC&W’s classic fleet of GP10’s in operation before they were replaced by Caterpillar GP20C’s in 1997. From 2007-2009, we return to the TC&W to document new unit train operations, along with a renaissance of older EMD power on TC&W turn jobs. RRV&W GP10’s, leased CP GP9’s, TC&W’s GP39-2’s, and the occasional CAT are all seen hauling freight across Minnesota. Coal trains for Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative in Ruebel began operating with BNSF run-through power during the production period. SOO Line SD60’s were the primary power for ethanol trains on the TC&W at the time of production, and you’ll see several of these trains.
Not to be outdone, BNSF puts on a spectacular show with a variety of motive power that will not be seen again! SD40-2’s were the most common power on through freights. Several BNSF first-generation diesels are seen in action, as well as BNSF’s only operating SDP40. We’re sure you’ll enjoy seeing this line operating as the Milwaukee Road intended, as BNSF freights kept the jointed rail polished on their journeys to and from the Pacific Northwest and Montana. From the Mississippi River Valley, to the beauty of the Coteau Des Prairies landscape of eastern South Dakota, this program documents the unique operations, motive power, and scenery across this historic route.