The Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin form a major Great Lakes shipping terminal on the western shore of Lake Superior. Northern Minnesota is also home to the Mesabi Iron Range, from which massive quantities of iron and taconite are mined, providing heavy tonnage for the railroads. Most train traffic terminates at the Ports where coal, grain, and taconite are trans-loaded onto ships. However, there are also through freights carrying merchandise between Chicago and Canada.
Pentrex spent all four seasons of the year exploring the railroad facilities in this fascinating area during the late 1990s. We cover the six major railroads that served the Twin Ports then: Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, Wisconsin Central, and the ore-hauling Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range. We also treat you to a cab ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad’s restored Great Northern NW5 as it carries tourists on a journey along the shores of Lake Superior. You’ll be thrilled to see how the Twin Ports serve as one of the major railroad hubs in the country!