It’s winter in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, and the lonely sounds of trains echo through the snowy stillness. This is an area of heavy mainline operations, and when there’s freight to be moved, the depth of winter can’t keep the cars from rolling. Witness the action on the rails of the Soo Line; Burlington Northern; Chicago & North Western; Chicago Central; Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern; and the Green Bay & Western. Pentrex cameras capture train after train crossing the covered landscape, kicking up clouds of snow dust in their passing.
The lines run along the frozen banks of the Mississippi River or cross it on scenic bridges in the area between Clinton, Iowa and Winona, Minnesota. We follow the tracks as they wind along the river bluffs and climb out of the valley. The important junctions and diamonds in the towns of Savanna, Illinois; Dubuque, Iowa; and La Crosse, Wisconsin provide us with plenty of lineside action. Newly painted locomotives gleam under the sunny skies of a crisp January day. Railroad workers trudge through the snow to uncouple cars and sweep out switches. Rarely seen cabooses in surprising numbers can be spotted on this area’s trains. There’s no end to the beauty and drama of railroading in Winter Along the Upper Mississippi River Valley.