Steam Locomotives by City

Scroll down or click location on map to view photos

Updated 5/1/03

Click here to see the complete list of
surviving steam locomotives in Minnesota by Wes Barris

All photos taken in 1998 by Richard Jenkins unless otherwise noted

Click on photos for larger image

Duluth & Northeastern 27  (ex-Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range 348)
The Duluth & Northeastern is a shortline whose main customer is the paper mill in Cloquet,  MN.   In the early 60's they were one of the last railroads in Minnesota still using steam engines in regular service,  and all five of the engines that made up their final steam roster still exist today,  including 2-8-0 no. 27 at the Carlton County Fairgrounds in Barnum,  MN.   This engine and her sister no. 28 (now displayed indoors at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth) were formerly Duluth Missabe & Iron Range nos. 348 and 332,  respectively,  and they represent two of the three surviving DM&IR C-3 class 2-8-0's.   They were built by ALCO Pittsburgh in 1907.

Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range 347
The other surviving DM&IR C-3 class 2-8-0 is no. 347,  at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisolm.   Unlike her sisters D&NE 27 and 28,  no. 347 remained a Missabe engine to the end of her working life.   She is now displayed outdoors (although roofed over),  coupled to a short train of ore cars.   Admission to the museum is very reasonable,  and their collection also includes a small steeple-cab electric locomotive,  a 1910-vitage steam shovel,  and a giant mining dump truck,  as well as numerous other exhibits related to Northern Minnesota's iron mining industry.

Duluth & Northeastern 16
Of all the surviving Duluth & Northeastern engines,  the closest to her old stomping grounds is 2-8-0 no. 16,  on display in Fauley Park in the D&NE's home town of Cloquet.   (Ironically, the farthest from home is her identical sister engine,  no. 14,  at the Fillmore & Western Railroad in Fillmore, California.)   This nicely-proportioned consolidation was built by Baldwin in 1913.   Although she is unroofed and unfenced,  the engine is very well cared for.   Almost every time I have seen her,  she looks freshly painted.

Georgia Northern 102
This Georgia Northern 4-6-0 is on display at the End-O-Line Railroad Park & Museum in Currie, Minnesota.   The locomotive was purchased from the Illinois Railway Museum,  and before that she was part of the Dick Jensen collection.   Photo by George Thelen,  June 5, 2000.

Northern Pacific 1068
Northern Pacific L-9 class 0-6-0 no. 1068 is one of eight NP engines in Minnesota,  and is a sister engine to no. 1070 which operates on the Lake Whatcom Railway in Washington State.   She is a 1907 product of ALCO's Manchester works.   Roofs like the one over no. 1068 are something of a mixed blessing.   While it protects the engine from the elements (she certainly is in excellent condition),  it also makes it very difficult to get a good photograph.

Northern Pacific 2435
Northern Pacific no. 2435 is the last surviving example of a T class 2-6-2.   She was built by ALCO Brooks in May, 1907.   Unlike the other steam locomotives in the Lake Superior Railroad Musuem's impressive collection,  2435 remains outdoors (although under shelter),  in relatively rough shape.   Unfortunately,  the museum does not have the budget to cosmetically restore her and move her indoors at this time.

Northern Pacific 1   "Minnetonka"
The Nothern Pacific Railway's first locomotive was the "Minnetonka",  a Smith & Porter 0-4-0 built in 1870,  and used in the construction of the railroad as it started west from Carlton,  MN.   The engine was later sold to a logging company,  and spent many years hauling logs before being repurchased by the NP for preservation.   She is still owned by the NP's successor,  the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe,  and in recent years spent some time on display at the company's headquarters in Fort Worth,  Texas.   Happily,  she is now back home at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth.

First Division St. Paul & Pacific 1
The William Crooks is housed indoors at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.   Built in 1862 for the First Div. St. Paul & Pacific R.R. (later to become the Great Northern),  this was the first steam locomotive in the state of Minnesota.   The museum is housed in the trainshed of the 1892-vintage Duluth Union Depot.   Other steam locomotives in the collection include DM&IR 2-8-8-4 no. 227, D&NE 2-8-0 no. 28,  and 0-4-0T no. 7 of the Minnesota Steel Company.   Their indoor location makes these engines difficult or impossible to photograph,  but they are immaculately preserved,  and the museum is definitely well worth a visit.

Duluth & Northern Minnesota 14
Duluth & Northern Minnesota 2-8-2 no. 14 was restored to steam in 1992 for excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad,  which runs up the shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to Two Harbors.   The engine also masqueraded as a Great Northern engine for the Disney film "Iron Will".   The Duluth & Northern Minnesota was a logging railroad based in the town of Knife River,  which,  coincedentally,  was also served by the DM&IR lakeshore line that is today the North Shore Scenic R.R.   However,  the D&NM line was abandoned in 1919,  and this 1913 Baldwin spent most of her working life on the Lake Superior & Ishpeming before returning to Minnesota for preservation. This photo was taken in August 1998.   Sadly,  the engine was withdrawn from service in October of that year,  and hasn't run since.   She is currently stored outdoors,  but under shelter,  along with NP 2435.

East Grand Forks
Northern Pacific 2153
The Northern Pacific Q-3 Pacifics have always been among my favorite engine types,  so when I went to East Grand Forks to see no. 2153,  I had hoped to find her in better shape than this.   This 1909 Baldwin is one of four surviving members of the class,  and one of two in Minnesota.   While she is remarkably complete for a park engine (the only thing obviously missing is her bell),  she looks like she has been suffering from neglect.   Her wooden parts (foot boards, cab roof, etc.) are badly rotted,  and she could definitely use a new coat of paint.

No. 2153 may soon be getting that coat of paint and more,  as the city of East Grand Forks has recently donated the engine to the Minnesota Transportation Museum for restoration to steam.   Click here for more details.

Mountain Iron
Oliver Iron Mining 806  (ex-Duluth,  Missabe & Northern 64)
This 0-8-0 was built by Baldwin in 1899,  originally as no. 64 for the Duluth,  Missabe & Northern Railroad,  which later became part of the DM&IR.   She was later sold to the Oliver Iron Mining Company,  and renumbered 806.   The engine is now on display in a park overlooking one of the open-pit iron mines that give Minnesota's "Iron Range" its name.   While she looks to be in pretty good shape,  her cab was obviously replaced at some point during a cosmetic restoration,  and the new one doesn't appear to be a very accurate replica.

Illinois Central 201
This Illinois Central 2-4-4T was built for commuter service out of Chicago,  and is reputed to have been driven by famed IC engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones.   The locomotive is now on display outside the Heritage Halls Museum in Owatonna,  Minnesota.   Photo by George Thelen,  June 6, 2000.

Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range 225
By far the largest steam locomotive type in Minnesota,  and among the largest ever built anywhere,  are the Yellowstones of the Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range,  built to haul heavy iron ore trains from the mines of Minnesota's Iron Range to the Lake Superior ports of Duluth and Two Harbors.   These giant Baldwin 2-8-8-4's remained in service into the early 60's,  and three of them survive today. This one,  no. 225,  is a park engine near the DM&IR's ore classification yard in Proctor.   Sister engine no. 227 is only about 10 miles away,  displayed indoors at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth.

St. Paul
Northern Pacific 328
During the 1980's and 90's,  Northern Pacific S-10 class 4-6-0 no. 328 was the Minnesota Transportation Museum's star performer,  running a variety of mainline excursions over the years,  as well as being a regular fixture on their Stillwater & St. Paul and later Osceola & St. Croix Valley tourist operations.   This attractive little ten-wheeler was originally built by the American Locomotive Company's Rogers Works in 1905.   Her early history has been a matter of some debate,  as some accounts say she was originally built for the South Manchurian Railway but never delivered due to the Russo-Japanese War which engulfed that region in 1905,  while other sources (including the 328 history page on the Minnesota Transportation Museum's web site) say she was part of a cancelled order for the Chicago Central.   Either way,  328 and the other semi-finished locomotives of her class were sent to ALCo's Schenectady works,  where they languished until 1907 when the Northern Pacific purchased ten of them for branch line service.   These became the NP's S-10 class,  numbered 320 through 329.   No. 328 spent most of her career on the NP's Taylor's Falls,  Stillwater,  and Grantsburg branches,  and was the last of the S-10 class engines when she was withdrawn from service in 1950.   After retirement she was rescued from the NP's scrap line in Brainerd, MN by the Minnesota Railfans Association,  who had her donated to the city of Stillwater for display.   She sat in Lowell Park on the Stillwater waterfront until 1976 when the Minnesota Transportation Museum leased her for restoration,  and she finally steamed again in 1981.   This photo shows her some 20 years later in October 2001,  stripped down for a heavy overhaul in the MTM's Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul.   At the time she was awaiting ultrasonic testing of her boiler,  which I'm told didn't go so well - she will apparently need a new boiler in order to run again.   In the meantime the locomotive will be re-assembled and put on static display in the roundhouse,  while funds are raised to get her back into working order.   Click here for a photo of NP 328 under steam at Osceola,  WI in 1998.

Northern Pacific 2156
After a hiatus of nearly 20 years,  work is once again proceeding to get Northern Pacific Q-3 4-6-2 no. 2156 back in working order.   This 1909 Baldwin Pacific,  which spent her early years pulling the NP's North Coast Limited,  was retired from service in 1954 and placed on display at Como Park Zoo in St. Paul.   I have fond memories of her there from my childhood; whenever we would visit the zoo,  my parents would ask my sister I what animal we wanted to see first,  and I would always say "the iron horse"! In 1981,  the engine was removed from the park for restoration to steam by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.   However,  While she was on display,  water had seeped into her steam passages and frozen,  causing a serious crack in one of her valve chests.   When the damage was discovered,  work on the engine quickly ground to a halt.   A changing climate for mainline steam excursions on the local railroads,  and the MTM's acquisition of the former NP Stillwater Branch (for which 2156 was too heavy),  were also factors that kept the project on hold for the better part of two decades.   However,  in the mid-1990's the MTM moved their tourist operation from Stillwater to the Wisconsin Central's Dresser Branch (formerly part of the Soo mainline) in Osceola, Wisconsin,  allowing the use of heavier engines.   More recently they have made great progress in refurbishing the former Great Northern Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul,  providing much better facilities in which to display and maintain their collection of locomotives and rolling stock.   Finally,  on December 8, 2000,  2156 was moved inside the roundhouse where work on her restoration could continue.   She is shown here in October 2001,  shortly after her boiler was sandblasted in preparation for ultrasonic testing.   The results were apparently encouraging,  and I'm told they hope to have her back in steam within two to three years.   As for the cylinder crack,  the plan is to have it stitch-welded,  a procedure that has been used successfully for similar repairs on other engines,  at only a fraction of the cost of a new cylinder casting.

Milwaukee Road 261
Minnesota's largest operating steam locomotive,  and the largest non-articulated locomotive in the state,  operating or not,  is Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 no. 261.   Leased from the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay,  WI,  by Minneapolis-based North Star Rail,  this big Northern was restored to steam in 1994,  to operate mainline steam excursions around the upper midwest.   Here she is passing the Minnesota Transportation Museum's Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul on August 8,  1998,  while running an employee appreciation trip for Burlington Northern/Santa Fe.

Northwestern Steel & Wire 27  (ex-Grand Trunk Western 8327)
Ex-GTW 0-8-0 no. 8327 is one of the steam engines that survived in freight service as late as 1983,  switching gondolas at the Northwestern Steel & Wire scrapyard in Sterling,  Illinois.   She is now on display,  along with a Chicago & Northwestern wood combine,  outside "Bandana Square",  a railroad-themed complex of shops and restaurants that was once a Northern Pacific car shop.   (It also houses the Twin City Model Railroad Museum's spectacular O-scale layout.)   On the other side of the building,  there is also an ex-Great Northern F unit (in NP colors) displayed with a string of freight cars.

Thief River Falls
Soo Line 1024  (ex-Monon Railway 504)
One of three surviving Soo Line Mikados, no. 1024 has the further distinction of being the only surviving steam locomotive from the Monon Railway, built as their no. 504 by ALCO's Dunkirk works in 1912.   The Soo Line acquired this engine and seven of her sisters in 1941-1942,  and designated them class L-4.   No. 1024 is now on display near the depot in Thief River Falls,  MN.   She seems to be very well maintained.

Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range 1218
Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range K-1 2-8-0 no. 1218 is on display beside the depot in Tower,  MN.   The color scheme isn't 100% authentic,  but all that white paint is better than no paint at all!   In fact,  the engine seems pretty well-kept.  Although the roof over the engine doesn't cover the tender in this August 1998 photo,  it has since been expanded.   Behind the engine is a passenger car housing a small museum,  and there's a museum and gift shop inside the depot as well.

Soo Line 346  (Koppers Coal & Coke 346)
Soo Line B-4 class 0-6-0 no. 346 was one of the last steam locomotives in regular service in Minnesota.   This engine and sister no. 353 were sold to Koppers Coal & Coke in St. Paul,  where they operated until 1965.   After that,  no. 346 was taken to Rochester, Minnesota to become part of a railroad-themed restaurant.   The engine's cab and tender,  and a pair of old Northern Pacific passenger cars,  were partially enclosed within the building,  and tables were installed inside the cars.   The fake balloon stack and cowcatcher were added at this time,  and the engine was given a rather gaudy paint scheme,  lettered as "C&NW no. 9".   After the restaurant closed down,  the building was used for several years by the Salvation Army,  with the train still embedded in the wall.   In the early 1990's however,  the building was demolished and the train removed.   The engine was taken to Tracy, Minnesota for display at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum.   She has been painted black and lettered "DME" (presumably Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern),  but she still retains the big stack and cowcatcher and fake number 9 from her restaurant days in Rochester.   Sister engine no. 353 also survives,  offering train rides to visitors at the annual Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota.   Photo by George Thelen,  June 5, 2000

Two Harbors
Duluth,  Missabe & Iron Range 229
The Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Yellowstones were divided into two classes,  the M-3's of 1941,  and the M-4's of 1943.   Though both classes were more or less identical,  the M-4's were slightly heavier due to wartime restrictions on some of the lighter alloys that went into the 1941 engines.   The only surviving M-4,  no. 229,  is on display in Two Harbors.   (Both 225 and 227 are M-3's.)   Originally,  M-3 no. 221 was displayed here,  but time and the elements took their toll on the engine,  and she was eventually scrapped and replaced with 229,  which had been in storage in the Two Harbors roundhouse.   Unlike her less fortunate sister,  229 has been given a roof to better protect her from the weather.

Duluth & Iron Range 3
Practically nose to nose with 229 outside the Two Harbors Depot is "3-Spot",  a Baldwin 2-6-0 built for the same purpose as the giant articulated,  only 60 years earlier.   Owned by the DM&IR's predecessor,  the Duluth & Iron Range,  "3-Spot" was built in 1883,  and arrived in Two Harbors by boat.   She was later sold to the Duluth & Northern Minnesota R.R.,  becoming their no. 2,  before being re-purchased by the DM&IR for display in Two Harbors.   There is also a third DM&IR steamer in Two Harbors.   That is the 1896 steam tugboat Edna G.,  owned by the railroad and active until 1981,  now on display in the harbor just a short walk from the depot.

Great Northern 2523
Great Northern 4-8-2 no. 2523 is on display at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society museum in Willmar,  MN.   Aside from the William Crooks,  this is the only Great Northern steam engine left in the state.   I'm not sure why only the feed water pumps are painted in Glacier Park Green,  but otherwise the engine seems pretty well maintained.