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Milwaukee Road No. 261 to pull autumn excursions

Published: August 21, 2013
261 north of Henrie 102B46C
Photo by Steve Glischinski
MINNEAPOLIS – Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 will pull two excursions on BNSF Railway this autumn. On Oct. 12, the locomotive will pull a round trip from Minneapolis northwest to Willmar on the former Great Northern Railway main line once used by the famed Empire Builder. The line has not seen regular passenger service since Amtrak rerouted the Empire Builder to the former Northern Pacific line through St. Cloud in 1979.

On Oct. 13, No. 261 will pull an excursion train departing Minneapolis at 9 a.m. that will travel BNSF’s ex-Great Northern Hinckley Subdivision 124 miles north to the wye at Boylston, just south of Superior, Wis. After turning, the train will return to Minneapolis, with an approximate arrival time of 5 p.m. The train will operate a total round-trip of 250 miles over trackage that has not seen regular passenger service since Amtrak’s St. Paul-Duluth North Star was discontinued in April 1985.

The train will include coach, first class, and premium services. Premium class includes seating in former Milwaukee Road Skytop lounge observation Cedar Rapids and full length Super Dome No. 53.

Tickets prices for the trips each day are: Coach Class Adult $149, Coach Class Children $99, First Class $249.00, and Premium Class $359.00.

Milwaukee Road 261 was built by Alco in 1944 and is owned by the non-profit Friends of the 261. The Friends completed an extensive, five-year overhaul of the locomotive this spring. The locomotive made its first public excursion since 2008 in May, pulling a two-day round trip from Minneapolis to Duluth.

For more information and to order tickets, go to www.261.com.
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BILL THOMS from MINNESOTA said:
Where is this "Minneapolis" that they are talking about? Target Field? St. Paul? Northland Yards? I;d like at least to get down and see it, but that;s a pretty vague destination.
JAMES WADE from OHIO said:
I only ride legit varnish:)
DR RON VANDER KOOI from COLORADO said:
Guse "takes the cake" on bigotry. Does he know the day when Ameica was filled with 100% real Americans, or is he referring to Native Americans, which excludes nearly all of us?
JAY MARKING from MINNESOTA said:
Wonder why they are going west and not alongside the Mississippi bluffs?
CHARLES KUEHN from WISCONSIN said:
The P42 is there for HEP and to serve as insurance in the event of trouble with the steam locomotive (unlikely with 261's first-class operation). One of the reason the 261 group is perpetually welcome on BNSF is their pristine record of reliability and professionalism, including acquiescing to the railroad's very understandable requirement that backup power be in place.
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