Lake Superior Railroad Museum sets steam debut

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Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 No. 28 is set for public trips in June. This is the engine in March 2016.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
DULUTH, Minn. – The Lake Superior Railroad Museum’s first excursion trips featuring newly restored Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 No. 28 will be June 10 and 11 when the Consolidation will pull two special trips for project donors.

The excursions will depart Duluth at 10 a.m. both days and operate to the siding at Palmers, Minn., a 32-mile round trip on the museum’s North Shore Scenic Railroad. The engine will be on home rails: the tracks once belonged to the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, which operated No. 28 as DM&IR 332 before its sale to short line and one-time logging railroad Duluth & Northeastern in 1955.

American Locomotive Co.’s Pittsburgh Works built the engine in 1906 for DM&IR predecessor Duluth, Missabe & Northern as No. 332. The locomotive remained in service on D&NE until 1964, much longer than most other steam engines in revenue service. D&NE donated it to the museum in 1974.

Its restoration is the brainchild of Bob Purcell, one time general manager of D&NE successor Cloquet Terminal Railroad. Purcell arranged to have the engine moved to the Cloquet Terminal shop in Cloquet, Minn., where it was once based, and began restoration work there in 2011. A management change resulted in Cloquet Terminal giving up the project, and it was returned to Duluth in 2015 to complete the work, with Purcell now a member of the LSRM Board of Directors continuing to spearhead the project.

The museum hopes to fire up the engine in March, with test runs to follow prior to the June excursions. No. 28 will lead several public weekend trips over the North Shore Scenic Railroad between Duluth and Two Harbors beginning in late summer and continuing into early fall. Dates for those trips have not been announced.

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