LakerRail multimedia show, night photo session featured at 2019 Union Depot Train Days

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
Lake Superior Railroad Museum’s restored Soo Line GP30 No. 700 will appear at Union Depot Trains and be the subject of a night photo session on May 31.
Steve Glischinski
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Train Days 2019 at the Union Depot in St. Paul this June will feature LakerRail, an exhibition of railroad photos and video set to music, a night photo session and equipment displays. Union Depot Train Days is expanding two days this year, June 1- 2.

Equipment on display this year will include two “firsts.” For the first time, Soo Line GP30 No. 700 will visit Union Depot from the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minn. No. 700 was the first GP30 received by the Soo in 1963. Accompanying No. 700 will be the museum’s Soo Line caboose No. 1, the first wide-vision all-steel caboose purchased by Soo Line in 1966.

Trains Days will also include the first public exhibition of the Friends of the 261's newly acquired Milwaukee Road E9A No. 32A. The unit is still in its Wisconsin & Southern colors but will be repainted later this year into a Milwaukee Road scheme. Several Friends of the 261 passenger cars will be at the depot and open to the public.

Both No. 700 and 32A will be the subject of a “behind the scenes” night photo session to be held at Union Depot beginning at 8 p.m. May 31. The night session will be conducted by Trains Magazine Correspondent and locomotive columnist Chris Guss.

LakerRail is similar to Winterail on the West Coast and Summerail in Ohio, and features the work of railfan photographers from across the U.S., including several frequent Trains contributors. It will run from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Red Cap Room at Union Depot with programs running 15 to 20 minutes long. There will a be one-hour break at 4  p.m.

Programs and presenters include:

Modern Day “Omaha”/ Adams Cutoff and Soo Line/DM&E Finale – Alex Silka
Modern Day Omaha”/ Adams Cutoff showcases Union Pacific’s lines within the state of Wisconsin. Photos from Butler to Adams and to Wyeville on the “Adams Cutoff and then scenes on the former Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha from Wyeville to Altoona. Most of the program was shot before and at the beginning of the Wisconsin frac sand boom. With the boom of fracking in the oil and gas industry, this line quickly turned from a mostly dormant backwoods mainline, into a vital part of Union Pacific's industrial sand network.

Soo Line/DM&E Finale showcases the finale of the Soo Line, and DM&E locomotives in use on Canadian Pacific’s network in the Upper Midwest. Shot between 2012 and 2016 this program spans CP’s mainline across Wisconsin, as well as the Mississippi River Valley and it’s various connecting lines.

50 Years of Railfanning – Mike Schafer
Mike Schafer, editor of Passenger Train Journal, The Milwaukee Railroader, and the Nickel Plate Road Magazine among others, provides a look back at 50 years of his railfan photography from 1964 to 2014 (he has taken another 5,000 photos since 2014!)

“Fat Bottom Girls” and “Bonga-Free Zone” – Matt Krause
“Fat Bottom Girls,” is a nickname in some circles given to freight locomotives with full-width car bodies, sometimes just simply called “cowls.” Originally, a Canadian-only model, as none were built for a US railroad, the modern cowl unit (post-1985) has migrated south into the states after Canadian Pacific and Canadian National purged their ranks of most of this type locomotive. This brief look shows examples of each model still in freight service, some still working for the original railroad, others for a regional railroad.

Bonga-Free Zone – “Bonga,” is a somewhat recently developed slang term for a modern General Electric locomotive. This show offers a quick sampling of shots where a “Bonga” is nowhere to be found. Starting off in the Upper Midwest, the show heads west before coming back to the region where Matt currently lives.

Love on the Old Line – Bill Christopher
Like many railfans, Bill Christopher thought Metra, Chicago’s commuter railroad, was boring and predictable. Then he started riding Metra Union Pacific North, the former Chicago & North Western Old Line, while courting his wife, Susanne. Looking out the window, he discovered big city scenes, stately depots, suburbs both affluent and desperate, forests, marshes and fields, all cloistered around a vital part of Chicago’s transportation network. So, he got off the train a few times and took photos.

Big O’s Best of the West – David P. Oroszi
Oroszi has been photographing trains and railroads for over 50 years. This program highlights his favorite railroad photos from the West including scenes of the Rio Grande, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific taken during the first five decades of his photographic career.

My First 10 Years of Digital Photography, Clearing the Line on the Ontario Southland, and Chicago Terminal on Goose Island – Chris Guss
Guss looks back at the origins of his digital photography, snow fighting with plows and F units on the Ontario Southland (including dramatic drone footage), and a fun look at the Chicago Terminal Railroad on the Windy City’s Goose Island.

Red Hawk Down – Dan Kwarciany
Ever wonder what the inside of a 100-ton hopper looks like? Red Hawk Down is a mix of video and photos showing scenes taken the last few years along fan favorite short lines such as Minnesota Commercial, Twin Cities & Western, and Progressive Rail. Also included are trips to the Iron Range of Minnesota and Upper Michigan, as well as scenes from Wyoming in the Powder River Basin where BNSF and UP continue to put on a show with long coal trains.

Wide Open Spaces – Robert Stevens
Stevens program is a dramatic look at railroading along the “wide open spaces” of the United States and Canada including BNSF Railway, Canadian Pacific and short line and regional railroads. Views at sunrise and sunset, along the open prairies and in the vastness of the West highlight how the railroad is part of the transportation fabric of North America.

Railroads of the Southeast – Eric Hendrickson
Eric Hendrickson’s program highlights railroads of the Southeastern United States including CSX, Norfolk Southern, Florida East Coast and short lines. Sprinkled in his program are night photos and several shots from a drone to “elevate” viewer enthusiasm!

45 Years of Iowa Railroading – Steve Glischinski
Iowa was once laced with railroads both large and small. After he received a “good” slide camera in 1972, Steve began making the trek south from his home state of Minnesota south to Iowa. His program looks at railroads in Iowa beginning in the 1970s to today. Railroads covered include “fallen flags” such as Burlington Northern, Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, Rock Island, Santa Fe and short line and regional railroads including a favorite, Iowa Interstate.

Railroaders – Mike Yuhas
Yuhas salutes the railroaders who make the make the trains go, working on board the trains and along the right-of-way to keep railroads moving day and night. Included are views trackside and from drones. Mike will also present another “surprise” program.

Tickets to LakerRail and the night photo session are available online at

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

  • Previous Day
  • May 03, 2019
  • Next Day
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.


The Genesee & Wyoming 

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 58% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today