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Western Railroad Discussion > Carlton, MN where the NP got its start


Date: 09/20/22 14:53
Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: BrianA

On Saturday 9-17-22 after the NPRHA convention in Brainerd, MN I made my way east to Carlton, MN where contruction of the Northern Pacific began on February 15, 1870.  After taking photos of the sign to commemorate the event I made my way towards town to check out the tracks and found these signals that were on and showing a red over green.  I was not really sure of what was lined up and what it meant .  Eventually I figured out it was the Superior-Staples main line and siding on the right.  A branch line continuing straight past the switches  I believe the branch runs to Cloquet, MN.  Soon I heard a train blowing its horn to the east so at least something was coming but a road freight or a local?  After hearing the sound of GE's I gambled road freight and took off for the NP first construction sign as I have never seen  a train pass the sign.  Gamble was right, a coal empty headed back to the coalfields.  That diverging green was indeed for the main line that curved off to the left in the first photo.  Was not really expecting that kind of track setup of a diverging main to main switch.

I am curious about that sign though.  When was it installed and was it during the BN or BNSF era?  Did NP have anything there prior to the mergers?  By comparison I kind of like the last spike sign near Garrison MT more.  Not as big and not as fancy.  Only downside to the last spike sign is it being difficult to access.

Brian Ambrose
Renton, WA








Date: 09/20/22 16:57
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: stevelv

Nice Brian.  I'm looking forward to answers on your inquiries regarding the sign.



Date: 09/20/22 17:07
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: czephyr17

Yes, it looks like something has been there quite a while, though the sign looks “refreshed” not that long ago.

Too bad the monad is flipped upside down.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/20/22 17:13
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: BrianA

stevelv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice Brian.  I'm looking forward to answers on
> your inquiries regarding the sign.

I agree it would be great to know more about it.  I get the feeling it is not that old as while the posts look old and worn, the signs look newer..  But I get the feeling it was built by a group who is not familiar with the Northern Pacific.  Take a look at the NP Monad, it is wrong.  The Yin-Yang is upsidown..  (I wonder how many would have noticed that)

Brian



Date: 09/20/22 17:15
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: BrianA

I see someone noticed the Monad!!

czephyr17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, it looks like something has been there quite
> a while, though the sign looks “refreshed” not
> that long ago.
>
> Too bad the monad is flipped upside down.
>
> Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/20/22 18:38
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: LarryDoyle

I'm 79, and there's been a sign there at least as as long as I can remember - though not THAT particular sign.

It's curious that the nations 2nd Transcontinental Railroad was ititiatiated 26 miles from, basically, nowhere else.  Carlton is on the St. Louis River, 26 miles upstream from its mouth near Duluth on Lake Superior, and 480 feet higher elevation.  All original contstruction materials, cars, and locomotives were brought into Duluth by Lakers then oxcarted to the railhead, as the topography was just too rugged to build upon quickly.

-LD



Date: 09/20/22 18:50
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: valmont

Here's what I found there on 7/6/67 .... and pics 2 & 3 are of what came along when I was there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/22 19:01 by valmont.








Date: 09/20/22 19:41
Re: Carlton, MN where the NP got its start
Author: czephyr17

BrianA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I see someone noticed the Monad!!
>
> czephyr17 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Yes, it looks like something has been there
> quite
> > a while, though the sign looks “refreshed”
> not
> > that long ago.
> >
> > Too bad the monad is flipped upside down.
> >
> > Posted from iPhone

Indeed, I have seen enough of them in my 67 years to notice when something is not quite right!



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