The Great Northern Railway (GN) main line stretched 1,700 miles from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington, and was the most northern transcontinental railroad in the United States. In addition, GN branch lines stretched north from the Twin Cities to Superior and the Minnesota Iron Ore Range, and from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Winnipeg, Manitoba; through Montana to Great Falls, Helena and Butte, and from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. Other popular Great Northern passenger trains were the Badger-Gopher (St. Paul-Superior-Duluth), Dakotan (St. Paul-Minot), Cascadian (Seattle-Spokane), Red River (St. Paul-Grand Forks), Internationals (Seattle-Vancouver) and Winnipeg Limited (St. Paul-Winnipeg). Historic images include 4-4-0 steam locomotive William Crooks, the first steam locomotive to operate in Minnesota. Like other railroads, Great Northern purchased diesel locomotives from Electro-Motive Division consisting of the FT, F3, F7 and E7. Later models were U25B, U28B, U33C, SDP40, SDP45 and the first SD45 named “Hustle Muscle.” Also pictured are boxcab Z-1, Y-1 and W-1 electric locomotives.
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About the Author
John Kelly grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where his father’s best friend was an engineer on the Chicago & North Western. John has been collecting railroad photos, timetables and dining car menus for over 20 years and has a large collection. In addition, he has written on railroad history for Trains magazine, Trains.com, Vintage Rails and Passenger Train Journal, and has authored a couple handfuls of other photographic books on vintage trains.