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Today, the Friends of the 261 had a surprise for us all. This June, Milwaukee Road Steam Locomotive #261 will return to North Dakota for the first time in 19 years to pull some true rare-milage excursions on tracks that have not seen passenger train service in over 50 years!
I had a wonderful time riding behind the #261 last summer on an excursion in Minnesota... She's a lovely engine maintained by a great crew. With multiple trips and affordable prices, I suggest riding once in coach, once in a Premium Class, and perhaps chasing a trip over the 3 days of excursions.
To mark its 30th Anniversary, Red River Valley & Western and the Friends of the 261 are teaming up to offer a series of special anniversary excursion trains pulled by Milwaukee Road steam locomotive No. 261. This will be a rare opportunity to ride several rail lines that have seen only freight service for decades. The trips will offer Coach, First Class, Dome Class and Premium Class seating, including dome car seating in the Friends of the 261’s Super Dome 53 and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum’s Silver Club, making its first trips.
Thursday June 1 and Friday, June 2, 2017
Each day No. 261 will pull a three-hour, 74-mile round trip evening excursion from Fargo/Davenport to Lisbon, N.D. Trains will depart Davenport at 6 p.m. for the journey over the former Northern Pacific Railway’s Fargo & Southwestern Branch, now Red River Valley & Western’s Fourth Subdivision. Just outside Lisbon the railroad enters North Dakota’s first nationally recognized scenic byway, the scenic Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. The tree-lined, rolling hills of this valley are speckled with quaint towns and farmsteads, lending to its American charm. In addition to nature and scenery, archaeology, history, culture, and recreation are all found along this byway. The Davenport to Lisbon route has not seen passenger service since 1960-61.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Milwaukee Road 261 will pull a sunset excursion train departing from Wahpeton, N.D. to Kindred, ND. This train will run northwest to Kindred on RRV&W’s ex-Great Northern Second Subdivision. The line to Kindred is the only former Great Northern route operated by the RRV&W, and once served as a cutoff from the Great Northern main line at Breckenridge and the Surrey Cutoff at Nolan, N.D.
For Tickets and More Information -
Be sure to checkout the schedule on MAINLINE STEAM for other Steam Locomotives operating this summer. And if you have a long road trip, check out STEAM BY STATE, you just might pass pretty close to a regional steam operation you've never seen in action before.
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