To Proctor and back

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


DMIR Maroon and Gold
On my vacation to Duluth I set aside one day to take my dad up to da range. He has never been up there and driven along the missabe on the infamous CTH7. So after some breakfast and getting some pictures of a boat going through the Duluth ship canal it was onward to da range.
First on the way up was a stop at Proctor yard. On the approah into the yard was L511 the Proctor transfer. The sky in the distance showed what was on the horizon on da range.

As L511 was coming into the yard a surprise was brewing. An empty tac train U717 was almost ready to leave the yard and head back to da range. A bonus was that the DMIR 403 was leading, one of the two last maroon painted units left.

Once he recieved the golden track warrant I headed towards Saginaw. I wanted to get U717 going past the old depot. With no sun now I didn't have to worry about the sun.

After having to wait for the train to pass twice because of roads I head towards Culver. At Culver I get a shot of the 403 crossing CTH8.

Then I run up the road at get another shot of them near Payne with rain starting to fall.

After Payne I run up the road past Kelsey where the main line parallels CTH7. This makes for some great pacing shots. With the rain now behind use we set up for some pacing shots. Here is a shot near Sax.

After racing ahead of the train I stop near Zim for a shot of them along with CTH7.

I then run up to Forbes where the Fairlane processing plant is located. This is known as Fairlane on the railroad. U717 has to hold for a T-bird to arrive with crude taconite loads. Then U717 will pull in on the other leg of the wye.

With both trains in the plant I headed farther up CTH7 towards Iron Jct. On the way up I heard the MRF leaving Keenan yard and heading towards Two Harbors. I headed East railroad South of Iron Jct. I stopped to catch them at Fayal with long string of BFT in low side ore cars behind the power.

Then heard the empty T-bird leaving Fairlane after getting re-crewed. So I headed up to Largo at the Thunderbird North loadout.

Then I drove down to another crossing East of Fayal to capture a loaded Minorca train headed for Two Harbors.

After this I had a little bit of time to run up to Virginia for some lunch. A nice surprise after lunch was that the clouds broke up and the sun came out.
On the way back to the Junctions I heard M347 coming up the Missabe. I decided to capture them crossing the intersections of CTH's 19 and 101.

After getting M347 I heard U717 calling to leave Fairlane and head to Proctor. So I decided to chase the 403 back down to Procotr. I missed getting him leaving Fairlane so I went down to Zim and captured him there. With some dark skie in the backgorund with the next storm.

Then went down CTH7 little bit to get them again near Fens.

I then decided to race ahead towards Kelsey to set-up for a shot of them crossing the White Face river.

Then went down to Alborn to get another picture.

I then went to Culver and caught them coming through the tail end of a long S-curve.

Then drove down to Grand Lake to get them coming around the cuve at the end of Bear Trap Rd.

Then it was back to Proctor where the journey all began. When we arrive U715 was ready to depart with limestone loads for MinnTac. He had to wait for U717 to get into the yard.

Then U717 arrives and brings an end to the journey from Proctor and back.

This was a great trip and was one of the highlights of a great weekend in Duluth. Hopefully this is not the last time I chase missabe maroon up to da range.
Great trip report! You were very lucky to catch that DM&IR unit in the lead. Lot's of nice angles and tack sharp shots. Thanks for posting.:D


Outstanding In My Field
Very, very nice report. Interesting to see how the taconite looks to have turned everything to rust along the tracks and in the yard.



DMIR Maroon and Gold
Very, very nice report. Interesting to see how the taconite looks to have turned everything to rust along the tracks and in the yard.

Yes the roadbed does have a unique color. The ballast is crushed taconite fines which adds to the color along with the natural color of the soil.

Nice shots. I wish I could get up there to see the DMIR units. I don't think I will before they are repainted though.
Don't wait too long. With only two left and the 403 has been smoking pretty good since at least March. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.