Minnesota Transportation Museum

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Minnesota Transportation Museum
Minnesota Transportation Museum 03.jpg
The Minnesota Transportation Museum's Jackson Street Roundhouse
LocationSaint Paul, Minnesota
Coordinates44°57′45″N 93°5′46″W / 44.96250°N 93.09611°W / 44.96250; -93.09611Coordinates: 44°57′45″N 93°5′46″W / 44.96250°N 93.09611°W / 44.96250; -93.09611
TypeTransportation museum
Websitehttp://www.transportationmuseum.org/

The Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM, reporting mark MNTX[1]) is a transportation museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States.

MTM operates several heritage transportation sites in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. The museum is actively involved in preserving local railroad, bus and streetcar history.

MTM was formed in 1962 to save a streetcar that had been built and operated by Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) in Minneapolis–St. Paul. Many of the museum's early members were formerly part of the Minnesota Railfans Association, which had organized railfan trips from the 1940s to the 1960s.

In 2004–2005, the organization's streetcar operations became the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, with, the steamboat Minnetonka, originally built by TCRT in a style similar to its streetcars, becoming a major attraction of the Museum of Lake Minnetonka.

Minnehaha Depot[edit]

The Minnehaha Depot in Minnehaha Park

After the first streetcar, TCRT No. 1300, was successfully restored, other projects were examined in the time before the streetcar could be put on its own set of rails.

The Minnehaha Depot was a former Milwaukee Road depot at Minnehaha Falls. The station, built in 1875, was nicknamed "The Princess" because of its delicate architecture. The depot is a contributing property to the Minnehaha Historic District. Trains running on special routes have sometimes stopped at the station, and it was eventually integrated into the area streetcar system. Tracks owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway reach the station, though it is at the disused end of a rail spur.

The depot is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society and operated by the Minnesota Transportation Museum. In 1967, the depot became the first building to be restored by the museum and it was outfitted with exhibits. In 2004, the METRO Blue Line's Minnehaha Park station opened across the road from the old depot.

Classic buses[edit]

The Minnesota Transportation Museum pressed this classic General Motors bus back into service as part of the Blue Line light rail opening in June 2004.
An older Mack bus behind the Jackson Street Roundhouse

Several buses from the 1940s and 1950s are also operated by the museum. Most equipment in the bus collection were built by the GMC division of General Motors, and represent vehicles that replaced the streetcars in the Twin Cities in the 1950s. The conversion from a streetcar to bus system required two years. The last trolley run was on Hennepin Avenue on June 18, 1954.[2]

The collection consists of buses operated in and across Minnesota. Earliest is a 1942 Mack (occasionally used in conjunction with the Commemorative Air Force) which transported war workers to the B-24 final assembly point at what is now St Paul's Holman Field, and a block of 1953/54 GMC transit units, two of which are painted in original Twin Cities Lines colors. The buses are used in regular charter service, and form a very visible part of the museum's collection, often used in wedding and corporate charters, and on the museum's city tours.

This part of the collection is sponsored by Richfield Bus Company, graciously providing maintenance and licensing to operate them.

As the museum has acquired much of its bus collection from Metro Transit, the bus company sometimes requests the use of the old buses for special events.

Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway[edit]

MTM, in conjunction with the Historical Society of Osceola, Wisconsin, operates a heritage railroad called the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway. Excursion trains are operated on trackage formerly owned by Wisconsin Central Ltd., now part of Canadian National Railway.

Excursion trains operate from the historic Osceola Depot, north to Dresser, Wisconsin, and southbound to and through the scenic St. Croix River Valley. Regular schedules begin on the first weekend in May, continuing through the last week of October. Special Event trains operate through the season, including Mother's Day and Father's Day dining specials, the popular fireworks train to Marine on St. Croix, the Pumpkin Train (Halloween) and Fall Leaf Viewing trains through the River Valley.

Passenger classes are General Tourist, First Class and Dining Car. Dining Car service is handled by the Osceola and St Croix Dinner Train, operating on alternating weekends. Service includes Brunch and Dinner, classic affairs done in the old "high dollar style". All Dinner Trains are "full service," served by staff on matched white linens and original diner china, 60 to 90 years old.

At the Osceola service area, several locomotives and pieces of rolling stock are on display. All equipment has been reconditioned to standard operating condition, including classic 1920s open-window coaches, Great Northern express coaches and a refreshment car. Locomotives currently in running condition are classic diesel-electric.

In past years the classic steam engine, Northern Pacific No. 328 (4-6-0) was used to pull the trains, but has been placed in restoration status due to its age (107 yrs).

The regular service train route runs approximately 50 minutes to/from Dresser, Wisconsin, and 100 minutes to/from Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.

The Museum also operates the Dresser Depot at the northeast terminus of the line in Dresser, WI. The Depot has been preserved exactly as if the staff stepped out for a break, down to calendars and railroad notices. It is also the site of Pumpkin Train Park, hosting several thousand visitors during the pre-Halloween weekend.

Jackson Street Roundhouse[edit]

Turntable at the Jackson Street Roundhouse

The Jackson Street Roundhouse is MTM headquarters in St. Paul, as well as a fully functional railroad roundhouse, one of the last of its kind in the country. During winter months, the Roundhouse is a functioning work area for Museum rolling stock, often with the volunteer workforce welding, grinding and sending sparks flying.

Open Wednesday & Saturday, year-round, and on Friday during the summer months it is a maintenance & restorations base for the museum's locomotives and rolling stock. It is highly interactive, offering train rides (Saturdays) as well as hands-on exhibits about surface transportation history of Minnesota and the upper Midwest.

The building was erected by the Great Northern Railway in 1907, replacing another, older roundhouse. The site has been used for rail transportation since the first railroad came to Minnesota (1860s). The Roundhouse and surrounding grounds are a near complete display of American industrial history from the 19th century through the mid-20th century.

The Roundhouse is base for equipment as varied as Pullman coaches, Northern Pacific RR mail & baggage cars, an operating 115-foot (35 m) turntable, a 200-ton lifting crane, an F7A passenger engine (under long term restoration to operating status), a Brill Car (one of the last of its kind) and the Minnesota Transportation Museum's fleet of classic buses.

The roundhouse is also home to the famous Northern Pacific Railway steam engine No. 2156, known to many Twin Cities children as Casey Jones's steam engine, from the popular children's program "Lunch With Casey", in the 60's & 70's. No. 2156, currently torn down for restoration, is undergoing stabilization to become part of a "Steam Bay" exhibit, demonstrating the inner workings of steam locomotives. It will be displayed next to its sister engine No. 2153, restored cosmetically to original operating configuration.

Train Equipment[edit]

[3]

Steam Locomotives[edit]

Locomotive Type Built Retired Acquired On Display Operational Image
Northern Pacific 328 Class S-10 4-6-0 1905 Alco 1950 Leased 1976 Yes 1981–1999
NP 328.JPG
Northern Pacific 2153 Class Q-3 4-6-2 1909 Baldwin 1950s Donated 2000 In Cosmetic Restoration No
NP 2153.JPG
Northern Pacific 2156 Class Q-3 4-6-2 1909 Baldwin 1950s Leased 1980 - Purchased Later In Cosmetic Restoration No
NP 2156.JPG

Diesel Locomotives[edit]

Locomotive Type Built Retired Acquired Location Status Image
Soo Line 559 (Rock Island 1223) GP-7 1951 EMD --- Purchased 1998 from Wisconsin Central Jackson Street Roundhouse In Service 2019
Soo559 2018.jpg
Northern Pacific (LST&T) 105 SW1200 1957 EMD --- 1987 Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
NP105 2019.jpg
Norfolk & Western 3110 (Wabash 110) SW1 1949 EMD --- --- Jackson Street Roundhouse Operational
MNTX3110 2019.jpg
Lake Superior Terminal & Transfer 101 NW-2 EMD --- --- Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
LSTT101 2018.jpg
Burlington Northern 6234 (Colorado & Southern 839) SD9 1959 EMD 2003 Donated 2003 by BNSF Railway Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY Operational
BN6234JSRH.jpg
Great Northern 325 SDP40 1966 EMD 2008 Donated 2009 by BNSF Railway Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY Operational
MNTX325JSRH.jpg
Great Northern 400 "Hustle Muscle" SD45 1966 EMD 1986 Leased 2000 (owned by Great Northern Railway Historical Society) Minneapolis In Restoration
Hustle Muscle Osceola.jpg
Great Northern 454-A F7A 1950 EMD 1981 2003 Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
GN454 2018.jpg
Burlington Northern 6008 (Great Northern 558) SD7 1952 EMD 1983 Donated 2017 by Cargill, Inc. Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
BN6008 2019.jpg

Passenger Cars[edit]

Car Type Car Number Car Name Railroad Company Location Notes
Streamlined Lounge/Observation/Business Car A-11 Great Northern Railway (GN) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Streamlined Parlor-Buffet 1084 "Twin Ports" Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
Streamlined Coach 502 Milwaukee Road (MILW) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Streamlined Baggage 265 "Mariah" Great Northern Railway (GN) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Streamlined Coach 598 Burlington Route (CB&Q)/Northern Pacific (NP) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage; Restoration Planned
Streamlined Dome Car 4709 "Silver Castle" Burlington Route (CB&Q) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage; Restoration Planned
Streamlined Coach 1096 Great Northern Railway (GN) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Streamlined Coach 1097 Great Northern Railway (GN) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service (used as dining car)
Streamlined Coach 1213 Great Northern Railway (GN) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Streamlined Coach 1215 "City Of Osceola" Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Streamlined Coach 1224 Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage; Restoration Planned
Heavyweight MU Trailer Commuter Coach 2232 Erie Lakawanna (EL) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Heavyweight Commuter Coach 2529 Rock Island (CRI&P) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Heavyweight Commuter Coach 2604 Rock Island (CRI&P) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Heavyweight Commuter Coach 2608 Rock Island (CRI&P) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Heavyweight Triple Combination 1102 Northern Pacific (NP) Osceola and St. Croix Valley RY In Service
Streamlined Diner 1146 Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Restoration
Steam Heat Car 16 Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage (Painted Burlington Northern)
Coach X-757 "Drover's Coach" Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Heavyweight Baggage 480 Great Northern Railway (GN) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Baggage-Mail-Express 101 Duluth, South Shore, & Atlantic (DSS&A) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Baggage-Express 8676 Chicago & Northwestern (CNW) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Heavyweight Business Car 2352 "Gopher" Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern (MN&S) Jackson Street Roundhouse On Display
Heavyweight Coach 30 Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range (DMIR) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage
Heavyweight Coach 1370 Northern Pacific (NP) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage
Heavyweight Diner 1472 Soo Line (SOO) Jackson Street Roundhouse In Storage

References[edit]

  1. ^ Railinc, Search MARKs, accessed September 2009
  2. ^ "Mass Transit: Streetcars and Buses". St Louis Park Historical Society.
  3. ^ "Collections". Minnesota Transportation Museum. Retrieved November 29, 2018.

External links[edit]