Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Great Northern Train Near Alstown

Rail service was coming to the Mansfield-Douglas area when this picture was taken of the crew working on the line in 1908. The branch is part of the Great Northern Railway (then Burlington Northern, who abandoned the track in 1985). Taking off from the main track about two miles below Rock Island, the 60-mile line runs up the Moses Coulee through Douglas and on to Mansfield. Completion of the branch was celebrated Oct. 9, 1909, when the first passenger train which included chief engineer Hogeland’s private car, Manitoba, arrived in Mansfield. The location for this picture is 4 1/2 miles southwest of Alstown where Duffy Canyon empties into Douglas Creek. Passenger service on the branch line has long been eliminated and the freight train makes one or two trips a week to handle freight. During the wheat harvest season, three trips a week are occasionally necessary to pick up the grain.

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