Ray & Renee Grosser

Soo Line Operations: Traversing the Minnesota Plains

Ray & Renee Grosser
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Duration:   8  mins

Having the ability to videotape the Grosser’s sectional Soo Line layout in bright sunlight adds a sense of realism which artificial light just can’t match. In this episode, Allen’s camera follows railway operations on a typical day’s trick; compare this to what other’s do in operations. In the early morning sunlight, headed up by a GP-9, Train #54 heads southbound from the yard in Glenwood, Minnesota, to pick up and drop off cars to commercial customers on the daylong roundtrip.

It may seem menial or even mundane, but serving rural customers scattered along the Soo Line is the railroad’s lifeblood of business, and has been for years. The way freight blasts a friendly hello to the still-sleeping residents in the Ray Apartments, popular with railroad workers. As the freight enters Lake Minnewaska, Allen catches a unique view of the town from the rear platform of the caboose. Parking its load on the single track main, the Geep cuts off two boxcars and backs on to the spur to pick up two boxcars at Heisman Feed Mill and deposits a Soo Line boxcar and Northern Pacific grain box in their place.

Continuing onward as the sun rises higher in the sky, we watch railway operations continue as the conductor prepares to set out cars at the freight terminal. Then, it’s on to Waite Park. With a lighter load, the peddler meanders through the typical central Minnesota countryside, past quaint farmhouses and over small river bridges before returning to Glenwood, the day over for Train 54 and its crew. For the rest of the week they repeat similar railway operations, movements that are repeated daily by hundreds of other trains on dozens of railroads throughout the country, helping commerce flourish in cities and towns.

Operations is a great way to enhance your own model railroading experience!

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