Many diesel locomotives are in the collection mostly from the local area, but also some unusual gems.
Mack Diesel Switcher
Museum Locomotive No. 1
This locomotive was constructed by Mack Truck Company in 1931 for the Fegles Construction Company and later owned by the Northern Pump Company, both of Minneapolis. After retirement, it was donated to the Museum by Hyman-Michaels Company of Duluth. The locomotive was completely rebuilt for the Museum by Reserve Mining Company at its Babbitt, Minnesota shops. It is fully operational and is used to perform switching at the Museum when required. It is one of the oldest diesel locomotives in the world. Photo from Lake Superior Railroad Museum collection
SOO Line No.
The No. 2500 is an FP-7, an “F-unit.” F-units were built from 1939 until 1957, and are credited with contributing to the demise of the steam locomotive. The No. 2500 was built by General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division in November, 1949, as a demonstrator unit. It was then taken on a sales promotion tour. Soo Line was so impressed that it purchased the demonstrator unit. The No. 2500 pulled “The Laker” passenger train for the Soo Line (now CP Rail) from Duluth to southern Wisconsin and Chicago. It was donated to the LSRM in 1986 by Soo Line Railway. The exterior was restored and repainted, and mechanical restoration was completed in the spring of 1995. Photo by Tim Schandel
Milwaukee Road No.
Built in 1950 by Electro-Motive, this diesel was used as a rotary snowplow power car. It was donated to the museum by SOO Line in 1988, who had renumbered it X980001. In Storage at Rice's Point
BALDWIN S-12 LTV
Locomotive No. 7243
Built by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation in 1956, this S-12 was the last locomotive to depart Baldwin's Philadelphia plant before it closed. It was originally built as Erie Mining No. 403, and cost just under $115,000.
SOO Line No. 700
Built in March of 1963 by EMD, the No. 700 is a GP-30 road switcher. Interestingly, all 21 of SOO Line’s GP-30s ride on traded-in Alco trucks. After seeing service throughout the SOO Line system, the No. 700 was sold to the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The locomotive was retired in 2001 and donated to the museum by the Wisconsin Central Division of the Canadian National Railway. In 2005, the museum had the engine repainted and began using it on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Photo by Kent Rengo
Erie Mining Company No.
Originally numbered 101, this F9 A-unit was built in May of 1956 by EMD. It was purchased brand new by Erie Mining Company and spent its entire career working for the mine as a road haul engine. No. 4211 was donated to the museum by the former LTV Mining Company in April 2002. Photo by Doug Buell
Oliver Mining Diesel Locomotive No. 900
No. 900 was built by the American Locomotive Company at Schenectady, New York in 1940. It is believed to be the first diesel-electric locomotive used on the Mesabi Range. Weighing in at 123 tons and delivering 1,000 horsepower, this locomotive was donated to the Museum in 1973 by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding of Duluth, who had used the engine since its retirement as a temporary electrical generation source. During 1974, the locomotive was repainted by Minnesota Ore Operations of US Steel at its Minntac Shops. The No. 900 is still in working order. It is basically like the locomotives seen on trains today. Although the outsides sometimes look different, the insides are all run by the same principle: an engine turns a generator, which creates electricity, which is brought down into the motors by the wheels. There was a twenty-year transition period between the 1940s and the 1960s when steam engines were being phased out and diesels were being used more and more. One of the reasons for this change was that diesel engines (which ran on diesel fuel) could run for a much longer period of time, while steam engines had to stop every couple of hours for more fuel. There were also the issues of the weight, bulk, and mess of the fuel (usually coal) used in steamers.
Missabe & Iron Range Railway
Locomotive No. 193
The No. 193 was built in 1960 and was the last SD-18 purchased by the DM&IR. It was donated to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in 1998 by the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway and is used for passenger service on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. After spending most of the winter of 2001-2002 receiving engine and wheel work, the No. 193 was repainted at the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway's Proctor shops. The Museum would like to extend thanks to the Missabe Railroad Historical Society and its members and the Lake Superior Transportation Club and its members for raising the majority of the funds for the paint job. We would also like to thank the DM&IR for doing such an amazing job and making our historic locomotive look brand new. Photos by Kevin Acker
Mack Industrial Switcher
This switching engine was built by Mack Trucks, Inc. in 1934 for Spencer Kellogg and Sons of Superior, Wisconsin. It was donated to the museum in 1989 by Harvest States Cooperatives, also of Superior. Better known for semis and their bulldog logo, Mack built 91 motorcars and 21 locomotives between 1905 and 1939, and 10 FCD cars from 1951-1954. This former Harvest States switcher is one of two Mack locomotives in the LSRM collection. On loan to Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad
Great Northern Locomotive No. 192:
The No. 192 is one of ten such locomotives built for the Great Northern between 1946 and 1947. It is an unusual switch engine reconfigured with a steam generator to heat passenger cars for shorter runs (the unusual hood behind the cab of the locomotive houses this generator). The No. 192 is an NW-5, fueled by diesel. It was purchased by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in 1996 and restored to its original condition for use on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Photo by Tim Schandel
GE 44 ton switch engine donated by Minnesota Power.
It worked its entire life at the company's Syl Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes, first building the plant and then hauling in cuts of coal cars. After one of it's two electric traction motors burned out it was retired in favor of a newer trackmobile. The engine was donated to the Museum and restored. We rebuilt the burned traction motor and put on new chains, brakes and repaired the airbrake system. It is a handy little switch engine that sees much use around the yard. While the engine has an early remote control system, it is not used. MP had difficulties with it and almost put the engine in the Lake as a result. (But that's another story!) Photo by LCK