“Childhood Railroading Memories for the Future”

Not too many years ago, my family came up to Duluth for a vacation from the “big city” of St. Paul. I was about 7 years old, and I remember being sad that I didn’t have a camera along to take a picture of myself in the cab of the 227 to take back for show-and-tell. But I was excited for the trip to Two Harbors in the morning… We went back to the Radisson hotel and I remember peering down from one of the top floors at the Depot and begging my grandpa to take me back down to wander the train yard in the dark. We didn’t, but instead went to bed early so we could make it in the morning for the departure to Two Harbors.

I remember being very tired, but was so excited when I saw the all-silver 3-coach train loading up for the morning departure (This was the Goldfine days, with the RDC trainset and GP7 locomotive). We sat right next to the narrator on the train and she entertained us the whole way up to Two Harbors and back.  It was a very fun trip and a great memory of our times in Duluth.

After returning home, I went right to work with a magic marker to apply the North Shore Scenic Railroad “wing” logo to all of my Brio wooden trains. I drew on all of them, and even re-created the “route” to Two Harbors with the tiny wooden snap tracks.

My Mom was not happy about my redesigns, and I even think I got a “time out” for drawing all over my expensive wooden trains. Little did Mom or I know at the time, one day I would be working for that logo.

Today I take a tremendous pride knowing that I am a small part of a HUGE team of people that make these memories for kids and their families every day. Members, like you, make this all possible… and I know that someday we will pass this collection of historic railroad equipment on to the next generation who is right now getting in trouble for drawing our logos on their toy trains.

On May 9th, 2013, the designer of the original “wing” logo, Kent Courtland passed away. His wife Jodie messaged us to let us know of his passing and his pride in the design of our art-deco logo that represents our railroad and impacts so many.