"Zenith City and Beyond" 
The legacy continues... 


The big news around here last month was the new website. The positive response to that investment has been in a word, overwhelming. Thanks to every one of you who took the time to communicate your thoughts about the new site. 

Our Zenith City and Beyond 2016 digital image disc cont in ues to be available at a reduced price to e-Newsletter subscr ibers. Yo ur small donation enables us to continue this work through 2017, and beyond. The CD contains 500 digital display images from my Flic kr a lbums covering the Twin Ports of Duluth, Superior and surrounding communities---including the Mesabi Range.

Get your own CD today by clicking the donate button now...    undefined 

To start off 2017 on a positive note, today's story on ZCO for January is a re-run of our story about the Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific Railway. Please check that out by clicking the ZCO logo, below.

I would like to thank a few individuals who went WAY out of their way to provide historical materials that will help to make my Flickr albums more robust - and even more importantly - will help to make my book project something truly unique and special.

First, I'd like to thank Hudson Leighton for all of the historical structure data that he provided. Hudson sent me hundreds of pages of data covering each and every railroad structure known to exist on every railroad serving the counties in and around the Twin Ports and the Cuyuna and Mesabi iron ranges.

That was my first "Wow!" for 2017.  There are others, equally impressive.

Jack Peterson came along next. He worked most of his life on both the Great Northern and Soo Line railroads as an engineer who always took his camera with him. Jack has gone out of his way to help me understand all of the Soo Line's operations throughout the Twin Ports. My chapter and the operational information on the Soo Line would have been impossible to create without Jack's help. Thanks, Jack.

Sadly, sometimes the best intentions are met with utterly unpredictable and unexpected loss. Such was the case in December when one of the significant shipments that Jack made to me was completely destroyed enroute. I cannot overstate how important it is to insure shipments when using USPS and UPS. Especially when shipping historical materials. It's taken some time for Jack and me to get mostly over what happened on December 13, 2016. That day will live in infamy for each of us. To read the sad, true story, click HERE. About 13,000 packages went up in smoke.

Vicki Garro added real value where no one has offered help previously. Her stories are wonderful. She worked as a clerk on the Burlington Northern in Duluth and Superior. She has been sharing her colorful stories with me on the many different clerk roles throughout the area. These stories in particular will be truly impactful when it comes to understanding how the railroads functioned at the yard office level. Her notes about operations at Allouez, Superior East End, 17th Street, and Rice's Point Yard will provide details that most of us could never hope to be able to even ask about. Yet she has taken the time to write her memoirs about these jobs so that I could use them to tell a better story about "real railroad life" throughout Duluth-Superior. This is an ongoing project between Vicki and myself and I am truly grateful for her input.

If Vicki's point of view wasn't special enough, then along comes Jeff Kempin. The Lake Superior Terminal & Transfer Railway owned Superior Union Depot. Their remaining stash of company information was housed in a closet in the attic of that building. When the antique store closed, Jeff was on hand to grab every bit of it, and we worked out a deal so that all of those files could find a new home at Twin Ports Rail History. This find included more than 60 historical track maps showing every inch of the LST&T's 23-miles of track, the various modifications made throughout the decades, and all of the industries it served. I'm happy to say that at long last, after 40 years of collecting and buying, I now have the ability to share the entire LST&T Railway in maps at 1 inch = 100 foot scale. It's an utterly amazing collection of maps, data and information. There's industry data here too including loads and empties coming and going from every line.

I'd like to thank Dave Schauer and Hans Kraemer of the Missabe Railway Historical Society for working with me to locate copies of a number of significant railway maps within the Twin Ports area. The connections and inter-connections between the various lines located here changed a bunch of times. Their generosity to help me find the maps I needed to complete my collection of rail maps for the Twin Ports
is very much appreciated, ongoing, and will help future projects to be all that more interesting and useful - especially to you model railroaders who are trying to build portions of these towns in miniature.

And I'd especially like to thank Gary Wildung and James Dick of the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association who have provided ongoing assistance for several years now. Whenever I need a question answered, they are always there for me. Gentlemen, thank you.

If you happen to visit my web site today, please pay attention to the ABOUT-PARTNERS page. I've greatly increased the number of links included here now and there are some GREAT resources here that you might not know about already. Mike Delaney has been helping me with other maps from this area too. Mike is a map artist whom you may already know. His work is incredible. He's on my partner page too and is quite a knowledgeable fellow. The link to the Historical Map & Chart Collection is Mike's doing. Click it. Type in Duluth and hit enter. You'll be amazed. 

Don't miss our auctions during January-February that are running right now on eBay. We have a nice group of HO scale brass models for sale including GN and NP prototypes, and some odds and ends too. 

As always, thanks very much for your continued interest and kind supp
Jeff Lemke 
Twin Ports Rail History

See our auctions now