Unique train rides coming to Bay DaysA rare train excursion that could bring railroad junkies from across the region will come to this year’s Silver-Beaver Bay Days July 24.
A rare train excursion that could bring railroad junkies from across the region will come to this year’s Silver-Beaver Bay Days July 24.
Ken Buehler, head of the North Shore Scenic Railroad in Duluth, said there will be 90-minute rides in passenger cars from Northshore Mining in Silver Bay to Milepost 7 above Beaver Bay.
The event has created quite the buzz among railroad enthusiasts, Buehler said. “We do this rarely, but we have done it in the past,” he said. The trip was once made for special events through the mining company, for employees and retirees.
Beuhler said people are going to be driving across the county for a ride. He has received calls from South Carolina, Texas and Illinois about the rare ride experience.
Dave Gustafson, director of Silver-Beaver Bay Days, said every year they try to focus on one of three different industries in Silver Bay. It’s part of the city’s motto: Taconite, timber and tourism. He said they have been trying to get the train ride organized the past three years.
The Scenic Railroad’s passenger cars will be brought to Norshor Junction between Silver Bay and Babbitt by Canadian National Railway. Those cars will then be connected with Northshore Mining’s equipment and brought to Silver Bay.
“It’s something we do with CN on a regular basis,” said Carl Kerschen, human resources manager for Northshore Mining. “It’s a big cooperative effort with everybody.”
When train rides begin, buses will pick up passengers at Re-Union Hall in Silver Bay and they will be brought to North Shore’s dumping station above Highway 61 to board the train.
“We’ve never done this for Bay Days,” Kerschen said.
Once aboard the train, Buehler said passengers will hear about the history of the area while being on a “pretty little ride” with views of Lake Superior, a few curves, and rivers mixed in.
Once riders get to Mile Post 7, they should be impressed. “It’s huge,” Buehler said. “It’s a valley.”
The cost will be $5 per person and $15 for families. Proceeds for the event will go back to the city of Silver Bay. “It’s a bargain,” Buehler said.
Gustafson said all funds raised for the event will go to the Silver-Beaver Bay Days Committee for future use.
A new venture based in Two Harbors is teaming up with the Scenic Railroad this summer. Amicus Adventure Sailing will offer a “rails and sails” package on weekends through August for riders boarding in Duluth. The train will stop in Knife River to board a 40-foot sailboat docked at the marina and owned by Mark and Katya Gordon. The train ride, sail and lunch will cost $80 for adults and $65 for those under age 12.
The Gordons have just started the sailing tour business and plan on offering local residents a two-hour sail for $10 this summer. To set up a ride or get a train package, call (218) 290-5975 or visit their web site at amicussailing.com.
If you go
- Silver Bay train rides will begin at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 24. Meet at Re-Union Hall in Silver Bay to board a bus to Northshore Mining. It has been requested that passengers arrive at the Re-Union Hall an hour before the ride time. Cost is $5 per person and $15 for families.