Private Car to the Twin Cities

on the Cimarron River, June 12 - 16, 2003

Twelve people boarded the private sleeping car Cimarron River on Wednesday evening, June 11 for a trip to Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. We departed St. Louis at 4:35 a.m. Thursday, arriving in Chicago at 10:00. Passengers had all day Thursday to explore the Windy City and enjoy dinner at one of its many restaurants. On Friday morning, passengers were again free to roam until our 2:10 p.m. departure from Chicago behind the Empire Builder.

We traveled across Wisconsin and up the Mississippi River Valley through glorious sunny weather, arriving in Minneapolis at 10:30 p.m. Cimarron River was switched off the train and run through the wye by one of Minnesota Commercial Railway's Alco diesels, an ex-Green Bay & Western unit, and then parked on the private car track.

On Saturday everyone went to the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Scenic Railroad at Osceola, Wisconsin. We had planned to ride the entire line to the west from Osceola to Marine-On-St. Croix, Minnesota, then ride east from Osceola to Dresser, Wisconsin. However, an overnight rockslide about a mile west of Osceola closed the line west of the slide. As a result the railroad decided that we would ride the remaining open line in one trip. We first headed west towards Marine as far as we could go, then headed east to Dresser. Since it was a shorter run, and also because of our group, the conductor decided to run beyond Dresser all the way to the end of the line, something they normally do not do. It was a great trip on a beautiful blue-sky day. Later some of us rode the Osceola - Dresser trip again.

We arrived back at the Amtrak station around 5:00 after which some passengers visited the Mall of America while others stayed around the car or went to dinner.

Sunday morning we were switched onto the eastbound Empire Builder by another one of Minnesota Commercial's Alco diesels. We enjoyed a beautiful ride to Chicago, arriving there about 5:00 p.m. Most people went to dinner while the car went into the inspection shop with the Empire Builder train set and then was switched into Union Station in preparation for our 8:30 departure on Monday morning.

Click to enlarge the photos below for more views of our trip. All photos courtesy of Rick Sprung unless noted. Photos copyright of their photographers - all rights reserved.

The night before our departure from St. Louis

Larry and Ron enjoy the night time view

In the Chicago coach yard

Cimarron River on the Westbound Builder

Osceola Station From Train

Soo Line Caboose

Great Northern Business Car

On The GN Business Car

Soo Line GP9

Osceola Falls

Twin Cities Western Train