Trains

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Allouez Bay
Iron Ore Docks
Superior, WI

I have a unique perspective of the Allouez Ore Docks, and that’s my usual perch on the last light hoop. Find out how the docks sound when the lake freezes. What it’s like to watch a 1,000 foot ore carrier passing by in the fog. Finally, I go in detail to tell the history of this place, where boats and trains danced by the lake.

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Colmor
New Mexico

Colmor, New Mexico was founded in 1887 and abandoned in the 1960s. It missed the railroad. It missed the highway. It’s a dirt road kind of town.

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DMIR Dock Five
Duluth, MN

On your left you see Dock 6, retrofitted with conveyor belts, swarming with hard men and cold trains, bathed in orange light and smelling of taconite, oil, and sweat. On the right is a stripped, dark, empty, motionless chunk of steel jutting into Lake Superior, an island in so many ways. Read on to find out where the good days went.

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DMIR Roundhouse and Railworks
Two Harbors, MN

Climb­ing that lad­der let me see through the steam, by the orange light of the sun­set dump­ing through the sooted sky­lights like the shop lights on the dead crane. It had been a while since it lifted a loco­mo­tive off its cha­sis, but the smell of grease was still strong enough to lubri­cate my sinuses

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Harris Machinery
Minneapolis, MN

The Harris Machinery property dates to 1870 when the Peteler Portable Railway factory built their factor here. Between then and now the tenants have changed a couple of times, but there’s still a little piece of Minneapolis that looks and smells just the same.