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 Post subject: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3986
Location: Maine
Hit the brakes and pull a "U-ey"!
I never expected this find, but along the highway in Gladstone, Michigan, sits Soo Line 730, a Pacific of 1920's vintage. What is so surprising is the beautiful weather shed, resembling a station structure, and the annoying fence which has probably done more to preserve this locomotive than anything. Kudos to whoever has made this locomotive their effort.

#730 suffers from a broken into cab and the backhead was not accessible for photography. My only comments would be the need of a good power washing, another coat of paint by some responsible rail preservationists, and a good oiling and greasing. No broken glass, no outward vandalism. Unfortunately, the pigeons have found the shelter equally valuable, but I'll take pigeons over the two-legged varmints any day of the week.

Again - power wash grease and paint. This locomotive is remarkable in this day and and age.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Northern Illinois
Richard,

Are you going through Laona? I suspect the Laona & Northern is finished for the season, but could be wrong. If so, drop down to Stevens Point and see another well preserved Soo Pacific (there are seven, all told), along the tracks across the street from the depot. Also, while in Point, try to have lunch or dinner in the Silver Coach restaurant, on Hwy 10 on the north side of town.

If heading west, there are a Soo 2-8-2, an FP-7 and three passenger cars in Ladysmith, WI., also a nice indoor interpretative museum (no indoor equipment.) The museum is near the crossing of the former WC and the original Soo mainline to the Soo, while the steamer is a couple blocks north along the line to Duluth.

If driving from Ladysmith to Stevens Point, stop in Marshfield and see the Soo 2-8-0 in Wildwood Park.

South of Point there is another Soo Pacific in Appleton, rather forlorn in the park, and yet another in somewhat better condition the park in Fond du Lac at the south end of Lake Winnebago. Look for signs to the historic lighthouse (yes, we had lighthouses on the inland lakes.)

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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3986
Location: Maine
Dennis: Another road trip, perhaps. I am back in Maine today. Glad to hear people take their preservation seriously out there. I did go up to White Fish Point light house to see the "Edmund Fitzgerald" memorial exhibit. Thanks for the museum tips.

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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:46 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
About 10 years ago, this locomotive was cosmetically restored at the Escanaba & Lake Superior shop.
John Larkin, President of the E&LS, hired me to prepare it for movement on it's own wheels, shepard it down to his shop and help plan the restoration work.
I'll let John know that it needs some attention...
Be well,
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:13 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:58 pm
Posts: 922
Thanks sharing Richard. It looks pretty good for a park engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:05 pm
Posts: 37
It's interesting that the author of this webpage is of the opinion the 730 is "To my mind, this is perhaps the most inappropriately displayed locomotive in the US. There is no parking anywhere near the shed and, to get to the engine you would have to trespass on clearly signposted Soo Line/Canadian Pacific land on one side, or brave crossing a busy four lane highway to a heavily overgrown verge on the other side of US Route 2."

http://www.rgusrail.com/misoo730.html

I guess this gets back to the question of what preservation is - while 730 is mostly protected from the elements it is not easily or safely accessed by visitors since it looks like one would park on the southbound shoulder of US 41. Per Google Maps and the above webpage it seems the entrance to where one would drive in by the yard and park close to 730 is all Canadian Pacific property which is posted / off limits to non-employees these days.

In the mid-1980's I recall stopping at Gladstone briefly during a vacation trip and watching a Soo SD40 switch the yard. Know I must have seen 730 at that time too and am sure there was no roof over it back then. Earliest picture of 730 I found online with a roof over it was from 2005.

It is good 730 is under a roof but without a proper pull-off area on US 41 I doubt she gets many visitors these days. Would 730 be better off in a proper park setting or on display at a museum so the public and railfans can better appreciate her?


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3986
Location: Maine
Your are 90% correct. There is a driveway onto the railroad yard parking area, and there are no "no trespassing" signs around it. It is on RR property, but quite removed from active track. That doesn't mean you can't get killed if you're a jerk or stupid, just that there is plenty of parking space to view the locomotive without doing anyone harm. That being said, I'm certain the RR would be in their rights to pick you off, if they chose to.

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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3419
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
One thought that came to my mind is how many steam locomotives survive from what is a relatively small railroad. Most are pretty typical of the line's motive power as well, though I have to say I wish at least one of the line's 4-8-2s and a 4-8-4 (the road rostered 4, by Lima) would have made it into preservation.

The road had only one Decapod, and it's still around, too.

http://sooline.railfan.net/resources/soosteam.html


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Northern Illinois
As the Soo Line was working their way to full dieselization, they had a contingency plan for the event that traffic levels would increase faster than their locomotive fleet; they would maintain steam service facilities on one division, which could revert to steam and the diesels would be shifted to cover traffic on the rest of the system. The division selected was the rather sleepy Gladstone Div.; the line across northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie. Since both the Mountain and Northern type engines were too heavy for this line, they all went to scrap in the early fifties, just a bit before it became popular to ask for donation of display locomotives. When asked for donations a few years later, there were a lot of Mikes and Pacifics in the house at Gladstone, along with "switchers" (2-8-0's on the Soo.) Pacifics were worth less in scrap, and more of them went on display: three Mikes of various classes vs. seven Pacifics.

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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Pure Michigan
Robert wrote:
...to get to the engine you would have to trespass on clearly signposted Soo Line/Canadian Pacific land on one side...


It is Canadian National property.


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:54 am
Posts: 20
Location: Rossville, GA.
I recall the 730 originally faced the opposite direction. Sometime in the 1990's, the present structure was built, the Engine turned to face south(?) and placed under the roof.


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 Post subject: Re: Soo Line 730 Gladstone, Michigan
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8921
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
I stopped by to see this loco approximately 14 years ago, either before my wedding or on our honeymoon travels.

I seem to recall that, even though I was dressed more "normally" and not in a manner that would pass me off as a railroader, I "got away with murder" trespassing and getting photos, even going as far as climbing atop a high stack of ties off the front end to get an above-the-fence photo.

I can't speak for CN policy now, but it seemed that back then (when the last vestiges of WC were still around and I could find the weird grey CN SD40-2's), the "rules" of trespassing were "rural"--as in, don't look like an idiot and use common sense, and we don't care," as opposed to the more urban default of "everyone's a walking lawsuit!"


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