Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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CN Upgrading Rail Yard at Two Harbors

People have noticed ongoing construc­tion at the taconite staging terminal of CN Railway in Two Harbors. CN is making im­provements to its Two Harbors operation.

According to Kevin Donahue, State and Local Affairs manager for the railroad, “The project at Two Harbors includes grading, drainage, track bed construction and instal­lation of 3800’ of track.”

He added, “Private vehicle access will be maintained with a grade separation struc­ture. This project is planned for completion in the summer of 2024.”

CN Railway, then called Canadian Nation­al, was formed by the Canadian government in 1918. As rail transportation deregulation took place starting in 1980, the government of Canada turned the railroad over to private ownership with a public stock offering in 1995, and its name was officially changed to CN.

CN acquired and took over operations of the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Rail­road (DM&IR) and the taconite loading fa­cility in Two Harbors on May 10, 2004.

The DM&IR had a long history in Two Harbors and the Iron Range its port ser­viced. It was formed in 1937 when the Dulu­th, Missabe, and Northern Railroad merged with the Spirit Lake Transfer Railway.

In 1938, the growing business added the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad (D&IR) and Interstate Transfer Railway to its port­folio.

The D&IR was built in 1874 by a compa­ny owned by Charlemagne Tower, a promi­nent lawyer and industrialist in his day. With many interests in the mining industry, he or­dered the D&IR built to bring ore from the Vermillion range to the port in Two Harbors.

The Iron Range city of Tower was named in his honor.

Railroads are essential to Two Harbors’ settlement, development, and history.

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Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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