Two Railroad Anniversaries Celebrated in Duluth

150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad and 30th Anniversary of the North Shore Scenic Railroad.

DULUTH, Minn.- Friday marked the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad connecting America from coast to coast.

The North Shore Scenic Railroad also celebrated a special anniversary, the 30th Anniversary of their line connecting Duluth to Two Harbors.

Families and fans of the railroad gathered at the tracks behind Fitger’s Brewhouse, to commemorate this important day in locomotive history.

On May 10th 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was complete, uniting the country’s east and west.

Meanwhile, in 1989, the North Shore Scenic Railroad was inaugurated, becoming one of Duluth’s most popular volunteer-run tourist attractions.

“When they came up with the idea of the transcontinental railway, that was visionary,” said the Scenic Railroad’s Executive Director, Ken Buehler. “That was connecting America, that was opening the west for civilization and development and settlement. The North Shore Scenic Railroad was a vision of the founding fathers of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.”

“And both are worthy of celebration.”

Attendees reenacted the picture taken at the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

Then, kids acted as “Gandy Dancers”–a nickname for track workers in charge of laying rail–by pounding golden spikes like the ones pounded 150 years ago.

“It sounded like me pounding a nail in,” said Wyatt Anderson, one of the Gandy Dancers.

Those Gandy Dancers were awarded with a free chocolate gold spike, and rides on the train.

For their 30th Anniversary season, Buehler said they have a big announcement coming in just one week.

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