|BNSF at Drayton, North Dakota|
We enjoyed the Holiday Inn Express and visited the many stores of the area. I negotiated a little railfan time for Sunday morning, and after a quick (free) breakfast I headed out before the official sunrise. It was a gray day.
I had thought of heading south toward Fargo to catch some mainline BNSF action, but some railfans had mentioned Grafton as a place to go. I didn't really know why, other than the several grain elevators in town, but I decided to go see what the fuss was about. I headed out on the 29 up to Manvel, home of a large grey grain elevator.
A gray elevator for a gray day.
I drove around the town for a bit and found a few interesting sights. There are two very old outside-braced boxcars in someone's backyard.
Like many small Canadian towns, the Legion can be counted on for a little entertainment of the liquid kind.
This long low building was (is?) the Manvel Bean Company.
Manvel is mile 12.4 on the BNSF Glasston subdivision, which runs between Grand Forks and just south of Grafton.
So that was Manvel. I headed north on the 81 and came across the tiny town of Ardoch. This town features a couple of interesting items. The Northern Plains Railroad crosses BNSF here, there's another sugar beet facility here, but what really attracted me was this wonderful twinned grain elevator.
This belonged to the Mondry Grain Company. I haven't found any information on that company.
It looks like it was patched at one point. The siding is long gone. I like the garage door covering the driveway.
I'd like to come back sometime in better weather to explore this elevator. It was bitterly cold with the wind blowing so I didn't linger very long. I did spot the old city hall.
|Ardoch City Hall|
The next town north on the 81 is Minto, North Dakota. This is a larger town with a few elevators.
I liked the W.L.A. Grain Company elevator.
There is a spur to a potato plant but the bridge is quite twisted - I'm guessing from a flood.
I carried on north to Grafton. It's the north end of the BNSF Glasston Subdivision and the south end of the BNSF Drayton Subdivision. It also meets the Dakota Northern Railroad here. The DN took over the rest of the Glasston subdivision as well as the Walhalla subdivision.
The Dakota Northern's facilities in Grafton are quite modest.
I was hoping to see an engine, but nothing was around except this snowplow.
I headed down Stephen Avenue, a very well-named road.
There is a large grain elevator here, I am guessing this is Farmer's Co-Op #1.
In the distance you can see Farmer's Co-Op #2, a much smaller elevator.
On a nearby street is Farmer's Co-Op #3.
Grafton seems like a really nice small town.
BNSF has a little maintenance depot here but not much else.
I went north a few miles and found that the remainder of the Glasston subdivison is being used for car storage... tank cars in fact.
I didn't have time to go up the Dakota Northern's Walhalla subdivision but I'd like to - there are a number of grain elevators on that line.
I headed back to Grand Forks to check out the BNSF action at the yard... more to come in another post!
PS if you have a few minutes, why not check out some great railfan blogs like The Beachburg Sub, Trackside Treasure, the CP Rail Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision, Prince Street Terminal, and Rolly Martin Country?