Sunday, June 02, 2013


My family and I went to Fargo (no, not the movie, the city in North Dakota) a few weeks ago. Most of the weekend was spent shopping, but I did grab a few shots on Saturday and I negotiated a few hours for railfanning early in the morning of May 12 (Sunday).

First, a little geography. Fargo is on the eastern border of North Dakota, and pretty much seamlessly blends with the town of Moorhead, Minnesota. BNSF's Northern Transcon main line runs right through both towns, and they have a decent-sized yard in Dilworth, MN just east of Moorhead. The K O Subdivision runs from East Dilworth west through all of Fargo all the way to BNSF's large yard at Minot, North Dakota.
Note Dilworth on the right (east).

On Saturday I had about an hour to go scout for trains, so I headed over to West Fargo. I had done some Google Maps reconnaissance and I knew there was an industrial engine at a Cargill grain elevator. I had also spotted some stored passenger cars on Main Avenue that I wanted to check out.

First up, the stored cars. They are at about 1700 Main Avenue East in West Fargo. There is a short spur there with several tracks that seems to be for a scrapper. In Google Maps you can see a caboose, a few passenger cars, a boxcar and some tank cars.

View Larger Map

The street view from Google Maps shows a dome car instead.

When I arrived there, there was a caboose, several passenger cars and some freight cars were there. Ex Illinois Central caboose IC 199388 was on the end.
Ex IC 199388 in West Fargo

Further up were two ex-Amtrak cars, "Silver Plateau" (2671) and "Silver Ravine" (2676).
Ex Amtrak Silver Plateau in Fargo

Next, I went over to see the industrial engine at the Cargill facility. It's at about 730 Centre Street in West Fargo. If you zoom right in, you can see the engine poking out of the shed.

View Larger Map

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get a shot of the locomotive. I did get this end-on shot from a nearby street, but that was the best I could do.
Industrial engine 030 in West Fargo
I believe this is an early EMD switcher but I haven't been able to identify it... maybe a GP10 based on the window arrangement.

Nearby is a Dakota AG Cooperative grain elevator complex.
Dakota AG Cooperative grain elevator in West Fargo

I drove around a bit and saw three different BNSF trains, but I wasn't in a position to shoot any of them. Frustrating!

However, Sunday's railfanning turned out to be very productive in terms of trains.

Read on...


bluetoolman302 said...

Hey Steve,
Next time you go to Fargo, if you can take a bit of a detour about 20 minutes east down highway 10 to 220 street south near Lake Park Minnesota. There is an over pass there that you can take photos on. Not much traffic except for farmers.The trains coming out of Dilworth eastbound are climbing a grade.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, I'll check that out next time! I wasn't sure where a good spot was to catch the trains at speed. Appreciate it!