Fargo-Manitoba Jct. Train #124                                    TT00028




04/08/2003  5:53 PM

Bill Kuebler

Train 124 normally departed Fargo on the Eastward main track. The only times I saw it leave on the westward main track were in 1969--which is when that photo in Sander's book was taken. The reason for the 1969 exceptions was the NP installed welded rail in the eastward main track between 4th. St. and 8th St. (including the track in front of the depot) in May-June 1969--plus there was some work done down at 2nd St., about four blocks east of the Depot, where they installed a new underpass. The underpass installation involved a shoofly in the eastward main, and later in both mains, and this caused a few reverse direction movements during the changeover. But the most likely cause for the 124 operation you see in the page 37 photo is the welded rail job. If that was really taken in May--and it looks like it was, judging from no track work in front of the depot--then the welded rail work was probably further east.    I recall one day when the welded rail work was being done just east of Broadway. This was in late May 1969. Anyway, train No. 2 arrived on the eastward main as usual, did its station work, then backed clear up to the crossovers over 10th St., then crossed over and proceeded through town on the westward main.    As for Manitoba Jct., standard operation was for 124 to use the eastward main all the way from Fargo to Manitoba Jct. In about 1963, the connecting point with train 1 was changed from there to Hawley, where 124 and 1 often met--so 124 would have to be on the eastward main if No. 1 were on the westward main. The Hawley depot sat on the north side of the tracks. Sidings at Hawley were not too useful for any other arrangement between 124 and 1. Also, in case anyone is curious, No. 123 and 124 normally operated with the RDC's A-end leading; ormally, the RDCs ran backwards only between the Fargo depot and Dilworth roundhouse before and after runs. These were yard limit moves to position equipment and not 123/124 movements.    At Manitoba Jct., arriving 124's equipment would proceed east of the depot, then back through a x-over and continue westward on the westward main to clear the west leg switch, then enter the west leg of the wye. Usually it would proceed around that leg and then back down the east leg for the station work, when the connection was at Manitoba Jct. There was a wooden depot platform on the east leg as well as on the two mains. The operation was much the same in the pre-1962 days when 124/13 were equipped with locomotive and cars (before the RDCs). I have a color slide showing 124/13's train having just backed down the east leg for station work, with train No. 1 arriving on the westward main in the background.    NP was not too fond of facing point crossovers in places other than yards, although there were a few exceptions--and I've been told that these exceptions were installed relatively late in the game.  RDC, RDCs, Train 123, Train 124  Compiler  C Frissell