Northstar Commuter Service Part 2

Minnesota's first rail commuter line continues to attract more riders. Due to the strategic planing of locating the terminal at the new Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins as well as a direct connection with the Hiawatha and soon to be consturcted line to St. Paul as well as the line to the southwest corridor the location is ideal. Indeed, patronage on the days the Minnesota Twins are playing require eight cars making it necessary to double stop at stations designed for only five cars. The service is highly appreciated during Minnesota's snow storms when Northstar trains whisk passengers at close to 80 miles an hour next to massive traffic jams along US 10 north of Anoka. A sixth locomotive from Utah is already being added to the Northstar fleet. Eventually when the funds are available Northstar will reach its goal at St. Cloud.

This page represents photos from early 2010 through the present update. More pictures will be added in the near future..








Early 2010 through March, 2010.

nsbl210 Eastbound Northstar commuter leaves Big Lake on a cold Febrary day.
conmark Conductor Mark gets ready to announce that the train is ready to leave Big Lake.
nscr210 An outbound afternoon Saturday train approaches Coon Rapids - 2/2010.
nscrrear210 Rear of same train heading north from Coon Rapids stop.
nsut12210 Utah 12 sitting at Big Lake 2/10. At that time the unit was still on lease.
nsmist1 It's a misty March day as the first outbound rush hour Northstar crosses Nicollet Island.
nsmist2 The second commuter train is still crossing the Mississippi River on this misty afternoon.
nsmist3 The wet rails enhance the rear electric markers as the second rush hour trains speeds up.
nsmist4 At the southern end of BNSF Northstar Yard the tnird Northstar train rushes by.
nsfridmar1 Later in March a weekend inbound train approaches the Fridley station. Compare this with later photos.
nsfridmar2 Unit 502 lets out a plume of exhaust as it pushes the commuter train towards Twins Stadium.
fridmarns1 A little while later the same train returns descending down the slight grade to Fridley.
nscrew1 Mark and Dale get ready to get the train moving at Fridley.








































April 2010 to present

inbfridapr1 Inbound Sunday train arrives at Fridley while westbound BNSF passes by on center track.
fridapr2 Same train but with two units pulls out of Fridley. Weekend trains always runs with a second unit as backup.
fridapr4 Rushing downgrade the westbound Sunday train approaches the Fridley stop on 1 April, 2010.
fridnsapr5 A Sunday eastbound train now with six cars due to Twins baseball game. It turned out that six cars were not eough. On days of home games the trains now carry 8 cars!
fridapr6 The same six car train pushes on to Twins Stadium from Fridley.
twins1 A little later on the same consist is seen approaching the St. Anthony bridge loaded with happy Twins fans coming home from the game.
twins2 The same train but blow up the picture and you might see engineer Todd waving at me.
coonmay1 In this May, 2010 photo two units pull a four car Sunday train into the Coon Rapids stop.
coonside A closer view of the Metro Transit logo on the side of the locomotive.
coonmay1 The Bombardier cars making up this Sunday train.
coonrear5 The train departing Coon Rapids heading towards Anoka and Big Lake.

The east tower of the almost all glass overpass for pedestrians at Coon Rapdis.

coonjun1 A westbound Northstar train approaches Coon Rapids. Compare this and the following photo with the earliest shot taken a year earlier of a test train.
coonjun2 The BNSF is very busy as the train is passing an eastbound freight on track 2.
northstar602cr In an almost duplicate shot from 2 July 2009 the westbound Northstar departs from Coon Rapids.
dale1 Dale is holding the phone ready to warn passengers that the train is ready to leave Coon Rapids.!
bgjun1 A warm summer day as an outbound train wraps up its journey at the Big Lake station.
bljun2 The same train with its two units pulls out of Big Lake. It's Sunday and the Twins are out of town thus eight cars are not needed.
blgoose At Big Lake one can see this sculpture of either a goose or loon mounted on a cement pedestal.
nsjul1 Compare this with the earlier shot in March. 501 pulls the first commuter train out of Minneapolis on this July afternoon on Nicollet Island.
nsjul2 The same train crossing the east channel of the river as the engineer revs up the locomotive for a fast journey.
nsut1 Former Utah 12 is pulling this three car Northstar commuter train on 18 July 2010. The locomotive was leased and is in the process of being purchased as Northstar's sixth locomotive..
nsut2 A slightly closer look at the Utah MP36. It sure will look a lot better in Northstar colors.
smoky501 A smoky MPI 36 unit 501 pushing an inbound train leaving the Fridley station. Summer, 2010.
northstar8car An eight car Northstar weekend train pulls into Coon Rapids station.
8carback The same train leaving Coon Rapids. 8 cars were required due to the heavy passenger loads with the Minnesota Twins playing at Target Field.
nbelkriver Northbound Sunday Northstar passing through Elk River, MN with unit 504 in the lead.
ebns1 In the first of three photos an eastbound Sunday Northstar prepares to pass an eastbound BNSF freight at Elk River, MN.
ebns2 In the second photo the cab car is in view rounding that curve at the top 79 mph.
ebns3 Finally cab car 606 is in full view passing the eastbound BNSF coal train on track 1.
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[c] 2009-2014
Last updated 20 January, 2014 16:54












































































































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