Minnesota Valley Division (CNW/M&StL)

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CNW LogoM&StL LogoThe Minnesota Valley Division presents two railroads in southern Minnesota: The Chicago and North Western Railroad and the Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railroad.  Eighty-five (85) miles of the CNW Dakota Division are modeled from Mankato to Tracy, Minnesota. This section of railroad was famous for it's Alcos. The M&StL Central Division is modeled from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Fort Dodge, Iowa as well as the Western Division to Watertown, South Dakota. Both railroads operate point-to-point with an interchange in New Ulm, Minnesota. Selective compression of the prototype track plan was done to create the yards in New Ulm, Tracy, Winthrop, Mankato and Cambria.

Superintendent Arlan Tietel
Division or Location: Chicago and North Western Dakota Division, Minneapolis and Saint Louis Central and Western Divisions -- Minnesota and South Dakota
Interchange Railroads: Chicago and North Western; Minneapolis and St Louis; Minnesota Transfer; Great Northern, Milwaukee Road
Size of Railroad: 700 square feet
Scale: HO
Era: 1950s
Control System: Lenz DCC with CVP wireless
Scale Clock Speed: 6:1
Length of Session: 2.5 - 3 hours (real)
Number of Crew: 12
Train Control: Verbal Authority
Are Radios Required: No
Listed Jobs: Dispatcher, four yardmasters, 7 road crews

Layout photos (click to enlarge):

Commercial Developers Woodrow (Woody) Nickl and Russell (Rusty) Dyme leased prime real estate on the M&StL for the Jordan Brothers of Minot, ND to build a distribution center to serve Minneapolis and its suburbs. M&StL #D-741 spots a load of strawberries in JWPX #34 that originated on the Santa Maria Valley RR.

Two small children run to greet Grandpa and Grandma coming off the Watertown Express from Minneapolis. Motor Car #4 is one of three motor cars in service on the Minnesota Valley Division.



CNW #1616 pulls an unloaded hopper from the power plant at the Eagle Roller Mill in New Ulm. Scratch built from photos and pencil sketches, this model was awarded first prize winner in the Structures category at the 1987 CNW Historical Society meet.


CNW #1616 picks up a load of rock from the Red Stone Quarry. This scene features a quarry floor made of quarry dust from the Red Stone Quarry in new Ulm, MN. The quarry faces are colored to match the quarry floor. The children on the quarry are Arlan and his siblings. His father would take the children to the quarry for Sunday outings to give mom child care relief.

Ft. Dodge Depot

M&StL #215  spots the LCL car from train #60 at the Ft. Dodge team track platform for unloading by the local Dray man, Delbert Smith. Smith later moved his dray business to Ellendale, ND, and served both the Great Northern and the Milwaukee Road there.

New Ulm Depot

CNW #1620, pulling the Black Hills Express (Chicago to Rapid City service), arrives at the New Ulm Depot. The depot is a montage of five photographs glued to foam core.




Twin Cities Lines street car traffic on Hennepin Avenue at the Great Northern Depot provides service to M&StL passengers arriving on the station platforms below street level.

Watertown Milling

CNW #1618 spots loaded grain boxcars at Watertown Milling. This Watertown Milling building was moved 60 miles from Jack Gutsch's M&StL 13th Subdivision in Menominee, Wisconsin to its place on the Minnesota Valley Division.



Freight House

The M&Stl Freight House has daily work with LCL cars. Each morning the LCL car is loaded for departure on train #74. In the afternoon the crew unloads the LCL car arriving on train #75.

High Bridge

M&StL #215 with train #61 crosses the High Bridge over the Cottonwood River south of New Ulm. All foliage in the river scene is naturally grown in the gardens of the railroad home.




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