The Duluth News Tribune reports a plan has emerged to extend Duluth’s Western Waterfront Trail via a rail corridor, while maintaining a scenic train service that would continue to use the same route. The proposed future name of the trail is “Waabizheshikana” — pronounced: waa-bah-zhay-kuh-nuh — meaning “Marten way, path or road.”
The struggling Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad in West Duluth has persevered against all odds as a scenic, historic railroad since 1980 despite receiving virtually no public subsidies. Running on the very first tracks to enter Duluth, dating back to 1870, 145 unbroken years of history are on the line right now. A dedicated all-volunteer group, none of whom has ever received a paycheck, is keeping this history alive. The railroad costs the city virtually nothing, has proven to be largely self-sufficient, and is an irreplaceable treasure that needs community input in order to survive the massive cleanup now being planned for the U.S. Steel site near Morgan Park. The two newspaper columns linked below will shade things in a bit for you. Take a trip on the LS&M during one of the next six weekends or you just might miss your chance, forever.
On August 1, 1870, the St. Paul and Lake Superior Stagecoaches ceremoniously quit service with the opening of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. On this day, the first train arrived in Duluth from St. Paul, a roughly 150-mile trip that took 16 hours.