Great Northern Mesabi Division

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Railroad Details Great Northern Mesabi Division Scale Status Superintendent Ed Klein Interchange NP, DM&IR, Soo Line Locale Northern Minnesota Era 1968 Layout Size 1200 sq ft Control Easy DCC Dispatching C/MRI CTC Communication Phones Clock Speed 6 to 1 Forwarding Car Cards Crew Size 12-15

Located near Onalaska, WI., the GN Mesabi Division is proto-freelancing the iron ore traffic on the GN, with ore traffic from the DM&IR and NP as well. General freight traffic occurs at several points between Bemidji and Duluth / Superior.  Jobs on the layout consist of dispatcher, yardmaster, and 2 switch engine crews at Cass Lake, footboard yardmaster at Orr yard, Orr Dock job, DM&IR/foreign road crew, and road pool. The double deck layout occupies approximately 1200 square feet, with 695 feet of main line. EasyDcc, using 11 wireless throttles and 4 tethered throttles allows for lots of operation. Dispatching is done using C/MRI CTC. Communication with the dispatcher is done using phones. If you would like a tour or more information, please contact


Photos from the Great Northern Mesabi Division

About Ed Klein

I've been fascinated by trains since grade school. My attraction to ore trains stems from the walk home from school and seeing a GN train with CB&Q power go through La Crosse.