Updated: 08/17/2014 10:25 PM
Created: 08/17/2014 4:19 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
After flooding a couple years ago wiped out bridges along the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad's route, volunteers thought it might be the end of 35 years of showing tourists the St. Louis River Corridor by train.
"We didn't know if we'd be back up in operation, if it was going to be economically feasible for the (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad) to actually replace the bridges, so our future was in question," Harold Dols, a 11-year volunteer with the LS&M Railroad, said.
The railroad had to stop running for a few months in 2011 and then the entirety of the 2012 season because of flooding, but with repairs complete and service back to full throttle two years later, Dols said the railroad is now finding issues in higher insurance costs.
"Significantly higher insurance costs have been taking a toll in terms of us being able to plan forward with seasons and our operation," Dols said.
Part of the tracks LS&M Railroad runs on are BNSF property. Dols said if LS&M would be able to avoid higher insurance costs if they consider moving launch sites.
"We have some potential ideas of moving our operations and starting off in Riverside and we'd be completely on our own LS&M tracks and from there we could actually continue on with our $5 million liability coverage."
Volunteers are also looking for new ways to show off the area's rich history--a similar goal to the city.
"I think we could be a wonderful asset to the development of the recreational potential of this area. We've been here for well over 35 years bringing people down close to the St. Louis River and showing it's wonderful beauty and history. I think we could continue to do that and bring people and kayaks and bikes and so forth down to this area," Dols said.
But he said there might also be other options on the table for the railroad, including adding a bike path. Dols said LS&M Railroad hopes to be able to work in collaboration with any projects.
Sharon Broscious is visiting Duluth from Richmond, Virginia. She said it's encouraging to see so many working so hard to help their railroad.
"We thought that was pretty impressive that there's a group of people who are willing to make that commitment to keep this railroad running," Broscious said. "I think it's a great idea and hopefully they can keep doing it."
Duluth Kidney Walk Provides Hope
Around 300 participants helped raise more than $33,000 at the annual Duluth Kidney Walk. Organizers hope to raise awareness and spread the word about preventing kidney disease through the event.
Two Hospitalized After Iron River Crash
A 67-year-old and a 90-year-old are both hospitalized after an accident on Highway 2 in Iron River Thursday. Their vehicle crossed the center lane and ran into a loaded wood pulp truck.
Duluthian Circumnavigates Lake Superior Using Only a Stand-up Paddleboard.
A Duluthian has completed a historic solo trip around Lake Superior using only his stand-up paddleboard, and he believes he is the first to do so. Jared Munch, a senior at UMD, completed the roughly 1,300 mile trip this summer, concluding his trip on Wednesday where it began, at the mouth of the Lester River.
Duluth Officials Suspend Excavation at Explosion Accident Site
The Duluth Fire Department temporarily suspended excavation work at a construction site today after an blast accident.
Crash Kills Husband, Wife in Bayfield County
The Bayfield County Sheriff's Office says a husband and wife died in a crash Thursday morning. Authorities are not yet releasing the victims' names because family members are still being notified.