Great Northern SD-45 No. 400, “Hustle Muscle,” has returned with its newly rebuilt 20 cylinder Diesel engine to the Duluth-Superior area. The fully repaired locomotive with the beautifully rebuilt prime mover by the Topeka System Maintenance Terminal of BNSF was released from the railroad’s Northtown Diesel Shop late in March, ready for road tests. The opportunity to return HM to the Minnesota Transportation Museum in St. Paul for use in Wisconsin has not been afforded to GNRHS. The availability of No. 400 in fully operational status created uncertainty for the Museum last year as it began planning for the 2019 season at their railroad excursion line in Wisconsin. MTM informed GNRHS on March 14th that No. 400 would therefore not be used in the motive power pool at Osceola. The restored engine would likely remain at MTM in the Jackson Street Roundhouse facility with little opportunity for use as an operating locomotive.
Negotiations with Lake Shore Railroad Museum in Duluth were initiated on March 22nd and at this writing, an agreement is near completion to have the locomotive provide service in the engine pool at the North Shore Scenic Railroad which operates between Duluth and Two Harbors. Hustle Muscle was in operation at NSSR in years past before moving to Jackson Street and MTM in 2010. Discussions have also been underway to explore the possibility No. 400 could make an appearance at the annual GNRHS convention this summer in Fargo. That can now be confirmed!
No. 400 was transported from Minneapolis to BNSF Superior the afternoon of June 5th through the extraordinary generosity of BNSF. Hustle Muscle will await delivery to the Museum while final action on the new lease is completed. Plans then call for BNSF to transport the locomotive to this year’s GNRHS Convention for display on BNSF trackage near the Dilworth Yard Office in Minnesota, just east of Fargo. Conventioneers will enjoy lunch and view several pieces of Northern Pacific equipment and a depot on the July 22nd tour before boarding the buses for the short distance to the Yard Office. An additional chance for attendees to visit the engine is under consideration and will be announced at the Convention. Please be aware these are likely to be the only opportunities to visit No. 400 during our annual event as the location is on Railroad property which restricts public access.
A full illustrated account of Hustle Muscle’s last two years will be featured in the September “Goat.”