End O Line Track Original Replacement Project
Currie, Minnesota is the site of one of Minnesota’s last remaining manually operated rail road turntables. The turntable was part of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad and later part of the Chicago Northwestern system. A thirty-eight mile branch line was completed between Bingham Lake, MN and Currie in 1900. The line never went beyond the town’s western limits and the turntable was placed at the railyard in 1901. From 1900 through 1972 engines regularly plied the branch line, first with steam locomotives, and then with diesel. The last Chicago Northwestern train left Currie in 1977. The branch line was officially abandoned in 1980.
End O Line Railroad Park and Museum started as a 4-H community pride project in 1972 by two high school girls and the leaders of the Currie Poco-a-Poco 4-H club. Their project was cleaning up the 1901 railyard turntable, pit, and surrounding area on the site of the railyards. The 4-H group mediated the sale of Currie’s 1900 Chicago Northwestern depot that sat west and south of the site and across highway 38. The group worked with the county and city of Currie to purchase land near the turntable from the Chicago Northwestern Company and move the depot to its present location. In 1975 the Murray County Parks department took over the site. The turntable was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. For the next forty years, the site was expanded and developed as a Railroad Park and Museum with a mission to preserve and interpret the early history of Currie and the Shetek area, and its 20th Century railroad history, including the Currie manually operated turntable and Chicago St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha depot. People of all ages and backgrounds can learn about Currie’s railroad history through narratives, programming, exhibits, and publications.
Two of the park’s iconic artifacts are the 1923 American Locomotive Company 4-6-0 steam engine and tender that was added to the museum’s collection in 1993, and a rare 1940’s era Minneapolis and St. Louis side bay window caboose, accessioned in 2008. These artifacts were placed on an original segment of railyard side tracks that diverged from the main track 500 feet from the turntable. The original track underneath the engine and cars has deteriorating ties and buckled rail. The buckling is serious enough that the engine is beginning to lean and few ties can be seen above the ground. This project seeks to stabilize the track under the artifacts and continue to exhibit them in the original outdoor setting in front of the depot.
This project is being financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. There are some requirements made to follow the standards set out by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Any clarifications or questions can be directed to:
Murray County Museums Coordinator
PO Box 61
Slayton, MN 56172