Wednesday, July 27, 2016

South Dakota museum has lots of C&NW artifacts

Rick Mills is the curotor of the South Dakota State Railroad Museum in Hill City, adjacent to the popular "1880 Train" depot.  Mills was the subject of a recent KEVN-TV feature, which we've posted below (Editor's Note: Alas, KEVN has withdrawn the link, and it is no longer available.  Sorry!)

After the Chicago & Northwestern Railway pulled out of Chadron in the 1980's, Mills obtained numerous documents and artifacts relating to its operation.

Over the years, a few Chadron area folks have had ties to the 1880 Train — originally called the Black Hills Central Railroad —  as well as the Railroad Museum.  The late John Miller, a long-time machinist at the C&NW roundhouse, helped repair and maintain old steam engines used by the line.

Road Foreman Jerry Drager served as an engineer on the line after retiring from C&NW until his death in 2007.  Another C&NW engineer, Kenny Kritenbrink, became well-aquainted Mills and donated various items to the museum.  He also provided Mills with a few train rides when the C&NW was operating in South Dakota.  Kritenbrink retired many years ago and still lives south of Chadron.  And while 1973 CSC grad Jim Alcorn worked several years for Burlington-Northern, he, too, worked for 1880 Train founder Bill Heckman back in the '70s. Alcorn now lives in Spearfish.

Keep your eyes open for a few C&NW artifacts in this KEVN report.