CN Upgrading Rail Yard at Two Harbors

People have noticed ongoing construction at the taconite staging terminal of CN Railway in Two Harbors. CN is making improvements to its Two Harbors operation.

According to Kevin Donahue, State and Local Affairs manager for the railroad,” The project at Two Harbors includes grading, drainage, track bed construction and installation of 3800’ of track.”

He added, "Private vehicle access will be maintained with a grade separation structure. This project is planned for completion in the summer of 2024.”

CN Railway, then called Canadian National, was formed by the Canadian government in 1918. As rail transportation deregulation took place starting in 1980, the government of Canada turned the railroad over to private ownership with a public stock offering in 1995, and its name was officially changed to CN.

CN acquired and took over operations of the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railroad (DM&IR) and the taconite loading facility in Two Harbors on May 10, 2024.

The DM&IR had a long history in Two Harbors and the iron range its port serviced. It was formed in 1937 when the Duluth, Mesabe, and Northern Railroad merged with the Spirit Lake Transfer Railway.

In 1938, the growing business added the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad (D&IR) and Interstate Transfer Railway to its portfolio.

The D&IR was built in 1874 by a company owned by Charlemagne Tower, a prominent lawyer and industrialist in his day. With many interests in the mining industry, he ordered the D&IR built to bring ore from the Vermillion range to the port in Two Harbors. 

The Iron Range city of Tower was named in his honor.

Railroads are essential to Two Harbors's settlement, development, and history.