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Bob Lind, Published January 30 2011

Lind: Another run for the Goose

Neighbors thinks it’s safe to say that a year from now, in 2012, many stories about the Titanic, which sank in 1912, will appear; many symphony orchestras will play the 1812 Overture, which Tchaikovsky wrote to commemorate Russia’s defense of Moscow from Napoleon’s army in, of course, 1812; and locally, many people will still be recalling the Galloping Goose branch line trains, regardless of the years they ran.

Most of the Goose stories sent to Neighbors over the years referred to those running in the first half of the last century. But actually the Goose continued to gallop right into the 1960s.

John “Jack” Gilmore, formerly of Fargo and now of Orinda, Calif., has a family tie with the Goose. His father, Tim Gilmore, was an express messenger on one that ran between Fargo and Winnipeg.

Jack writes that several years after the Northern Pacific retired the gas-electric Goose on its Streeter, N.D., branch, it began using a rail diesel car on the Fargo-Winnipeg run via Manitoba Junction, Minn.

The single-unit outfit, built by the Budd Corp., carried 70 passengers and baggage, and was used on many railroads in the United States. Six of them were operated by the NP.

In 1968, Jack and his family visited his parents in Fargo, and of course stopped by the NP Depot to see the Goose.

The engineer gave some family members a special treat when he gave them a round-trip ride in the cab to the NP’s Dilworth yard.

A picture shows Jack and his son Brian, who was 2, beside the train. The other shows Brian with his grandpa Tim in the cab.

Talk about thrills.

Jack, by the way, graduated in chemistry from the North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University) in 1973, attended graduate school in Berkeley in 1956 and was a chemist for the Chevron laboratory in Richmond, Va., for 32 years, retiring in 1992.

His wife Judy died in 2008.

Forum writer Wendy Reuer profiled Jack’s mother, Evelyn Gilmore, Fargo, on her 105th birthday last November.

Brian, an electrical engineer, and his family now live in Petaluma, Calif.

That’s it for now. But look for more Goose stories down the road. They, like Titanic stories and great music, never die.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com