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D& IRR 3 Spot Locomotive Museum

The 3 Spot Locomotive. First locomotive on Minnesota's Iron Range – Mel Sando

The 3 Spot was built in 1883, by Philadelphia-based Baldwin Locomotive Works. The 3 Spot was originally built for the Tehuantepec Interoceanic Railway in Mexico. The Tehuantepec Interoceanic never took delivery, leaving the locomotive available to the D&IR who was in need of motive power at the time. The Three Spot was pressed into service shipping men, supplies, rails, and all the necessary equipment from Agate Bay up to the track laying site and served as a construction locomotive for the railroad. The Three Spot was a perfect locomotive for this mission. She was a wood burning engine, able to gather wood and water along the wilderness route. Contrary to popular myth the 3 Spot did not haul the first load of iron ore down from the Vermilion Range. The 3 Spot was simply too light to pull heavy loads of raw ore. After being sold several times and nearly lost to scrap the little 2-6-0 was brought home. The Thirty Year Veteran’s Association of the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad Company was allowed to display the Three Spot by the D&IR Depot where it has remained since 1923.

Also featured in this display group is Ore Car #251, Caboose #22, and the Sleigh, wagon, hand car, and velocipede first owned by the D&IR Railroad. All exhibits have been restored over the past 5 years.

Pet Friendly Notes

Please no


On perpetual display outdoors

Seasons Open




Nearby Places