The Builder Rattles Alymer - Regular
Larry Fisher

The Builder Rattles Alymer - Regular

Regular price $200.00 $0.00 Unit price per

The Builder Rattles Alymer is one of three color prints by well known artist Mr. Larry Fisher.

The image is a high quality 12 inch high by 15 inch wide Giclee Print. The mat closest to the image can be placed about 1/16 of an inch into the image, as the “signing and numbering” of the Giclee Print is inside the image. The mat sizes and frame are of choice for the finished print framed.

The quiet, peaceful solitude of Aylmer, North Dakota is broken as Great Northern’s famed Mid-Century Empire Builder roars through the town during an overcast winter’s day in 1954.

The eastbound Builder No. 2, powered by a 4500-horsepower, three-unit F-3 set is trying to make up lost time. She suffered a major delay as a March blizzard ripped through eastern Montana and western North Dakota.  It took the GN ten hours to get the main track cleared from Wolf Point, Montana to Williston, North Dakota.

The Empire Builder was due through Aylmer around 10 o’clock last night, it is now 8:30 am. With luck No. 2 will probably arrive in Fargo in about two hours…still about 8 ½ hours ‘off the advertised’.  Her sister train, the westbound Empire Builder No. 1, running ‘on time’, is currently in eastern Montana, the schedule called for them to meet in the very early morning hours in Fargo.

Aylmer is on the Great Northern Railway’s Minot Division, Second Subdivision, the Surrey Cutoff, about fifty-seven miles east of Minot. Aylmer has a siding and an industry track to service the Farmers Union Elevator.  Aylmer has a small depot but the Builder does not stop here.  The local freight stops as required to spot an empty or pick up a loaded grain car or two.

The Surrey Cutoff was constructed to shorten the mileage of Great Northern’s transcontinental route.  Work began on the project in 1910, starting from Surrey, North Dakota approximately 7.5 miles east of Minot.  In 1912 the cutoff was completed at Fargo.  The GN had cut forty-four miles off the Builder’s route.  In the process Grand Forks and Devils Lake were dropped from the Builder’s route. They were large towns for North Dakota, but Great Northern figured skipping them was well worth the time saved. 

The Mid-Century Empire Builder received all new cars in 1951, her second ‘rebuild’ since her introduction in 1929.  The first being in 1947 when she was first streamlined and dieselized.   The paint scheme on the 1951 version of the Builder was considered, in most railroad circles, as the most beautiful streamliner in America.  The new 1951 Builder consisted of five sets of fifteen-car trains.  Another change was a faster schedule.  The eastbound No. 2 was scheduled to run from Seattle to Chicago in a little under forty-four and a half hours.  That, of course, did not factor in the ten plus hours delay in Wolf Point, MT.  But that was a rare ‘Storm of the Century” occurrence that probably will not happen again for another decade at least.

The cutoff is used today by BNSF transcontinental freight trains.

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