The Christmas/New Year’s season is often a time to reminisce about past days. So today, Neighbors gives you a note about something from years ago that has often been a topic in this column: the old branch line trains that each was nicknamed the Galloping Goose.
It comes from Richard Frajola, Ranchos de Taos, N.M., who writes, “My mother, Ruth Elizabeth Cook, was raised in Carrington, N.D. I was raised in Ohio.
“I visited my grandparents in Carrington, Guy and Crystal Cook, in the summers for several years in the early 1950s.
“I well remember a ride I once had in the front cab as the sole passenger on the Goose when it made a short run up and back to a single destination (mabe to the dairy in New Rockford, N.D., somebody wrote you about).
“That half-day excursion, as well as a trip on the NP North Coast Vista Dome train in 1963, were experiences that left me with a love of trains, train-spotting and model trains.”
Richard said he’d long tried to learn something about the Goose but was unable to find anything until he read about them in Neighbors. Even his parents couldn’t remember a train having that name.
“When I asked my mother in the 1980s about the ‘Goose’ years, she thought I was crazy, and my father could only remember Soo Line trains.
“Nowhere in my railroad history books or railroad modeling books was there a mention of a Goose outside of the Rio Grande Southern engines.
“I went so far as to ask my mother to contact her friends in Carrington to see if any of them remembered the Goose. So, in 1983, she asked a friend and amateur artist, R.A. Wenstrom, if he remembered any weird doodlebugs that served Carrington. He didn’t remember any Goose, but on commission from my mother, he painted a picture of a steam locomotive that she gave to me.” A picture of that painting is shown here.
“Beyond all this,” Richard says, “I asked my longtime friend Dr. Dennis Lutz, of Minot, N.D., who is involved in and maybe is part owner of a train museum there, if he knew anything about the Goose. Again, negative.
“So thank you for the columns about the Goose.”
Well, thank you, Richard, but the thanks really goes to the many people who do remember the Goose and have written in about it over the years.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.