August 31, 1909: Reconstruction of West Duluth Incline underway

On this day in Duluth in 1909, contractor H. C. Braven and his crew went to work rebuilding the West Duluth Incline Railway, officially built as the Duluth Beltline Railway in 1891 to bring people from West Duluth to homes in Bay View Heights and work in Proctor’s railroad yards. It ran from Sixty-First Avenue West and Grand Avenue up to Vinland Street and Seventy-Seventh Avenue West. Renovation plans included razing the original depot at 61st Avenue West and replacing it with a new, larger facility. The entire roadbed, which had been washed out during a storm the previous month, would be relaid at a different grade to avoid similar problems in the future, and new concrete culverts under the railway would also help prevent washout. Up in Bay View Heights, the power house that propelled the system was completely overhaul, including a new foundation. The railway’s general manager and treasurer H. H. Meyers told newspapers that the entire job, which would cost an estimated $5,000 (about $136,000 today) would be complete by September 15. Read a history of the Duluth Beltline Railway here and about Duluth’s other incline ralway, the Seventh Avenue West Incline, here.

The Duluth Beltline station at 61st Avenue West and Grand Avenue, date unknown. (Image: Lake Superior Railroad Museum)ine