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Cadillac removed from tracks near Lakewalk

Martin Fair (left of center), a volunteer at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, along with other volunteers and museum shop foreman, use a service boom truck Monday morning to remove a car that somehow ended up on the North Shore Scenic Railroad tracks over the weekend. The car drove in by the steam plant and made it all the way to below Lake Place Park before getting hung up in the snow and on one of the rails. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com1 / 2
Volunteers with the Lake Superior Railroad Museum use a service boom truck to tow the car on the rails back toward the steam plant Monday morning. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com2 / 2

Ken Buehler could hardly believe it.

"This is getting to be a yearly occurrence," said Buehler, the Depot's executive director, late Monday morning as the second vehicle in a year was being extricated from the railroad tracks that parallel the Lakewalk.

This one, a new-make, tan Cadillac, was left abandoned on the tracks near Endion Station and reported at 4 a.m. Sunday, the Duluth Police Department said in a news release.

The North Shore Scenic Railroad is closed for the season, so nobody was in danger and efforts to remove the vehicle waited a day.

Because a tow truck couldn't fit down the tracks, Buehler said an engine and a railroad truck with a boom crane were used to extract the car, which had become hung up on the tracks after its passenger-side wheels slipped off the railroad ties.

Officers at the scene located footprints leading from the vehicle, the news release said, but were unable to locate the driver. The owner of the vehicle was contacted about the abandoned car, which was cited with a ticket slid into the car door.

Last February, a 22-year-old man avoided injury after his vehicle lost its brakes and crashed into an unoccupied vehicle, which in turn broke through a fence and landed upside down on the railroad tracks next to the Lakewalk.

Buehler said the more recent vehicle appeared to have taken to the tracks near the steam plant in Canal Park.

"It went through a switch, which was kind of interesting," he said. "It missed the switch and switch stand and had been riding on ties until it slipped off and hung up on the rail itself."

The police news release said the investigation was ongoing.

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