Great Northern Railway EMD E7 No. 503, ca. 1968.

(©, Alameda, CA, Fair use, Title 17, Section 107, via W. Lenheim Collection)


Red River drumhead.


The Red River was a passenger train operated by Great Northern Railway between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota.



Great Northern Railway's third new train set of 1950 was a new schedule named the Red River. The five car streamliner, built by American Car and Foundry Company, began service June 25, 1950, operating a daily round trip 324 miles (521 km) each way between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The train went southbound in the morning returning northbound in the evening.

The cars for the Red River streamliner were quite different than those built for the International (another 1950 introduction) in that the Red River's cars had extra insulation and the coaches were equipped with Baker Heaters as there was no steam heat available at the Grand Forks depot where the cars stood overnight. The locomotive was sent to the roundhouse each evening for any running repairs and service so the solution was the installation of the Baker Heaters in the cars.


A Red River brochure front cover.

(Great Northern Railway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Equipment Consist

Car Number Car type
512 EMD E7A 2,000 HP Diesel Passenger Unit
1107 Baggage 30’ Railway Post office Car
1137 60 Revenue seat Coach
1138 60 Revenue seat Coach
1139 60 Revenue seat Coach
1147 9 seat Lunch Counter, 12 seat Dinette, 16 Revenue seat Parlor Lounge Observation

End of Service

The service was discontinued in 1968.



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
First service: June 25, 1950
Last service: 1968
Current operator: Great Northern Railway
Route Termini: St. Paul, Minnesota / Grand Forks, North Dakota, Fargo, North Dakota
Distance traveled: 324 miles (521 km)
Train numbers: 11/12 (11/14)