Thanks for the additional info.!
Believe it or not, my hometown of Preston was the western terminus of the Caledonia, Mississippi & Western, which was the narrow gauge line that ran between Reno (originally Summer, MN) and Preston.
The link with the Southern Minnesota (the line that ran from LaCressent to Austin and westward to the Dakotas) was built just after the turn of the century after both lines were acquired by the Milwaukee and the CM&W had been converted to standard gauge.
I was born about a month and a half, or so, after the last train pulled out of town on October 29, 1976 and have no recollection of trains running through Spring Valley, Fountain, Lanesboro, etc. before that line was abandoned in 1980.
I should also metnion that trains didn't run any further east than Caledonia on the CM&W after '48, when a trestle between Caledonia and Reno was washed out and never replaced.
And, from what I've read, and heard from some of the guys who used to work the Preston - Caledonia line was that, indeed, the bridges and trestles were too light to support the weight of heaver locomotives, so the SW-1s were the only locomotives that could operate on the branch.
I knew the line between Huron SD and Winona was the "ALCo. Line," but I wasn't sure if they ran them down to Chatfield or not. I guessed it could possibly be an RS-2, or something like that. I also wasn't sure if they had a dedicated unit that was stationed in Chatfield, or Eyota that was used specifically for the Chatfield - Eyota branch or if the Northewstern just used whatever they ran for road power that given day.
And since you're a MILW man, Les, you might enjoy this...
The Preston Historical Society is trying to rebuild the 1903-vintage grain elevator to become an interpretive center to tell the agricultural and railroad history of Preston. They have two pieces of rolling stock that they intend to put on display. One piece is a 1939-vintage, 40' steel ribbed-sided boxcar (one of the first the MILW built in its own shops in Milwaukee) and the other piece is a 1951-vintage, steel, ribbed-sided caboose (which was of the last group of home-built cabooses). The boxcar has been restored, but the caboose still needs A LOT of work.
Thanks for the info. guys. It is very much appreciated!!!