John Speller's Web Pages Milwaukee Road

John Speller's Web Pages - US Railroads
Milwaukee Road
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad otherwise known as the "Milwaukee Road" began as tas the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad in 1847, and under the name of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad ran its first passenger train from Milwaukee to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on 25 February 25 1851. The line changed its name to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad in 1884, and by 1887 had reached as far west as Michigan and South Dakota. It finally reached Seattle in 1909, giving it the shortest route from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest. The difficulties of dealing with extreme low temperatures in the mountains and the ready availability of cheap hydro-electric power led to the early decision to electrify much of the main line, and between 1914 and 1925 a total of 656 miles of the 2,300 mile main line had been electrified, using a 3,000V DC overhead system. The line's famous streamlined 100 mph "Hiawatha" train was introduced between Chicago and the Twin Cities in 1935. In 1947 the "Olympian Hiawatha" replaced the old "Olympian" to run all the way through to Seattle.

A film from 1946 shows what an integrated railroad the Milwaukee Road was and what an excellent serice they were giving to their customers.

The line limped through numerous bankruptcies and was largely broken up in the 1970s.
Map of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in 1968
The original "Hiawatha" train behind a streamlined Milwaukee "Atlantic" at Red Wing, Minnesota on 8 August 1937. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Early Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad woodburning 8-wheeler No. 287 in around 1885
Passenger train behind a coalburning 4-4-0 at Abrams, Wisconsin, on a snowy day in around 1910
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