Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ( CMSP & P RR ), until 1928: Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad , also known colloquially as the Milwaukee Road , was an American railroad company based in Chicago . It existed until it was taken over by Soo Line Railroad on January 1, 1986. Its line network stretched from Chicago over the northern Midwest and the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific . The two best-known trademarks of the company were one to two subnets in the Rockies and Cascades split electrical equipment and a high-quality passenger traffic with the "Hiawatha" - streamlined trains between Chicago and Minneapolis-Saint Paul .
As of 1929, Milwaukee Road had an 11,248-mile route network that radiated westward from the two cities of Chicago and Milwaukee . From Chicago, a main line led first to the Mississippi River , which was divided into branches to Kansas City in the southwest, Omaha in the west and La Crosse in the north. About La Crosse, in turn, a main line ran from Milwaukee to Minneapolis-Saint Paul and from there westward to the Missouri River and northward to Duluth on the western tip of Lake Superior . Another important main route, starting in Milwaukee, ran via Madison to Rapid City , while Milwaukee itself was connected to Calumet on the northern peninsula of Michigan via a south-north route from Chicago . An exception to the previous routes was a connection from Chicago south to Terre Haute and from there east to Westport , which was taken over in 1921/22 to develop coal fields in the south of the state of Indiana .
With the “Pacific Extension” on the Missouri River, the second pillar of the company, which emerged only after the turn of the 20th century, began. The route ran near the 46th parallel, first through the Great Plains , then over the Lenep-Loweth-Ridge between the Castle Mountains and the Crazy Mountains and then through the central Rocky Mountains to Butte (Montana) . From there it ran to Avery (Idaho) in the northwest and then mostly between the 47th and 48th parallel to Tacoma and Seattle on Puget Sound . Large parts followed the course of the Northern Pacific Railway . With this route and the routes in the Midwest, Milwaukee Road was the only one of the competing companies to have a direct connection from the Chicago rail hub to the Pacific Northwest . There were larger branches north in Montana from Harlowton to Great Falls and in the eastern part of Washington via Spokane to the Canadian border.
Origin and "Pacific Extension"
Milwaukee Road's history dates back to 1847. That year the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad was founded, but changed its name to the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad ( M&M ) in 1850 . After three years of construction, the first train ran from Milwaukee to the town of Wauwatosa , 20 miles to the west, and the first passenger train ran on February 25, 1851. In 1854 the line was extended to Madison (Wisconsin) and in 1857 to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River . As a result of the stock market crash that year , M & M had in receivership go and was in 1861 by the Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien Railroad ( M & PdC bought). In 1867, Alexander Mitchell merged the M & PdC with the La Crosse and Milwaukee Rail Road , which had linked its eponymous cities since 1858 and thus established a second connection from Lake Michigan across Wisconsin to the Mississippi River. Decisive for the development and financing of what is now Milwaukee and St. Paul was the substantial purchase of state land grants. Besides Alexander Mitchell Russell Sage , Jeremiah Milbank and William Rockefeller were prominent individual investors . In 1872 the company bought the St. Paul and Chicago Railroad , which had recently completed a railway line from Saint Paul (Minnesota) on the west bank of the Mississippi to La Crescent , across from La Crosse. After connecting Chicago to its network in 1873, the railroad company changed its name to Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad ( CM & StP ) a year later . In 1880 an agreement was reached with the Chicago & Alton , the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Pennsylvania Railroad to build a main train station in Chicago, which would later become Union Station . In 1887, the year a branch line to Kansas City, Kansas was completed , the company owned lines in Wisconsin, Minnesota , Iowa , South Dakota and Kansas . The company's headquarters were moved from Milwaukee to Chicago in 1889/90 to the Rand McNally Building, one of the first high-rise buildings with a steel frame structure, while the wagon and locomotive workshops remained in Milwaukee. The company's headquarters were later relocated to the Railway Exchange Building, built in 1904, and in 1924 moved to Chicago Union Station. In 1893, CM & StP bought the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad and thus reached the northern peninsula of Michigan . At this point in time, the Missouri River was the railway company's western limit, except for a few miles to Kansas City and its operations over Union Pacific tracks from Council Bluffs to Omaha .
In the 1890s, the company's management recognized that the only way to survive in competition was to build a route to the Pacific. In 1901, CM & StP therefore began planning the “Pacific Extension”, a line from South Dakota to Seattle on Puget Sound in Washington State . The estimated cost was $ 45 million (today's prices $ 1.3 billion), but increased to $ 60 million ($ 1.6 billion) in the year of the building permit (1905). The additional costs were due to the fact that, unlike the Great Northern and Northern Pacific, land had to be bought. In preparation, subsidiaries were first established in South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington, which were later reintegrated. The actual construction work began in 1906 with a bridge over the Missouri River at Mobridge , and in August 1908, the railway reached Butte in the State of Montana . On May 14, 1909, the line was completed with the last nail blow near Garrison (Montana) , so the construction time for the 2,300-mile-long railroad was just three years. Continuous passenger traffic did not begin until 1911 with the well-known Olympian and Columbian trains . Some historians question the route choice, as it left almost all larger cities out of the picture and was therefore of no interest for local freight traffic. However, it was 18 miles shorter than the competition's shortest route and had less gradients. Around 1910 the boom in the Pacific Northwest ended and in 1914 the Panama Canal opened , so actual freight transport performance did not match the original projections, but the debts from the construction period remained.
Since the CM & StP was the last railway company to reach the Pacific, it saw itself at a competitive disadvantage. In order to be able to keep up with the competition, it had to act innovatively, especially since mountain operations were hampered by temperatures that often fell to -40 ° C. A resolution of 1912 led to an experiment that was extremely unusual by American standards: the electrification of the steep sections in the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. There was plenty of hydropower in the mountains and there was a local copper producer in Anaconda (Montana) . In 1914 , wooden masts began to be erected between Harlowton and Avery , 438 miles (705 km) away . A year later, the section between Three Forks (Montana) and Deer Lodge (Montana) was already under power. In 1917 electrical operation was started with 3000 V direct current over the full length. The section was henceforth referred to as the Mountain Division. In 1919, electrification work was also completed on the 207 mile (333 km) further west coast division between Othello, Washington and Tacoma . In 1927 the contact wire was extended again over ten miles to Seattle. Closing the contact wire gap between Avery and Othello was often considered, but not carried out due to lack of funds. Power was supplied via 110 kV overhead lines and the conversion into the direct current required for the overhead line via motor generators in 22 substations distributed along the two routes . Although only modest in size compared to European standards, the electrically operated route network was just after that of the Pennsylvania Railroad the second largest of the mainline railroad operations in the USA.
From a technical point of view, electrification was a complete success. With the EP-1 -, the legendary EP-2 "Bi-Polar" - and the EP-3 electric locomotives equipped with Westinghouse spring drive , decidedly more cars could be pulled at a higher speed and lower energy costs than with steam locomotives. However, there were no imitators of rail electrification in the USA in view of the increasing competition from motorization of road transport , and the high investments were also a deterrent - the entire route construction including partial electrification ultimately cost $ 257 million (at today's prices $ 3.5 billion). Whether electrification accelerated or delayed the bankruptcy of 1925 remains a matter of dispute. A company report earlier this year reported that savings over steam were already more than half the $ 23 million investment in electrification.
The big time
In 1927 the Olympian was set up with new wagons and the Gallatin Gateway Inn in Montana opened in Montana, the first railway-owned tourist hotel. During the reorganization in 1928, the company received its final name Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and introduced the brand name The Milwaukee Road , but had to discontinue the Columbian as a result of the Great Depression in 1930 and file for bankruptcy again on June 29, 1935 . The fiduciary management remained in place until December 1, 1945.
In May 1935, a new era of express train services began between Chicago and the " Twin Cities " St. Paul and Minneapolis . The " Hiawatha trains ", designed inside and out by German-American industrial designer Otto Kuhler , which run at a scheduled 160 km / h , ensured a fast connection between the two metropolises. They needed six and a half hours for the 663 km route, later the travel time was reduced by another 15 minutes, which corresponded to an average speed of almost 107 km / h. In addition, there were other compounds that were also marketed under the Hiawatha brand. This included the Olympian Hiawatha overland train between Chicago and Seattle. The train celebrated a small resurrection under Amtrak- Ägide from 1971 to 1979, when the ex-parade train of the Northern Pacific Railway North Coast Limited was connected to the North Coast Hiawatha and connected Chicago with Seattle via Milwaukee and Burlington Northern (ex NP) tracks .
In the period after the Second World War until 1960, the company managed to escape from its existential misery. In the mid-1950s, dieselization progressed so that the last steam locomotive ran in 1957. The first generation electric locomotives were supplemented by the class EP-4 (called "Little Joe") locomotives originally intended for export to the Soviet Union . As a further measure, freight stations were modernized and combined transport was introduced as early as the mid-1960s . In cooperation with the Union Pacific Railroad , Milwaukee Road took over the long-distance trains City of Los Angeles , City of San Francisco , City of Denver and City of Portland . She took over operations for the Challenger from the Chicago and North Western Railway . In the early 1960s, the modernization of the suburban traffic and the construction of the train station in Milwaukee followed.
The entire rail transport sector was in decline in the late 1950s and 1960s. Milwaukee Road was hit particularly hard by the crisis, especially since the Midwest was crisscrossed with too many competing railways and the situation on the transcontinental routes to the Pacific was no different. The first visible consequence of this crisis was the discontinuation of the flagship train Olympian Hiawatha despite the innovative observation car in 1961. The resignation of President John P. Kiley and his replacement by the rather inexperienced William John Quinn in 1957 was a decisive moment; from that point on, management was fixated on solving the company's problems through a merger with another company. Since 1964, the railway company was considering merging with Chicago & Northwestern (C&NW) and Rock Island , but failed in 1969 due to the veto of the ICC regulator . Around this time, the merger of the Hill Lines Northern Pacific , Great Northern and Burlington routes with the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway was approved. The resulting creation of the Burlington Northern Railroad on March 2, 1970, the Milwaukee Road received access rights for the BN line to Portland (Oregon) , whereby the traffic on the Pacific Extension increased sharply until 1973. In the first half of 1973 alone, transport revenue rose from $ 153 million in 1972 to $ 176 million, which was the largest increase among the major US railways at the time. In the port of Seattle, the railroad took over 80% of the freight and with the container traffic coming from the Pacific Northwest, the market share was a good 50%. The downside of market opening was a decline in traffic in the Midwest.
In 1971 the Chicago Milwaukee Corporation holding company was founded . As a result, an attempt was made to divert financial resources from the railway company for diversification in other business areas.
Shortly after the Burlington-Northern merger, the owners of C&NW offered their company on Milwaukee Road entirely for purchase. The board rejected the offer, although it would have achieved the main goal of the past decade - a merger with the relatively small C&NW. Instead, it was assumed that only joining forces with a larger society could have ensured survival. An attempt to merge with Rock Island in the Union Pacific failed, as did various attempts to force the Milwaukee Road into mergers against the will of other participants.
Dieselisation did not stop at the two electrified sections of the route either. Over time, more and more diesel locomotives were used in conjunction with the existing electric locomotives. As the obsolescence of electrical systems increased and the price of copper offered a good opportunity to add ten million dollars to the income statement, electrical operations ceased in 1972 in the Coast Division and on June 16, 1974 in the Mountain Division. That this decision would have fatal consequences only became apparent with the oil crisis . The costs for diesel operation were now twice as high as with a comparable use of electric locomotives. A further $ 39 million had to be raised for the purchase of new diesel locomotives, which was the amount that would have been used to close the contact wire gap between Avery and Othello. Falling copper prices also ensured that the sales proceeds from the dismantled contact wires were halved compared to the estimated amount. The renovation of the ailing tracks could no longer be carried out under these circumstances. As a result, transports fell and travel times almost tripled.
Over time, fixed asset modernizations that were postponed in the 1960s to improve the financial image of mergers began to create problems. They came to a head through the practice of outsourcing rolling stock to external service companies and then leasing them back . The leasing costs rose more and more and more and more cars had to be sold to finance them. Due to the heavy losses in the early 1970s, Milwaukee Road had to file for bankruptcy for the third time on December 19, 1977. Then it was subjected to an extensive renovation process. The main result of this measure was the closure of all routes west of Miles City in Montana, whereby the rival company Burlington Northern received a monopoly status in the transport business from Chicago to Seattle, which continues to this day. The network length suddenly fell from 9514 miles at the end of 1979 to 3901 miles a year later. The network was based on connections between Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth (from St. Paul via tracks from Burlington Northern) and Louisville (almost exclusively via tracks from Conrail and Seaboard System ).
The new variant "Milwaukee II" was no more profitable than the previous company. Losses continued to be written. In the 1980s, competition with larger railway companies fighting for supremacy in the Great Lakes region ensured that CMSP & P was a takeover candidate for Chicago & Northwestern, the Grand Trunk Western , a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway and Soo Line Railroad , the majority of which was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway , was. Soo Line Railroad finally bought the railway assets on February 21, 1985 and took over operations on the route network with effect from January 1, 1986. As of 2012, some locomotives taken over from Soo Line are still painted in the old style.
The American passenger transport company Amtrak now runs intercity trains between Chicago and Milwaukee on the former Milwaukee tracks. The Washington State portion of the Pacific Extension was taken over by the state and converted into a 300-mile hiking trail called the John Wayne Pioneer Trail . It is currently jointly maintained by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The route is reserved by legislation for a possible reactivation as a rail route. In the Bitterroot Mountains , a 14.5 mile (23.3 km) long bike trail was created as the Route of the Hiawatha Trail between Loop Creek, Idaho, and East Portal, Montana .
In the first 30 years after the creation of the railway, all locomotives were double-coupled . The first locomotive for the Milwaukee & Waukesha Railroad, an American with two leading axles, was built in 1848 at the Norris Works in Philadelphia . The first locomotive ever built west of Cleveland was the Menomonee, built in 1852 by Walton & Company for the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad . Still, most of the machines were not supplied by Midwestern manufacturers but from New England . In 1881, 30 ten-wheelers (2'C) were procured for the heaviest freight trains, which means that different types of passenger and freight trains were used for the first time. Most of the 705 locomotives listed in statistics from October 1, 1886 were ten-wheelers. In 1889 two ten-wheelers were delivered by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works and the Schenectady Locomotive Works to pull 15-car trains in two and a half hours on the 85-mile route from Chicago to Milwaukee. In order not to exceed the permissible axle loads, the one supplied by the last-named manufacturer was provided with a rear running axle up to the corresponding adjustments in the superstructure , which in fact made it a Pacific (2'C1 '). A second Pacific of the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the CM & StP was finally shown at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, but did not yet meet the requirements for service on the route between Chicago and Milwaukee.
In January 1892 the first composite steam locomotive was delivered to CM & StP. Around this time it was intended to cover the distance from Chicago to Milwaukee with nine cars in 1 hour 45 minutes. Taking into account the speed limits within the city limits, 74 miles had to be driven within 77 minutes with one stopover and four slow driving areas. In May 1896, Baldwin Locomotive Works delivered two Atlantics for this , which fully met expectations. On July 3, 1896, locomotive 839 pulled its 13 carriages and 544 t heavy express train over the route from Forest Glen near Chicago to National Avenue in Milwaukee with a stop of five minutes in 82 minutes. For fast freight traffic on the flat land routes west of Chicago, ten-wheelers were initially purchased on a large scale. In August 1901 Baldwin delivered the first four-coupler, four 1'D-Consolidations, to CM & StP. Together with the vehicles subsequently delivered or replicated in our own workshops, they were classified as class C1. In 1910 and 1912 successor series with larger cylinder diameters were created. The largest and heaviest (109 t) consolidations came to CM & StP with the purchase of the Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern Railroad in 1921.
From 1903 the CM & StP locomotives were regularly built with a frame made of cast steel . With the construction of the Pacific Extension, prairies (1'C1 ') were procured for the first time for goods traffic in the mountains. The fire box of this series was specially adapted for the coal mined in Montana. The 195 Prairies, which were built in several series from 1907 to 1909, were classified as Class K by CM & StP and more than a third were equipped with superheaters . In 1909, 20 Mikados (1'D1 ') were added for the same area of use , which were classified as class L1. From 1912, other series of the L-Class, fully equipped with superheaters, followed. In 1910/11, 25 mallets with the axle formula (1'C) C1 'were procured and classified as class N1, primarily for push operation on the uphill stretches . They were able to pull 900 tons at six to nine miles per hour over an incline of 27 per thousand and proved their worth. In 1911, eleven more units with superheaters followed as class N2.
In those years the Atlantics were replaced by Pacifics in the heavy express train service, which increased the maximum speeds and the trailer loads. In 1930 Baldwin delivered 14 Hudsons ( wheel arrangement 2'C2 ') for the demanding operation between Chicago and Minneapolis as class F6. A year later, eight more copies of this type followed as class F6a. The use of this series extended beyond Minneapolis over the 914.4 mile long prairie stretch to Harlowton, where less the maximum gradients of ten per thousand than the harsh climatic conditions increased the requirements. A Northern (2'D2 ') was also tested as class S1 on this route in 1930 . Between 1937 and 1944, 40 units were supplied in series by Baldwin and ten by Alco in 1944 .
For the "Hiawatha" trains between Chicago and Minneapolis, the A-Class, consisting of just four units, with streamlined cladding and oil-firing, was purchased from 1935 to 1937 . When these Atlantics were no longer able to cope with the increasing trailer loads, six streamlined, but again coal-fired Hudsons followed between 1937 and 1938 as class F7 . Both series came to an early end between 1949 and 1951 and had to give way to diesel locomotives. In 1957, the G8 class, a ten-wheeler, was the last steam locomotive series to be retired.
In 1915, the EP-1 and EF-1 classes in the box-shaped box- cab design customary at the time were procured for the Mountain Division . They were always put together to form double locomotives . For passenger transport, twelve EP-1 double locomotives were created from 24 machines, while 30 double locomotives with modified transmission gears were available as EF-1s for freight transport with 60 machines. When newer passenger locomotives were used in 1919, the EP-1 was converted into EF-1 for freight transport. In the 1930s, increasing trailer loads led to some locomotives being joined together to form three-unit EF-2 units. Units in which the driver's cabs no longer needed in the middle locomotives were removed were classified as class EF-3. In the years 1951 to 1961, ten four-unit EF-5s were built through further modifications.
Also in 1915, the freight yard in Great Falls (Montana) was electrified with 1500 volts direct current. Only the single locomotive ES-1, which was retired in 1939, was available for the shunting service there. In 1916 and 1919, only four Bo'Bo'-locomotives as class ES-2 were procured for shunting along the main line.
The electrification of the Coast Division in 1919 created a new need for passenger locomotives. General Electric supplied five copies of the class EP-2, known as Bipolars , and Westinghouse ten copies of the EP-3 class , which were nicknamed Quills due to their type of drive . With the twelve Little Joes delivered by General Electric , of which sibling locomotives also went to the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad as well as to Brazil, the procurement of electric locomotives came to an end. Two Little Joes, which were classified as EP-4s for passenger train service, were converted into ordinary EF-4s for freight traffic in 1956.
Dieselification began in 1939 with the purchase of the first shunting locomotives from Alco and EMD . From 1941 onwards, large diesel locomotives with closed bodies ( cab units ) were procured with the EMD F series on a large scale . The company Fairbanks Morse also supplied such vehicles with the Erie-built from 1946, mostly intended for passenger train traffic. The largest diesel locomotive was represented by the GP9 with 128 vehicles, followed by the SD40-2 with 90 and the GP40 with 72 vehicles. Of the 118 two-part EMD F7s delivered , 68 were A-units with a driver's cab and 50 were B-units. While these locomotives were also represented on the other major US railways, EMD delivered ten locomotives of the SDL39 series , built exclusively for Milwaukee Road, in 1969 and 1972 to replace the aging locomotives of the RSC-2 series from 1947. In 1974 EMD delivered 15 locomotives of the F40C series for suburban traffic in Chicago , which were later taken over by METRA . This series was also only represented at Milwaukee Road. Of the FP45 , of which Milwaukee Road purchased five copies, EMD only delivered nine more to Santa Fe .
General Electric delivered three small shunting locomotives as early as 1940/41, but did not appear as a supplier of large diesel locomotives on Milwaukee Road until 1965 with the U series. The main shunting locomotives were EMD SW1200 , various series from Alco and later EMD MP15AC . Baldwin also delivered some locomotives of different series from 1940 to 1954. Whitcomb was hardly represented with nine shunting locomotives, Davenport Locomotive Works only supplied two 44-tonne trucks.
From 1882 to 1890 George Mortimer Pullman had a quarter of the business with the sleeping cars used , after which all sleeping cars were operated by CM & StP again. For most of its corporate history, Milwaukee Road marketed its passenger trains intensively and maintained a high quality fleet of long-distance trains until the end of private passenger traffic in 1971. The rolling stock developed in the company's own workshops in the Milwaukee Menomonee Valley was among the best that ever ran on North American tracks. The best-known developments were those of Otto Kuhler designed "beaver tail" ( beavertail ) mentioned observation car from the 1930s or the Skytop Lounge -Kanzelwagen of industrial designer Brooks Stevens from the 1940s. The good reputation of the passenger train division was probably also the reason why the Union Pacific transferred the operation of its city streamliners to Milwaukee Road in November 1955 .
One of the first trains with individual names was the Pioneer Limited in 1898, which linked Chicago and the Twin Cities. The Hiawatha connections also appeared on this route from 1935 onwards , which remained an important qualitative landmark for industrial design in passenger train traffic after the Second World War. The elongated Skytop lounge cars procured from Pullman for the Olympian Hiawatha in 1951 were later sold to the Canadian National Railway . Noteworthy trains off the axis Chicago – Twin Cities – Seattle were in addition to the cities of Sioux Chicago - Prairie du Chien - Rapid City , Southwest Limited Chicago - Kansas City and the Arrow Chicago - Cedar Rapids - Omaha, which operated until the mid-1960s . After taking over the long-distance trains from Union Pacific, Milwaukee changed its previous orange-maroon color scheme to the UP's gray-yellow-red.
- WH Schmidt, Jr .: The singular Milwaukee - A profile. In: Railroad History. 136, 1977, , pp. 5-129.
- Charles R. Wood, Dorothy Wood: The Milwaukee Road East - West. Superior Publishing Company, Seattle WA 1972, ISBN 0-87564-701-4 .
- George H. Drury: The Historical Guide to North American Railroads . 2nd Edition. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha 1999, ISBN 0-89024-356-5 , pp. 105-109 .
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- The Milwaukee Road's Pacific Coast Extension. In: The American Railroads: A Long and Storied History. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .
- Milwaukee Road Substations. In: Trainweb. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .
- Gallatin Gateway Inn. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .
- The Milwaukee Road, Route of the Hiawathas. In: The American Railroads: A Long and Storied History. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .
- Michael Sol: The end of the Milwaukee electrification. In: North East Rails. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .