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Milwaukee Road Remembered

Milwaukee Road Remembered

Copyright Date: 1990
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Milwaukee Road Remembered
    Book Description:

    The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific was a railroad with a big personality. For a time it offered the world’s fastest steam-powered passenger trains. Extending from Indiana to Puget Sound, it crossed five mountain ranges in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. In Milwaukee Road Remembered eminent railway historian Jim Scribbins provides a richly illustrated history of the unique challenges and successes of this storied railroad.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6662-1
    Subjects: Transportation Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-5)
    (pp. 6-9)

    In the better years of railroading, all roads had certain individual characteristics, but some companies displayed more personality than others.

    The Milwaukee Road was one of those.

    The road’s shops at Milwaukee built fleets of steam locomotives and pioneered all-welded freight and passenger car construction. The Milwaukee Road designed the first North American 4-6-4, which accepted 914-mile runs as commonplace. Mechanical engineers at the shops also planned the first streamlined steam locomotives intended for sustained 100 mph speeds. Milwaukee operated the fastest schedulded stream-powered trains anywhere in the world.

    The Milwaukee Road proved the feasibility of long-distance movement of heavy...

    (pp. 10-17)

    In the 1840s Milwaukee had already become the largest city in the territory of Wisconsin, primarily because of its location on the shore of Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes provided the major transportation link, albeit a circuitous one, between the East and die upper Midwest. Milwaukeeans, eager to keep dieir city ahead of odier Wisconsin ports and on a par widi rapidly growing Chicago, flirted briefly with the idea of a canal west to die Rock River to link Lake Michigan widi die Mississippi and open die interior of Wisconsin. Then diey realized a railroad would be better.

    The Milwaukee...

    (pp. 18-35)

    In 1932, before streamlining had become commonplace, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific — perhaps energized by the new Hudsons acquired during the previous two years — began to study the possibilities of passenger car weight reduction and improvements in passenger comfort. Largely under the genius of Karl Nystrom, chief mechanical officer, and Charles Bilty, mechanical engineer, the road developed what became the 4400 series coaches — the first full-size all-welded streamlined coaches on any railroad.

    The first step leading ultimately to theHiawathasseems to have been a proposal for coaches which, except for their oval windows, were essentially identical to...

    (pp. 36-71)

    In the early days of railroading, most passenger trains stopped at all but the most obscure stations — most trains were locals. Until the turn of the century even the slowest train was faster than the alternate means of transportation, horse and buggy on an unpaved road. Most improvements in train travel in that era were in sleeping, dining, and parlor car service, not in speed.

    The Milwaukee Road had trains of varying statures on its main line from Chicago through Milwaukee to the Twin Cities. They provided parlor, sleeping, and dining cars as such luxuries were developed within the rail...

    (pp. 72-80)

    Around the turn of the century, the electric interurban railway, a longdistance adaptation of the streetcar, achieved a measure of success as a passenger-carrying competitor to railroads. The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, for example, effectively replaced the Milwaukee Road’s local trains between Milwaukee and Waukesha and siphoned off a significant amount of Oconomowoc and Watertown riders as well. Because of this competition, the Milwaukee Road had little difficulty discontinuing its Milwaukee-Waukesha local passenger trains.

    Generally, though, railroads needed a more efficient form of operation for rural local trains which were, even then, money losers but which could not...

    (pp. 81-88)
    (pp. 89-93)

    As cities increased in sire and population density during the 1880s and 1890s, railroads realized that in addition to their stations, they needed more convenient establishments to sell tickets to long-distance riders. Frequently, major stations were located away from a city’s business, financial, and hotel districts. Chicago Union Station was some distance from the “Loop”; in Milwaukee, the business district moved away from the locations of the first three stations. Similar circumstances were to be found in other cities on the Milwaukee Road.

    This meant the office of the businessman, die chief user of die trains and the sleeping car...

    (pp. 94-101)

    Today, when many airline flights are barely long enough to allow the cabin attendants to serve coffee, when food along the highways is largely the province of fast-food franchises, and when sit-down meals are found only on long-distance trains, it’s difficult to appreciate how much attention the railroads gave to ensuring that passengers wouldn’t miss a meal.

    The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul introduced dining cars on its Chicago-Minneapolis trains in 1882. In the ensuing four years, their use spread to two trains in each direction on both the Chicago-Twin Cities and the Chicago-Omaha routes, plus noon and early evening...

    (pp. 102-114)

    By the turn of the century the passenger train had come of age. Open platforms, which made passing between cars uncomfortable in inclement weather and dangerous at any time, were giving way to enclosed vestibules. Flexible canvas devices known as diaphragms formed a passageway protected from the weather between the vestibules of adjacent cars. The train could be considered an integral unit rather than a loosely connected group of cars. This increased die popularity of dining cars and played a part in die creation of die special cars attached to the rear of the limited trains.

    For these observation cars,...

  12. WINTER
    (pp. 115-119)

    Along the Milwaukee Road cold weather was the norm for at least one-third of the year. In much of the territory that was served by the road, temperatures rarely rise above freezing from Thanksgiving to early April. Extreme cold could be expected anywhere but west of the Cascades; even Missouri and southern Indiana could produce below-zero cold.

    Along with the cold came snow. Usually the road took snow in stride, but some years were memorable. Near Chicago, trains were frequent enough to keep lines open just by their passage, but switch heaters were a standard item in terminals and yards....

    (pp. 120-137)

    By the turn of the century, 4-6-0 locomotives were the prime movers of freight traffic on CM&StP. The wheel arrangement was well suited to the profiles and the commodities of the St. Paul. Ten-Wheelers remained relatively plentiful on the road until dieselization.

    The road’s first eight-coupled locomotives were Consolidations built by Baldwin in 1901. They were followed quickly by 20 built at Milwaukee Shops. Larger 2-8-Os were built in bigger batches during the next few years, and the road’s most muscular C-class engines came widi the acquisition of the Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern in 1921.

    When the Puget Sound...

    (pp. 138-145)

    The Puget Sound Extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, nearly 1400 route miles, linked the Missouri River, midway across South Dakota, with the body of water for which the extension was named. Traffic did not meet expectations from the start. The Great Northern and die Northern Pacific were already established in the route’s sparsely settled territory, and Milwaukee’s line was within sight of NP’s route across much of Montana and Washington. Five years after completion of the Mobridge-Tacoma extension, the Panama Canal opened, giving Pacific shipping direct access to the East Coast of the U. S. The milwaukee...

    (pp. 146-159)

    Electro-Motive’s first road freight locomotive, FT demonstrator 103, began its nationwide tour in November 1939 and appeared on the Milwaukee Road during 1940, just as the final ten S2 Northerns were arriving from Baldwin Locomotive Works. The Milwaukee Road took delivery of its first FT, a four-unit locomotive numbered 40, in October 1941.

    As was the case with the road’s first EMD passenger locomotive, E6 No.15, received a month earlier, die new machine was acquired widi a specific duty in mind: operation of “electric-sized” trains across the non-electrified gap between die Coast Division at Othello, Washington, and die Rocky Mountain...

    (pp. 160-164)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 165-166)
  18. [Illustrations]
    (pp. 167-167)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 168-168)