GN and NP troop trains

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GN and NP troop trains
Posted by SPer on Saturday, January 18, 2020 12:53 PM

Did GN and NP ran troop trains from SPUD to Seattle/Portland.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:48 PM

Not sure if SPUD would have been the originating station for troop trains or if other roads (CBQ, etc.) would have handed them off to the GN or NP at another location in St. Paul off SPUD property.

The NP or GN Historical Societies are an excellent source of information about troop trains.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 4:11 PM

Both railroads operated a lot of troop trains, but I don't know how many originated at SPUD and went to the coast. I'm sure there would have been trains coming from Chicago on the Burlington that would have been transferred to NP or GN at SPUD.

Stix
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Posted by SPer on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:48 PM

In fact, did soldiers from Fort Snelling rode either GN or NP trains that the CB&Q transfered from Chicago to SPUD

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:25 PM

Troop trains ("Mains") were often handled at non-passenger locations.  Handoff between CB&Q and NP or GN (and vice versa) could have been done at SPUD, the GN station in Minneapolis (also used by NP), or anywhere else a locomotive and crew change could have been made.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:41 PM

SPer

In fact, did soldiers from Fort Snelling rode either GN or NP trains that the CB&Q transfered from Chicago to SPUD

 

 
It's important to remember that Ft. Snelling wasn't a huge basic training post, it was used during the war for specialized training like languages and Military Police training. There were situations where like a MN National Guard unit would be activated early in the war and get on trains at the fort itself. But I suspect most troops going to or from the fort would have just gone through one of the three large railway stations located a few miles away in downtown Minneapolis or downtown St.Paul. I think most troop trains you'd see here would be going through the Twin Cities, not to or from them.
Stix
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Posted by SPer on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 12:45 AM

What military bases Minnesotans went to after Pearl Harbor 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:19 AM

I don't know that there was any particular plan as far as who went where, like everyone from this area went here.

For example my father grew up a couple of miles from Ft. Snelling, and except (perhaps?) for his physical, I don't think ever set foot there when he was in the service. He did his US Army basic training in 1944 at Camp Wolters near Mineral Wells, Texas (where those flashy "Crazy Water Crystals" billboard reefers came from). Not sure how he got down there, but I know that at least for the Kansas City - Minneapolis segment on the way back on leave after basic training he took the Rock Island Rocket.

Keep in mind the US had instituted a draft in 1940, and when Pearl Harbor happened, were basically at full capacity for taking in and training soldiers and sailors. Many men who enlisted in December 1941 were given their physicals and then told to wait until they were notified of an opening - sometimes some months later. It was pretty easy to get a one year deferment because of that - that's why so many star baseball players were able to play the 1942 season, then missed 1943-4-5 in the service. Although the US mobilized much more quickly than they had in WW1, it still took a while to get fully up to speed.

 

Stix

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