The mainline of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad reached
2200 miles from Chicago to the west coast ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
The Last Spike ceremony took place on May 14, 1909 in Gold Creek, Montana,
marking the official completion of the line.
Although the Milwaukee Road had the shortest route between Chicago and Seattle, it had to cross 5 mountain ranges. These were the Belt, Rocky, Bitterroot, Saddle and Cascade Mountains. The decision was made to electrify the Rocky Mountain and
Coast Divisions, powered by 28 substations. 22 were actually built, of which 7 still exist. The line also required 51 tunnels, more than the competing Great Northern and Northern Pacific routes. This line also had 10 bridges were I consider significant. These crossed the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Hastings and Minneapolis, the Missouri River at Mobridge and Lombard, the Yellowstone River at Calypso, Tusler and Paragon, Lake Chatcolet at Benewah, and the Columbia River at Beverly. The CMSP&P was granted trackage rights into Portland during March 1971, and the use
of a second bridge crossing the Columbia River, north of Portland.
To reach Seattle and Tacoma from Chicago, the CMSP&P required 2,178 route miles. A slim majority of this trackage remains in use, almost all of it on the eastern of of the line. These 1,139 miles are divided amoung 8 operators-
BNSF Railway, 507 miles, in ND, SD and MT
Canadian Pacific, 394 miles, in IL, WI and MN
Twin Cities and Western, 143 miles, in Minnesota
Metra, 32 miles, in Illinois
Union Pacific, 28 miles, in Washington
St. Maries River, 20 miles, in Idaho
Columbia Basin, 13 miles, in Washington
Trinity Railcar, 2 miles, in Montana
This is a 16 page booklet of CMSP&P history.
Cover1 Cover2 Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Page 9 Page10 Page11 Page12 Page13
Page14 Page15 Page16 Cover3 Cover4
Further information on the Milwaukee Road can be found on Wikipedia.
These are links to 1973 and 1944 system maps of the CMSP&P.
From Chicago the Milwaukee Road traveled 48 miles north to Wisconsin.
Metra, the Chicago commuter railroad, owns the first 32 miles to Rondout,
while Canadian Pacific has the following 16 miles to the border.
The starting point of mainline was Chicago Union Station.
The Station was built in 1925 and owned by the Pennsylvania (50%), CB&Q (25%)
and the CMSP&P (25%). The Milwaukee and the PRR used the 10 northern tracks
while the PRR, CB&Q and the GM&O used the southern 18 tracks.
Amtrak took over the Milwaukee Road's intercity passenger trains on May 1, 1971.
Metra (the Regional Transportation Authority) operates the former CMSP&P
commuter trains to the west and north.
This aerial view of C.U.S. shows the waiting room building west of Canal Street
while the concourse is under the office building on the east side of Canal Street.
There was a concourse building here until 1967.
Wikimapia Wikipedia trainweb.org hebners.net
This is a photograph of the Afternoon Hiawatha leaving
Chicago Union Station in 1947 behind DL 109 14.
Intercity trains still operating at the start of Amtrak ran west to Omaha,
northwest to Madison and north to Milwaukee with the Morning Hiawatha running
on to Minneapolis. Power included 5 FP45 locomotives which were later used in
freight service, although they lacked dynamic brakes.
On January 1st, 1986 Metra purchased the Milwaukee Road mainline from
Chicago Union Station to Rondout, IL, and on to Fox Lake as well as west to
Big Timber Road (near Elgin). Until recently the commuter trains were handled by
a fleet of F40C locomotives.
At mile 2.9 is tower A2, Western Avenue and this Metra facility.
Tower A5 (Pacific Junction) is at mile 5.4. The Elgin sub runs west of here
through Elgin to Big Timber Road at mile 39.8 were ownership under
Iowa, Chicago and Eastern begins. The C&M subdivision continues to the north.
The line running to the east was called the Bloomingdale Line.
The Wisconsin and Southern has trackage rights over this line into Chicago.
Here is a WSOR train in Morton Grove.
Glenview, Il, at mile 17.7, is a stop for the Empire Builder and the Hiawathas.
Wikimapia trainweb.org hebners.net
Northbrook is the location of Techny Junction, where the CMSP&P line passes
under the Union Pacific (former Chicago and North Western) line heading to
Proviso Yard. Milwaukee Road freight trains from the north would swing onto this
line on their way to Bensenville Yard.
Bensenville Yard lies just south of O'Hare Airport.
At mile 32.3 is the junction of Rondout where the tower is still manned.
The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern crosses here heading northeast to Waukegan.
The former Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Mundelein branch ran under the CMSP&P line. Metra's line to Fox Lake swings off to the west and Canadian Pacific ownership begins on the line heading for Milwaukee.
Here is a shot of the Rondout tower.
GP38-2 358 heads north past Rondout Tower during 1980.
Canadian Pacific currently owns the 235 mile mainline across Wisconsin, from Illinois through Milwaukee and on into Minnesota.
Here is an up to date railmap of Wisconsin.
Mile 61.8 is Sturtevant and the junction with the "Southwestern" line which went through Beloit and joined the line to Kansas City at Kittredge until 1978. Today Canadian Pacific uses it to Kansasville, about 10 miles to the west.
Amtrak's Hiawathas stop here at a new Station.
Wikimapia trainweb.org rrpicturearchives.net
Mile 69.4 is Caledonia where this 1960 shot of a Hiawatha passenger train
Wikimapia rrpicturearchives.net CMSP&P-Hiawathas
Another stop for the Hiawathas is the new Milwaukee Airport Station.
Wikimapia trainweb.org Amtrak-Hiawathas
The mainline used this bridge over the Menomonee to enter downtown.
Milwaukee is at mile 85.7. The C&M subdivision ends and the Watertown Subdivision begins heading west. In the 1950s the line from Milwaukee to Minneapolis was part
of the La Crosse Division. This Terraserver image shows the line crossing the bridge
and running under the US Post Office building before getting to the station.
Wikimapia rrpicturearchives.net trainweb.org
This is a poster of one of CMSP&P's Atlantic 4-4-2 passenger locomotives.
Here is some information on Atlantics.
The Milwaukee Road was a good customer of Fairbanks Morse, buying 152
of the 1,460 Fairbanks Morse locomotives constructed.
Along with H10-44, H12-44, H16-44 and H16-66 frieght locomotives, they had
18 C-Liners and 20 Erie-Builds. The C-Liners included 12 A units and 6 B units which started arriving in July 1951. CFA 16-4 26A was traded in to EMD in 1968 and is pictured here.
West of the station the CMSP&P had their huge shops and several yards
which took up almost everything in this image.
The heart of the Milwaukee Road was the shops in Milwaukee.
Here is a photo of the yards from the age of steam.
Between Wauwatosa and Elm Grove the mainline passes under the former
C&NW mainline heading for Butler yard.
Duplainville is at mile 102.2 where there is a crossing and connection with a
Canadian National line, which was Soo Line's and then regional Wisconsin Central.
Mile 104.2 is Pewaukee where the line runs beside the lake.
Mile 117.9 is Oconomowoc, and here is a recent shot of Canadian Pacific
GP38-2 4521, formerly a GP40X.
Here is a train on Terraserver at Oconomowoc.
Watertown is at mile 131.2 where a Union Pacific (C&NW) line down to
Fort Atkinson is crossed. The mainline runs northwest while the line to Madison
runs to the west, which is now a Wisconsin and Southern line.
Amtrak uses the 1906 Milwaukee Road Station in Columbus.
GP40-2 2002 leads a Sprint train through Fall River Wisconsin during 1982.
Here is a westbound near Rio.
At mile 178.2 is Portage, where the Watertown subdivision ends and the Tomah subdivision begins. This is a crew change location and a stop for the Empire Builder.
terraserver.microsoft.com Photos trainweb.org
The M&P subdivision runs south from Portage to Madison and serves the
Columbia power plant, which the CMSP&P began serving in Oct. 1974.
At mile 195.1 is Wisconsin Dells, another stop for the Empire Builder.
Here is a shot of F7A 70A leading a train.
The 70A was acquired in July 1950 and retired in May 1980.
On the west side of Wisconsin Dells is this bridge over the Wisconsin River.
And another view of the bridge.
New Lisbon is at mile 221.2. This is the junction with the Wisconsin Valley Line
now owned by Canadian National.
This is a photograph of the old coaling tower in New Lisbon.
Here is an aerial view of a westbound at Camp Douglas.
Tomah is served by the Empire Builder.
rrpicturearchives.net trainweb.org terraserver.microsoft.com
The CMSP&P and the Chicago and North Western built parallel lines between
Tomah and La Crosse. During 1973 the C&NW tunnel at Tunnel City collapsed so the North Western arranged trackage rights over the Milwaukee and tore up their line.
This is an aerial image of two westbounds in 1999 about to enter the tunnel.
This is a photo from 1985 showing an eastbound Milwaukee Road freight
coming out of the tunnel. In the lead is SD40-2 147 which arrived in July 1972.
The Milwaukee Road called this Tunnel #1. There were 51 tunnels
between Chicago and Seattle, and this is one of two still in use.
Altogether, there was a total of 64 on the Milwaukee Road, of which 8 are
currently in service. The Soo line had studied daylighting this tunnel.
The C&NW tunnel was just to the north.
Mile 265.5 is Sparta where this 1972 shot of 572 and 573 was taken.
The CMSP&P had 6 of these RSD 5 locomotives which came in 1953.
The 572 was scrapped in the Milwaukee's shops in 1976.
Here is a CMSP&P Diesel Roster by Fred Hyde.
Mile 265.0 is Bangor where this Canadian Pacific train lead by Soo Line 4506
was shot in 2004.
West Salem is the location of this 1984 photograph of CMSP&P SD40-2 186 on the point of this train. This locomotive joined the Soo Line and then went to GATX.
In La Crosse at Grand Junction is a busy crossing with the BNSF.
Here is a photo from 1984 of Milwaukee Road GP40 2001 at the crossing.
Until January 28, 1991 this was the last continuously manned tower in Wisconsin.
The Empire Builder uses the Station in La Crosse.
wikimapia.org rrpicturearchives.net trainweb.org
La Crosse had a roundhouse in the wye, between
the station to the east and the Black River drawbridge to the west.
GP38-2 4411 is shown going over the Black River drawbridge.
The Mississippi River is crossed with a total of 4 separate bridges, including a swing span along the Minnesota shore and a draw span on the Wisconsin side.
This crossing opened on November 27, 1876.
wikimapia.org Johnweeks.Mainchannel Johnweeks.Eastchannel Johnweeks.Frenchslough Johnweeks.Blackriver
The Milwaukee Road's route through the Gopher State to the South Dakota border
ran 316 miles, of which 7 have been abandoned. This involves 2 miles from
South Minneapolis to the Minneapolis Station, and 5 miles running west to
Bass Lake. The remaining trackage is operated by Canadian Pacific, 143 miles,
Twin Cities and Western, 143 miles, and BNSF, 23 miles.
Minnesota DOT state rail maps.
At River Junction the mainline heads northwest towards Minneapolis,
while another route to Kansas City follows the Mississippi River southward.
Here are some pictures of Milwaukee Road action around River Junction.
The line south of River Junction is now the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern.
This had been the Dubuque subdivision.
The line north of River Junction to St. Paul Yard is the River subdivision.
This is a shot of Soo Line 4437 leading a train through Dresbach.
This is another Soo Line train with 772 up front going through Dakota, Minnesota.
FP7A 98C leads the Twin Cities Hiawatha along the Mississippi River.
The 1888 CM&StP Station in Winona is still in service with Amtrak.
rrpicturearchives.net trainweb.org wikimapia.org
The Milwaukee Road owned 6 bridges across the Mississippi River, three of which
were on the mainline, at La Crosse, WI, Hastings, MN, and Minneapolis, MN.
The other three were between Savanna and Sabula, and the pontoon bridges
near Wabasha, MN, and at Prairie du Chien, WI. The bridges of other railroads
were used at four other crossings, the DRI&NW bridge at Davenport, the C&NW
bridge in St. Paul, and two bridges at Winona. East of the City was a joint
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy-Green Bay and Western bridge that was
used to reach the Eau Claire branch from 1952 until 1979.
Google image Photo article article article
The Milwaukee Road also used the Winona and St. Peter bridge at Winona,
beginning in 1872 for a Milwaukee to Minneapolis route. During 1876 the railroad
opened it's own route between La Crosse and Winona up the west bank.
Google image USACE article Photo Johnweeks.Winona
Milwaukee Road SD40-2s 200 and 143 are shown here running south through Wabasha, mile 341
Just north of Wabasha is Reads Landing. Until 1952 the CMSP&P had a
pontoon bridge over the Mississippi river as part of a line to Eau Claire.
This is an aerial view of a northbound in Lake City, mile 353.8.
Red Wing has a beautiful station used by the Empire Builder.
trainweb.org hebners.net wikimapia.org rrpicturearchives.net
Mile 391.1 is Hastings where this recent view shows Canadian Pacific
AC4400CW 8548 beside the station after crossing the Mississippi.
This is one of three operating lift bridges over the Mississippi and it first opened
in December 1871.
wikimapia.org Johnweeks.Hastings Photo Photo Wikipedia
St. Croix is at mile 392.1. The former Milwaukee Road from the south meets
the BNSF line coming from the east in this view and they operate as
joint trackage to St. Paul yard.
At mile 407.4 is St. Paul yard, commonly known as Pig's Eye.
The BNSF Dayton's bluff yard runs along the east side.
The locomotive facility is at the north end.
The Milwaukee Road had a wide variety of power in St. Paul over the years.
Baldwin AS 616 561(1951) rrpicturearchives.net
Baldwin S12 907 (1953) rrpicturearchives.net
Baldwin DS4-4 1000 946 rrpicturearchives.net
GE U25B 5003 (1965) rrpicturearchives.net
GE U28B 5500 (1966) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD FP7A 92A (1950) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD GP20 950 (ex GP9) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD GP38-2 355 (1973) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD GP40 2059 (1968) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD SD10 545 (ex SD7) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD SDL39 581 (1969) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD MP15AC 463 (1976) rrpicturearchives.net
The line west of St. Paul yard is now the Merriam Park subdivision. This image
shows St. Paul Union Depot, which opened in 1920 and closed on April 30, 1971.
Fordson Juction is at mile 412.0, beside the power plant. The mainline heads
west and a spur line goes southwest to the Ford plant. A third line crosses the
Mississippi on the old Omaha Road bridge and used to go down to Iowa.
Mile 416.0 is Merriam Park, where Amtrak's Empire Builder leaves the former
CMSP&P and uses Minnesota Commercial trackage to reach Midway Station.
This is a view of the Short Line Bridge crossing the Mississippi River.
wikimapia.org rrpicturearchives.net Photos
South Minneapolis at mile 419 had a junction of Milwaukee Road north-south and east-west lines. The mileposts followed the passenger train route from the east and then to the north for two miles to the Minneapolis station and then back here before heading west. A through freight train would jump from mile 419 to mile 423.
Minnesota Commercial operates a two mile spur running south from here.
The line to the north and the next four miles to the west has been removed.
Minnesota Commercial has greatly expanded over the last few years,
adding trackage from the former Milwaukee Road and several other railroad lines
throughout the region.
This Terraserver image from 1991 shows how the junction used to look.
The Minneapolis Station opened in 1898 and hosted passenger service until
May 1971. The railroad used the office space until selling the building in 1984.
These are some pictures some of the locomotives seen in Minneapolis.
ALCo RSC-2 592 (1947) rrpicturearchives.net
ALCo S4 802 (1951) rrpicturearchives.net
GE U30C 5652 (1974) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD F3A 82A (1949) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD F7A 88C (1949) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD GP35 1501 (1965) rrpicturearchives.net
EMD FP45 1 (1968) rrpicturearchives.net
Minneapolis purchased the ROW from South Minneapolis to Bass Lake at
mile 428.0 for future rapid transit use in 1992. The track has been removed and
trains detour to the north using a piece of Minneapolis and St. Louis track now
owned by the Twin Cities and Western. This image shows an eastbound train
with its last 4 cars on the former CMSP&P.
At mile 429.4 is St. Louis Park where the former MN&S crosses overhead.
Hopkins at mile 431.8 was the end of the La Crosse Division and the start of the Aberdeen Division.
This is an aerial showing an eastbound crossing Shady Oak Lake in Minnetonka.
Canadian Pacific ownership comes to an end at Tower E 14 which is mile 435.0.
This was a crossing with the Minneapolis and St. Louis. The line west from here
to Appleton was sold to the Twin Cities and Western in April, 1991.
This is a photograph of two CMSP&P SD40-2s passing through Chanhassen.
At Norwood, mile 461, was a crossing with another Minneapolis and St. Louis line.
The Twin Cities and Western has been operating this line to Hanley Falls since 2002.
The Twin Cities and Western operate out of Glencoe mile 473.
This is the TCWR website
Just north of Granite Falls mile 542 the CMSP&P crossed a Great Northern line
which went into South Dakota and Iowa.
Montevideo at mile 555 had a fair sized yard.
Appleton at mile 578 is the end of Twin Cities and Western ownership.
Canadian Pacific sold the line from Appleton to Ortonville mile 600 to
Burlington Northern in 1992.
Ortonville at mile 600 became the end of the CMSP&P in 1982 when the line to the west was sold to the state of South Dakota. There was a 118 mile line to Fargo
from Ortonville that was abandoned in 1980. The border between Minnesota and
South Dakota is just west of the bridge over the river.
The 299 mile line across South Dakota is now owned by BNSF.
This is the South Dakota DOT site.
Big Stone City at mile 602.2 has a spur running north to the Big Stone power plant. This 450 MW facility has been operating since 1975 and there are plans to build a second unit here.
At Milbank mile 611 is the junction with the Sisseton Milbank Railroad.
The CMSP&P operated this until 1982 when Dakota Rail took over.
Lonnie King has put this photoessay together covering the line from Milbank to Harlowton.
Summit at mile 633 is the end of a 14 mile 1% climb out of the Minnesota River
valley and it had a wye for turning helpers.
This link is just a TerraServer westbound at Bristol mile 669.
West of Bristol the Milwaukee Road had a grade to 1.2 % as westbound trains drop down off of the Coteau des Prairies. A large loop was built during 1911 bending down to the south to give eastbounds a grade of 0.5% compensated. The original allignment was removed in 1959 and is now used by Highway 12.
Andover was the junction with a 50 mile branch to Cogswell, ND.
Most of the branch was removed in 1980 and a 5 mile section north of Britton
survives as part of the DMVW.
Aberdeen was the headquarters of the Aberdeen division. Besides the mainline the
CMSP&P had a line coming up from Iowa that continued into North Dakota.
The C&NW also had a line from the south which went into North Dakota.
The Great Northern and the Minneapolis and St. Louis served Aberdeen as well.
Currently BNSF has the mainline and the line south to Sioux City while the DME
has rights over this line from Wolsey. The GN line is now operated by the
Dakota, Minnesota Valley and Western. Aberdeen became the western end of
passenger service after the last Olympian Hiawatha replacement train
(Numbers 15 and 16) pulled back from Deer Lodge at the end of January 1964.
The last scheduled passenger train to Aberdeen left Minneapolis on April 15, 1969.
CMSP&P FP7A 104A and F7A 118A, and Baldwin S12 921, in Aberdeen-
A BN westbound train near mile 742-
At Roscoe there was a line 41 miles south to Orient until 1978.
Another line went north 75 miles through Eureka, SD, to Linton, ND until 1980.
BN purchased the 49 miles of this line north of Eureka and operated it for several
years before turning it over to the Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western.
DMVW has since abandoned the line.
The CMSP&P, and later on the BN, made line changes to reduce curvature across
western South Dakota, which left some of the towns off of the mainline.
A 1946 line change from mile 772 to mile 782 left Java south of the main,
served by a spur line.
Another town bypassed by a line change was Glenham.
The mainline ended at Evarts when the decision to build to the coast was made in 1905. The construction of the Oahe Dam in the early 1960s created Lake Oahe which has flooded the townsite.
This is an article on the Pacific Coast Extension.
Mobridge is where the Milwaukee Road mainlie crossed the Missouri River.
It took 3 years to build the PCE 1,400 miles to the Pacific Coast.
The first bridge over the river was a wooden temporary bridge, which was in
place by April 1907. Construction of a permanent steel bridge took place while the
PCE headed west, and the second bridge was opened on March 19th, 1908.
The third bridge at this site was built by the USACE during 1961 for the Chicago,
Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific, necessitated by the Oahe Dam project.
CMSP&P operations in South Dakota came to an end during March 1982, resulting in
the purchase of the line by the State, with Burlington Northern contracted to
run the route. BNSF Railway now owns and operates the bridge.
WikiMapia Terraserver Photo Johnweeks.photos
Moreau Jct. was the start of 164 miles of light track to the towns of
Isabel and Faith which lasted until 1980. Several miles of the Mainline and the
branch had to be moved due to the Oahe dam.
The relocation included this bridge over the Grand River.
This link has a westbound at Mahto near mile 828.
McLaughlin was the start of a 134 mile branch to New England, ND. This line
survived the March 1980 reorganization, only to be abandoned during March 1982.
BNSF Railway operates the 103 miles of the mainline through North Dakota.
Near Gascoyne is the spur to Knife River.
The Knife River lignite mine originated coal for the Big Stone Power Plant on the Milwaukee Road.
Bowman reminds me of a model train layout.
The Little Missouri River was crossed on the east side of Marmarth.
Marmarth was a crew change site and engine terminal.
This was the former site of a roundhouse and turntable.
The Milwaukee Road's Mainline traveled 746 miles through Montana, and currently 84 miles remains in service. BNSF operates 76 miles from North Dakota to the connection at Terry. They have another 5 miles between Butte and Newcomb, along with short sections in Miles City and Deer Lodge. Trinity Railcar are using 2 miles through the former Miles City shops.
This is a map of Railroads in Montana.
Just inside Montana, the mainline leaves the Little Missouri Valley to enter the
Yellowstone River Valley at Kingmont. This aerial image shows an westbound
empty BNSF unit coal train returning for another load, just cresting the summit.
A few pictures from Pelva-
The mainline came down into the Yellowstone River valley and crossed over Interstate 94 and the BNSF former NP mainline near mile 1,075.
The mainline now ends just east of Terry where BN built a connection to their line.
At mile 1,084 near Calypso the Milwaukee road crossed over to the north bank of
the Yellowstone River. At this location the river is flowing to the northwest on
its way east.
The Olympian derailed on the Custer Creek bridge on June 19, 1938, killing 48 of
the 218 people on board. The swollen creek undermined the two center piers.
At Tusler the CMSP&P crossed the Yellowstone for the second time.
About 4000' of line is in use on the east side of Miles City to serve this facility.
Miles City had a fair sized yard which is now used by Trinity Railcar Repair.
A transfer table is located between the two large buildigs. From Miles City
crews ran west to Melstone and east to Marmarth. This was the west end
of the Aberdeen Division and the start of the Rocky Mountain Division.
Near Paragon was the third and final crossing of the Yellowstone River.
Ingomar's station still stands.
Melstone had a roundhouse and was a crew change location.
At Roundup the CMSP&P had a spur 4 miles south to a coal mine at Klein.
A black and white photograph of the station in Roundup.
At Slayton the line passed under the former Great Northern line from
Great Falls to Billings.
This is a station list covering Harlowton to Seattle and Tacoma from 1951.
Harlowton at mile 1,335.5 was at 4,162' and was the beginning of the electrified territory. The CMSP&P served northern Montana from here with a line through Lewistown to Great Falls also serving Winnett, Roy, Winifred and Agawan.
111 out of the 394 miles of track north of Harlowton are still being operated.
On the mainline crews operated east to Melstone and west to Three Forks.
The next 95 miles to Lombard were built by the Montana Railroad.
These are two articles on the Milwaukee Road's mainline electrification.
Lonnie King put together this interesting Photo essay covering the Milwaukee from Harlowton to St. Maries, ID.
E-57B is on display in Harlowton.
This is a roster of the electrics.
Helmut Wisinger has put this Montana guide together of what can be
seen along the right of way.
Two Dot was at mile 1,347.5 and at 4,443'. This was the location of substation #1.
Loweth was mile 1,380.9 and at 5,802' (5,787' before 1956) and was the summit through the Belt Mountains. This was also the location of substation #2.
Ringling at mile 1,392.8 and 5,307 was the junction with the White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone Park Railway. The CMSP&P owned the track and leased it out.
The White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone Park Railway operated 23 miles
north to the town of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, until March 1980.
The line from Ringling to Lombard through Sixteen Mile Canyon featured 8 tunnels
in 30 miles. Red Tunnel #2 was near mile 1,398, about 1,154 miles from
tunnel #1 in Wisconsin.
Tunnels #3 and #4 were near mile 1,409. Tunnel #3 was also known as
Eagle Nest Tunnel #4 was in the movie Danger Lights.
Josephine Tunnel #5 was near mile 1,410.
Francis was at mile 1,411.4 at 4,652' and had substation #3.
Francis was originally named Josephine, and the named was changed to that
of a local family.
Deer Park Tunnels #6 and #7 were west of Maudlow near mile 1,420.
Wikimapia#6 Wikimapia#7 themilwaukeeroadtrail
Deer Park Tunnel # 8 was near mile 1,422.
This is a 1956 timetable for the Olympian Hiawatha from Deer Park to Seattle
Lombard was at 3,985' and at mile 1,430.4, just west of Tunnel # 9.
The CMSP&P passed over the Northern Pacific (now MRL) and then crossed
the Missouri River. Tunnel#9
Wikimapia terraserver.microsoft themilwaukeeroadtrail
Eustis at mile 1,441.2 and 4,014' was home to substation #4.
Across the river from Trident is the Holcim Cement manufacturing facility located
on Montana Rail Link.
Three Forks at 1,449.7 and 4,068' was a crew change location. A line to the east went through Bozeman to Menard. The town is named after the Madison, Gallatin
and Jefferson rivers which joined together here to form the Missouri.
A recent shot of the abandoned ROW near Three Forks.
At Sappington the Northern Pacific (now MRL) crossed over the Milwaukee Road
mainline and the Jefferson River.
The CMSP&P itself crossed the Jefferson River at Jefferson Island.
Piedmont mile 1,484.2 was at 4,350' and was the location of substation #5.
The Continental Divide at Donald was 20.2 miles away and 2,002' higher resulting
in a grade of 1.83%.
Vendome at 1,489.7 had this 3 mile horseshoe to keep the grade below 2%.
Tunnel #10 at mile 1,497 was called Fish Creek Tunnel.
Fish Creek Viaduct has been removed.
Donald at mile 1,504.9 was the highest point on the CMSP&P at 6,352'.
The Railroad crossed under the Continental Divide through
Pipestone Pass Tunnel #11, which was 2,290' long.
The Blacktail Viaduct, Blacktail #1 Tunnel (#12) and Blacktail #2 (#13)
were on the west slope of the Divide.
Janney mile 1,511.6 was at 5,856' now has a house built beside the foundation
of substation #6 and a garage on the right of way.
200 yards to the west is another house on the ROW.
BNSF serves Newcomb at mile 1,515.2 using 5 miles of the former mainline from
Butte. BNSF Railway acquired this trackage with the purchase of the
Montana Western in 2003.
Butte Yard was at 1,519.8 and at 5,475' and was at the south end of the City.
The passenger station and a small yard were closer to downtown. This aerial image
shows the junction with the main from the south heading west and the line to the
station heading east.
The Butte Passenger Station now houses KXLF.
This is a photograph from 1973 of SW1 869 in Butte.
Near mile 1,531 the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific crossed over the CMSP&P on
one bridge and then crossed over the Northern Pacific and the Clark Fork River
on another bridge.
Morel was at mile 1,544.8 and 4,870 and was the location of substation #7.
Deer Lodge mile 1,561.8 is at 4,523 was home to the locomotive shops.
Crews from Deer lodge ran east to Three Forks and west to Alberton.
On May 24, 1961 this became the west end of passenger service following the
demise of the Olympian Hiawatha. With the end January,1964, passenger service
pulled back to Aberdeen, South Dakota. The last electric operations on the
Milwaukee Road took place here on June 15, 1974.
During the morning Little Joes E-73 and E-20 brought a 264 into Deer Lodge from
Alberton and in the afternoon steeple cab E-82 moved some cars around the yard.
It is believed E57B was used here on June 21st, 1974.
Wikimapia terraserver themilwaukeeroadtrail
The E34 Boxcab set and steeple cab E80 at Deer Lodge.
E70 is on display in Deer Lodge.
Wikimapia rrpicturearchives.net highironillustrations.com
Garrison Tunnel #14 is near mile 1,573 west of Garrison.
Montana Rail Link's former NP Garrison Tunnel cuts through the same ridge,
about one mile west of where the two NP routes over Mullan and Homestake
came together. The shorter MRL tunnel to the east is still in use.
Gold Creek at mile 1,580.4 and at 4,167' was the home of substation #8.
The official last spike ceremony took place here on May 9, 1909.
The actual last spike was driven closer to Missoula a couple of weeks earlier.
This substation still stands.
Wikimapia themilwaukeeroadtrail webhome.idirect
Here a is photograph that shows the ROW today.
Nimrod Tunnel #15 was near mile 1,612 just east of Ravenna.
MRL's Nimrod Tunnel runs parallel through the same ridge.
Ravenna was the site of substation #9 which still stands.
Beavertail Tunnel #16 was at mile 1616 (fitting) and beside another one of
Montana Rail Link's ex NP tunnels, Bonita Tunnel.
Bonner Junction was at mile 1,635.0 and 3,280' and was the junction with a
line that went 40 miles east to Cottonwood.
Bonner Tunnel #16.5 was added after the mainline was completed.
Missoula mile 1,641.3 was at 3,184'.
A switcher with cabeese at Missoula, and the Missoula Station.
The Station is currently used by the Boone & Crockett Club.
rr-fallenflags.org Wikimapia RRpicturearchives
Primrose was the site for substation #10 at mile 1,650.8 and 3,073'.
This is the third consecutive substation still in relatively good shape.
Some photographs from Frenchtown-
Nine Mile Tunnel #17 was near Soudan around mile 1,667.
Crews from Deer Lodge and Avery (later St. Maries) changed at Alberton,
mile 1,672.6 which was at 3,048'. The former station is now a small museum.
Cyr Tunnel #18 was near mile 1,678.
Tarkio at mile 1,687.6 was at 2,919' and had substation #11.
At St. Regis mile 1,715.9 at 2,684' the CMSP&P crossed over the Clark Fork River
and the Northern Pacific. Montana Rail Link removed one span from the bridge.
This was the lowest spot for the CMSP&P between the Rocky Mountains and the
Bitterroots. The climb to East Portal was 1,485' in 33.2 miles.
Drexel was home to substation #12 at 2,858' and at mile 1,725.5.
Haugan was at mile 1,734.8 and at 3,142'. After a flood by the St. Regis River
in 1933 the Northern Pacific used the CMSP&P from St. Regis to Haugan as part
of their Wallace branch. After the Milwaukee Road abandoned their line during March
1980 BN continued to use this trackage until they could abandon their line a few
months later in 1980.
Bryson mile 1,744.3 was at 3,787' and was located on the east side of the loop
up Dominion Creek.
Dominion Creek Tunnel #19 was at the apex of the loop.
Wikimapia terraserver.microsoft themilwaukeeroadtrail
East Portal was the summit of St. Paul Pass at 4,169'. Substation #13 was
here at mile 1,749.1. St. Paul Pass Tunnel #20 was 8,771' long and took the
line into Idaho.
Wikimapia terraserver.microsoft themilwaukeeroadtrail
The St. Maries River Railroad are running 20 of the 99 miles that ran through Idaho. Their section is from Regulus to Plummer Jct.
St. Paul Pass is located in the Bitterroot Mountains, which divide Montana and
Idaho in this area. The summit of the Pass is 5,162'. With the use of the 8,771' long tunnel, the Milwaukee Road kept their summit to 4,170'.
The original survey looked at a longer tunnel of approximately 4 miles in length, from Bryson, MT, to Adair, ID. This would have created a summit below 3800', and reduced the route by several miles.
A later study looked at another tunnel between Bryson and Adair, replacing Tunnels #19 to #34, four high steel bridges, about 1,000 degrees of curvature, ten miles of line, and lowering the grade to about .6% at 3500 feet. This would have involved moving the line lower down into the valleys for 10 miles between Haugan and Bryson, as well as 17 miles between Adair and Avery.
This is a guide to what can be seen of the Milwaukee Road in Idaho today.
The Route of the Hiawatha trail uses the old right of way.
wallace-id.com themilwaukeeroadtrail brian894x4.com
From the west portal of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel to the end of the electrification in Avery, the CMSP&P mainline dropped 1,660' in 22 miles.
This segment had 16 tunnels and several large bridges.
Roland siding, mile 1751, elv. 4153' Wikimapia
Dry Creek Tunnel #21 (790') Wikimapia
Moss Creek Tunnel #22 (1516') Wikimapia
Small Creek Tunnel (#1) #23 (279') Wikimapia
Small Creek Tunnel (#2) #24 (377') Wikimapia
Kelly Creek Trestle Wikimapia
Adair siding mile 1,755.9, elv. 3,777' Wikimapia
Loop Creek Tunnel (#1) #25 (996') Wikimapia
Loop Creek Tunnel (#2) #26 (683') Wikimapia
Turkey Creek Trestle Wikimapia
Bear Creek Trestle Wikimapia
Clear Creek Trestle Wikimapia
Clear Creek Tunnel (#1) #27 (470') i Wikimapia
Clear Creek Tunnel (#2) #28 (178') Wikimapia
Falcon siding, mile 1760, elv. 3420' Wikimapia
Deer Creek Tunnel (#1) #29 (217') Wikimapia
Pearson, mile 1763, elv. 3200' Wikimapia
Deer Creek Tunnel (#2) #30 (221') Wikimapia
Glade Creek Tunnel (#1) #31 (332') Wikimapia
Glade Creek Tunnel (#2) #32 (638') Wikimapia
Kyle siding mile 1,756.7, elv. 3,000' Wikimapia
Kyle Tunnel #33 (462') Wikimapia
Stetson Trestle Wikimapia
Stetson Tunnel (#1) #34 (462') Wikimapia
Stetson Tunnel (#2) #35 (416') Wikimapia
Stetson Tunnel (#3) #36 (552') Wikimapia
Avery was at mile 1,772.9 at 2,495' and was the end of the electrification.
This was a crew change point between Alberton to the east and Malden to the west. After the wirers came down in 1974 the crew change was moved to St. Maries. Substation #14 was here and this is where the Rocky Mountain Division met the
Coast Division. The line west of Avery was purchased by the St. Maries River Railroad and was abandoned in stages after 1980.
Herrick Tunnel #37, 515', was near mile 1,790.
St Joe MP 1,806.2 at 2,148' would have had substation #15 if the gap had been
filled in the electrification.
Omega Tunnel #1 (#38) and #2 (#39) were never built. The numbers were
reserved for both locations to straighten the line, but the money was never available.
Omega Tunnel #1 (#38) would have been at mile 1,811.9
Omega Tunnel #2 (#39) was never built, and was to be at mile 1,813.4.
The Regulus stud mill just west of St. Maries is now marks the end of track.
St. Maries is at mile 1,818.3 at 2,145' and was a crew change point after 1974.
The St. Maries River Railroad operates from here east to Regulus, and south along
the St. Maries River to Bovill.
This photograph was taken in the area.
Lonnie King's photoessay, part 3, covers the St. Maries Branch and the rest of the mainline to the coast.
Benewah Tunnel #40 (363') was near mile 1,825, just east of the long bridge over
the south end of Chatcolet Lake. The 1% grade for eastbounds begins in the middle
of the bridge.
This photograph from 1962 shows an eastbound coming across the bridge about to enter the tunnel. The locomotives are wearing the old paint scheme with blue paint.
Several miles to the west is Peedee Viaduct.
Plummer Junction mile 1,837.3 at 2,653' had a wye where the passenger line
through Spokane left the mainline heading north.
Substation #16 would have been built at this location.
Union Pacific came to Plummer Junction from 3 directions as well. The Wallace branch from the east was along the north side of the ROW and a line to Tekoa in Washington State was along the north side of the ROW heading west. Union Pacific used the CMSP&P line for 19 miles to Manito and then the Milwaukee Road used UP through Spokane and then back to the mainline at Marengo. At this time the line to the north
is owned by UP and St. Maries River Railroad owns the line to the east and the others are gone.
Watts Tunnel #41 at Sorrento mile 1,840 was 2,559' long.
Two sections remain in Washington State, accounting for only 41 of the 332 miles. Columbia Basin use 13 miles, from Warden to Othello. Union Pacific own 28 miles connecting Black River with Tacoma.
This is Helmut Wisinger's guide to Washington State.
The mainline across Washington State is now the John Wayne Trail. spokaneoutdoors.com CoastDivMap
In Tekoa mile 1,853.0 the mainline crossed over a Union Pacific line which has been abandoned as well.
In Seabury at mile 1,860.2 the CMSP&P crossed over a former Great Northern line
that is long gone. terraserver.microsoft
Rosalia tunnel #42 was daylighted in 1911.
Rosalia was at mile 1,872.6 (2,250') the line crossed over a former Northern Pacific
line which is now operated by the Palouse and Coulee City Railroad. A Great Northern line also passed under the Milwaukee Road here. Substation #17 would have been here.
Malden was at mile 1,881.7 (2,085') and was a crew change point in the middle of
the gap between Avery and Othello. After 1974 this crew change was moved east to St. Maries.
Rock Lake Tunnel #1 (#43) was 756' long and at mile 1,892.
Rock Lake Tunnel #2 (#44) was 704' long at mile 1,894.
Castleton was near mile 1,907 and would have had substation #18.
Paxton at mile 1,915.1 (1,669') was where the CMSP&P passed under the Spokane, Portland and Seattle. The SP&S was abandoned in 1989.
Marengo mile 1,925.7 (1,656') was the connection with the Union Pacific where passenger trains through Spokane rejoined the mainline.
West of Marengo was a long Viaduct over Cow Creek Coulee.
Ralston at mile 1,935.2 (1,665') would have been home for substation #19.
Lind at mile 1,949.7 (1,415') was where the CMSP&P crossed over the
Northern Pacific mainline.
terraserver.microsoft rrpicturearchives.net themilwaukeeroadtrail
Roxboro at mile 1,962.6 would have had substation #20.
At Warden mile 1,972.3 (1,279') The CMSP&P had branch lines to the north serving Moses Lake and Marcellus.
Wikimapia terraserver.microsoft rrpicturearchives
The Columbia Basin Railroad now operates the mainline from Warden to Othello
as well as branchline track to Moses Lake.
Othello was at mile 1,985.1 (1,075') and was the beginning of the Coast Division electrification. The Royal Slope Ry. has operated west from Othello to Royal City.
Wikimapia themilwaukeeroadtrail mrcd.org
This is a photograph which shows U28B 5500 sitting in Othello.
Taunton at mile 1,994.3 (856') was the location of substation #21.
Royal City Junction is near mile 2,006. During 1967 a 6.4 mile line was built
north to Royal City.
Beverly was at mile 2,022.9 (532') on the east bank of the Columbia River.
The United States Government did make some use of the line from Royal City Junction during the 1980s to service the Priest Rapids Dam. On the west bank of the river is Beverly Junction with the mainline which headed north and a branch to Hanford
which headed south to Hanford.
terraserver.microsoft Wikimapia themilwaukeeroadtrail
This is a photograph of SW1200 618 at Beverly.
The lengthy Columbia River Bridge is still in place.
Doris was at mile 2,029.1 (1,106') on the 2.2% climb up the Saddle Mountains. Substation #22 was located here.
East of Boylston (MP 2,041.7) was the 1973' Johnson Creek Tunnel #45.
At Renslow the CMSP&P passed over Interstate 90.
Kittitas was at mile 2,052.3 (1,645') and was the location of substation #23.
From Ellensburg the Milwaukee Road followed the Northern Pacific west.
Near mile 2,065 the CMSP&P crossed over the Northern Pacific Stampede Pass line.
Horlick Tunnels #46 and #47 were along the Yakima River between Thorp
and Horlick. The BNSF line is along the east and north bank of the river.
Cle Elum was at mile 2,084.0 (1,944') and was where crews changed between
Othello and Tacoma or Seattle. Substation #24 was here as well.
Easton at mile 2,095.6 (2,150) had a wye and now BNSF has a wye crossing the CMSP&P.
Easton Tunnel #48 was near mile 2,096.
Burlington Northern purchased the mainline over Snoqualmie Pass from Easton through Cedar Falls (MP 2,134.8) to Maple Valley (2,151.8). BN never used the line east of Cedar Falls and during 1987 they decided to scrap the line. A connection was built in September at Hubner near mile 2,098 to allow removal of the rail east of Snoqualmie Tunnel.
Whittier Tunnel #49 was near mile 2,104 and is in the lower right corner of this
image. The east entrance to BNSF's Stampede Tunnel can be seen on the left.
Hyak was at mile 2,113.0 (2,570') and was home to substation #25. The east entrance to Snoqualmie tunnel is at the top left corner of this image.
Snoqualmie Tunnel #50 was 11,888' long, longest on the CMSP&P. After
the mainline opened in May 1909 this tunnel was built from 1912 to 1914.
The original line crested the summit at 3,010' two miles north of the tunnel using grades up to 2.75% and 1,239 degrees of curvature. The new summit was 2,562', saving 448'.
This is the eastern entrance to Snoqualmie Tunnel.
The CMSP&P followed the Snoqualmie River west from the tunnel on a grade of
1.74% from Rockdale to Cedar Falls. Near mile 2,120 was this curved trestle over
Burlington Northern's plans of using the Snoqualmie Pass line were thwarted by a slide which took out the middle spans of the trestle over Hull Creek, near mile 2,128.
Cedar Falls was at mile 2,134.8 (937') and was the junction with the line north to Everett. This was also the location of substation #26. Burlington Northern used the line from Maple Valley through here and then north 11 miles to serve a mill until 1990.
This is an article about the CMSP&P in Cedar Falls.
Bagley Junction was at mile 2,138.8 and the start of a 13 mile branch to Enumclaw.
Landsburg Tunnel #51 was bypassed with a 1945 line change.
Noble Tunnel #52 was the last tunnel on the mainline from Chicago,
and was daylighted during 1912.
Maple Valley was at mile 2,151.8 and from here into Seattle the CMSP&P used the track of the Pacific Coast Railroad. The PCR was purchased by the Great Northern
Renton was at mile 2,162.1 and the home of substation #27. After 1970 the
CMSP&P received trackage rights over BN from Renton north to Bellingham.
This is a Spirit of Washington dinner train in Renton
Black River Junction was at mile 2,164.5. From here Milwaukee Road trains could
stay on the PCRR-GN-BN and go north to Seattle or regain CMSP&P rails south to Tacoma.
The CMSP&P operated on the Pacific Coast Railroad (later GN and BN) from Black River up to Argo at mile 2,170.5 where it switched to Union Pacific tracks.
Stacy Street Yard was at mile 2,172.9.
Union Pacific's Union Station in Seattle was at mile 2,173.9, just east of the Hill Line's King Street Station. Milwaukee Road passenger service to Seattle and Tacoma came to an end when the last Olympian Hiawatha left Minneapolis on May 22, 1961.
Union Station opened in 1911.
This photograph of U25B 5007 from 1970 looks like the Tacoma area to me.
At Tacoma Junction mile 2,190.7 (under the north end of the Interstate highway bridge) the Tacoma Hill line branched off and crossed the Puyallup River. Tacoma Jct. was also the location of substation #28. Union Pacific crosses the River just east of the Interstate Bridge, at the bottom of this image. The substation was at the right hand edge, north of the tracks.
This is a photograph of E23B in Tacoma in the Union Pacific passenger scheme.
Tideflats Yard was between the Puyallup River and the Sitcum Waterway
(now the APM Terminal). Most of the Milwaukee Waterway has been filled in.
Things looked a little different in 1990.
The first leg of the line from Tacoma to Portland was built by the Tacoma and Eastern Railroad during 1900. The T&E played a key role in the history of the Mount Rainer area.
Tacoma Hill was the steepest grade on the Milwaukee Road, at 3.67 %.
Tacoma Rail now owns the CMSP&P track in Tacoma and south to Chehalis.
The Chehalis Western Railroad operated the trackage from 1980 until 1992.
The Tacoma and Eastern built south from Tacoma through Elbe to Morton.
The Mt. Rainer Scenic Railroad runs passenger trains on the south end of the line.
On December 31, 1918, the T&E was acquired by the Milwaukee Road. From Frederickson the CMSP&P built their line to Chehalis.
The Chehalis Western used Western Junction as a base for operations and was the location of their shops.
CMSP&P SW1200 630 was at Western Junction on September 11, 1976.
The Milwaukee Road branch to Aberdeen started in Maytown.
At Blakeslee Junction near Centralia the CMSP&P crossed over Burlington Northern and Union Pacific lines, both heading for Aberdeen.
The Milwaukee Road reached Chehalis and then turned west towards the Pacific
and the town of Raymond.
Trackage rights were obtained over Northern Pacific from Chehalis to Longview Junction during 1931.
The Milwaukee Road received trackage rights from Longview Jct. to Portland as a
result of the Burlington Northern merger. The first train crossed the Columbia River
on March 23, 1971.
The Burlington Northern and Southern Pacific lines used by the Milwaukee Road
in Oregon remain in use by BNSF Railway and Union Pacific.
The rights on Burlington Northern ended at Portland Union Station.
From there rights were acquired over Union Pacific's Steel Bridge to reach
The end of the line was Southern Pacific's Brooklyn Yard.
More information about the Milwaukee Road can be found on these websites. http://webhome.idirect.com/~helmutw/milwrd/
Dale's Trackside Guides
#1-Mississippi River Crossings
This is a study of the Railroad crossings over the Mississippi River.
#2-Amtrak's Current Routes
A detailed accounting of which railroad owns every mile of track used by Amtrak.
#3-Class 1 Railroads in the 1950s
A summary of the 127 class 1 railroads in 1950.
#4-The Milwaukee Road Mainline
Points of interest on the CMSP&P mainline from Chicago to Seattle and Portland.
#5-Montana Rail Link, I&MRL and IC&E Rosters
A simple rundown of the dozens of owners of GP30 locomotives.
#7-Amtrak's Original Routes
A look at the routes used by Amtrak on May 1st, 1971.
#8-Continental Divide Crossings
A summary of the railroad crossings of the Continental Divide in North America
A listing of the railroads operating in Iowa's 99 Counties today and in
1985 and 1930.
#10-America's Regional Railroads
A look at the 62 current and former Regional Railroads in the United States
Owners of locomotives with AC traction motors
A listing of the railroads operating in Ohio's 88 Counties today and in
1985 and 1930.
A look at the events that took place during 1980 affecting America's railroads.
#14-Pieces of the Rock
Surviving rail lines and locomotives of the Rock Island Railroad.
#15-Amtrak's Abandoned Routes
A State by State list of routes previously used by Amtrak.
#16-Missouri River Crossings
A study of the Railroad crossings over the Missouri River.