A list and brief history of the railroads involved with the story of the
Green Bay Route.
- Railroads of the Green Bay Route
- The predecessors and successors of the Green Bay & Western Railroad.
- Subsidiaries and Merged Lines
- Railroads owned, operated, or aligned with the Green Bay Route.
- Other Railroads
- Lines that interchanged or crossed the Green Bay Route.
Railroads of the Green Bay Route
The predecessors and successors of the Green Bay &
- Subsidiaries and Merged Lines
Railroads owned, operated, or aligned with the Green Bay
- Other Railroads
Lines that interchanged or crossed the Green Bay Route.
Proposed lines, never built:
Shipping and trucking companies:
- Ahnapee & Western (A&W) 1890-1906,
- Following the decision to build the Kewaunee, Green Bay
& Western, the AHW was incorporated on August 18, 1890. The line was
built in 1892 from Casco Junction to the port city of Algoma, and then to
Sturgeon Bay. The Green Bay Route took control on November 1, 1906 by
acquiring 99% of the stock. The Green Bay Route ultimately acquired over
ninety percent of AHW stock to gain control over the line. The Green Bay
Route gained control of the railroad on November 12, 1906.
- In 1947 the former AHW trackage was sold to interests in Sturgeon Bay and
a new Ahnapee & Western began operations. The railroad was sold to
Champion International Corporation on January 1, 1971.
- Ahnapee & Western (AHW) 1971-1993
- The Ahnapee & Western was purchased by Champion
International Corporation on January 1, 1971 and a year later the AHW sold
its locomotive and the Green Bay & Western provided
train service. A washout at the Kewaunee River bridge in 1986 reduced the
line to a short stub off the GB&W main line. The Fox
Valley & Western acquired the AHW in 1993.
- Ann Arbor Railroad (AA) 1895-1977, 1988-
- The AA was formed after the reorganization of the bankrupt Toledo,
Ann Arbor & Northern Michigan in 1895. The AA was closely aligned
with the Wabash Railroad from 1925-1963, and the Detroit, Toledo, and
Ironton after that. AA entered into reorganization in 1973, and the State of
Michigan purchased portions of the line in March 1976 and the remainder,
including the Lake Michigan car ferries, in 1980. On October 1, 1977, Michigan
Interstate Railway began operating the line. In October 1988 a newly
formed AA purchased the Frankfort to Toledo line and began operations, but
by this time there were no more carferry operations.
- Burlington & Northern (B&N) 1885-1899
- The B&N followed the Mississippi River from St. Louis to St. Paul. The
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy acquired control of the
line in 1890 and formally merged the line in 1899.
- Burlington Northern (BN) 1970-1996
- The BN was formed March 2, 1970 when the Chicago Burlington
& Quincy and several other railroads merged. Rumors that the BN was
interested in purchasing the Green Bay Route persisted throughout the 1970's
and 80's. The BN ultimately became part of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe
system after the demise of the Green Bay Route.
- Canadian National Railway (CN) 1922-
- The earliest parts of the CN were built in the 1830s and in 1922 the
nationalized CN was created by the Canadian government. The railroad was
privatized in 1995 and purchased the Wisconsin Central
along with subsidiary Fox Valley & Western on October
9, 2001. Although the purchase was done mainly for the WC
Superior WI to Chicago IL line, portions of the Green Bay Route still
operate as branch lines.
Canadian National Railway web
- Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) 1868-1987
- The Chesapeake & Ohio traced its earliest roots to 1836 and on June 6,
1947 it merged the Pere Marquette, including its carferry
operations between Ludington, Michigan and Kewaunee. In July 1983 the
C&O sold its remaining car ferry service to Michigan-Wisconsin
Transportation. On September 2, 1987 the C&O was merged into CSX
Chesapeake & Ohio
- Chicago & North Western (C&NW) 1859-1995
- The C&NW's roots go back to 1836 and its principal lines connected
much of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to Chicago. The C&NW acquired the
Winona & St. Peter in 1867, cutting off the plans of
the Green Bay & Minnesota to expand westward. On
August 19, 1893 C&NW acquired the Milwaukee, Lake Shore
& Western. The C&NW railroad was one of the few that kept its
corporate identity during the entire life of the Green Bay Route.
- Chicago & North
Western Historical Society
- Chicago Great Western (CGW) 1892-1968
- The CGW was originally organized as the Wisconsin, Iowa & Nebraska RR
which became the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City in 1886, and finally
the CGW in 1892. The CGW linked the key rail cities of Chicago, Kansas City,
Saint Paul, and Omaha. Never financially strong, the CGW merged into the Chicago
& North Western on July 1, 1968. The C&NW
subsequently abandoned most of the CGW.
- Chicago Milwaukee & Saint Paul (CM&StP)
- In the early 1900's the CMStP&P was one of the largest railroads in
the Midwest, linking Chicago with Minneapolis, Omaha, and Kansas City. The
line built west to the Pacific Ocean, but costly construction and a weak
economy put the railroad in bankruptcy in 1923. In January 1928 the line was
reorganized as the Chicago Milwaukee Saint Paul &
- Chicago Milwaukee Saint Paul & Pacific
- Commonly known as the Milwaukee Road, it operated almost 10,000 miles of
routes stretching from Chicago to the Pacific coast. Over time, traffic
began to die off and the high cost of maintaining its transcontinental route
force the railroad to gradually sell off portions of its track. The eastern
lines, including the interchanges with the Green Bay Route, were sold to the
Soo Line in February of 1985 and the Soo Line merged the
CMStP&P on January 1, 1986.
Milwaukee Road Historical
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q)
- The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR began as the Aurora Branch
Railroad in 1849, eventually renaming itself the CB&Q in 1855 as it
built and acquired lines from Chicago to the Mississippi River. The CB&Q
acquired the Chicago, Burlington, and Northern in 1899
and along with it came the ownership of the Winona Bridge
Railway. The CB&Q grew into an expansive system stretching from
Kentucky to the Rocky Mountains, and ultimately to the Gulf Coast through a
subsidiary line. It was a major source of bridge route traffic that the
Green Bay Route relied so heavily on. The CB&Q was merged into the Burlington
Northern in 1970.
Route Historical Society
- Chicago, Burlington, and Northern Railway Company
- The CB&N built the railroad line alone along the west bank of the
Mississippi River at Winona. In 1890 the CB&N, Winona
& South Western, and Green Bay & Minnesota created the Winona
Bridge Railway to build and operate a bridge between Winona, Minnesota
and East Winona, Wisconsin, which also included a joint depot in downtown
Winona. The CB&N merged into the Chicago Burlington &
Quincy in 1899.
- Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha
Railway (CStPM&O) 1880-1972
- The 'Omaha Road' was formed in the spring of 1880 from several smaller
lines, including the West Wisconsin which interchanged
with the Green Bay Route at Merrillan. The Chicago &
North Western purchased a controlling interest in December 1882, leasing
it in 1957 and finally acquired the railroad outright in 1972.
- Delaware Lackawanna & Western (DL&W)
- The DL&W was a powerful eastern railroad closely aligned with steel
and coal interests. The railroad gained control of the Green Bay Route in
the 1880s as part of its plan to develop a transcontinental transportation
link using the Great Lakes to connect the coal mines of the East with
expansion in the West. In the twentieth century the influence of the
DL&W over the GB&W's operations gradually decreased and the DL&W
ended its existence by merging with the Erie RR in 1960.
- Escanaba and Lake Superior (E&LS) 1980-
- The Escanaba and Lake Superior was incorporated Nov. 17, 1898. On March
10, 1980 the Escanaba and Lake Superior acquired ex-Chicago
Milwaukee Saint Paul & Pacific trackage from Green Bay northward to
Channing and Ontonogan, Mich.
- Ettrick & Northern (E&N) 1915-1928
- The Ettrick and Northern RR was incorporated on June 5, 1915 with the
intent of connecting the Southwestern Wisconsin village with Blair, located
ten miles to the north on the Green Bay Route. In August 1918 trains began
regular service between the two towns. Inflated construction costs during
World War One along with the construction of a parallel highway put the road
in financial peril from the beginning and it ceased operations on November
15, 1927. In 1928 it was reorganized as the Ettrick Railroad Company.
- Ettrick Railroad Company (ER) 1928-1937
- The ER was an attempt by local investors to make the rail connection
between Ettrick and Blair profitable by using a gasoline powered locomotive
to hail freight. It was incorporated on November 3, 1928 and began
operations on October 10, 1930. Traffic was never great enough and the
GB&W retired its interchange with the short line in September 1936. The
ER was abandoned on July 1, 1937.
- Fox River Valley Railroad (FRV) 1988-1993
- The FRV operated between Granville and Green Bay. Itel Corporation
purchased the line from Chicago & North Western on
December 9, 1988. In 1991, FRV and its Itel sister, GB&W,
began operating under one management team.
Itel sold both railroads to Wisconsin Central in 1993,
which operated both lines as the Fox Valley & Western
- Fox Valley & Western Railroad (FV&W)
- The FV&W, a 'paper-only' subsidiary of the Wisconsin
Central, began operating the Green Bay & Western
on Saturday, August 28, 1993. It also acquired the Ahnapee
& Western, and the Fox River Valley. Portions of
the Green Bay Route from Manawa to Plover and Luxemburg to Kewaunee were
abandoned. On October 9, 2001, the FV&W was merged into the Canadian
- Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railway (GB&LP)
- The GB&LP was granted a charter on April 12, 1866 to operate a
railroad from Green Bay to the Minnesota border. Construction began in Green
Bay in 1869 and reached East Winona, Wisconsin on December 18, 1873. On
September 9, 1873 the railroad was renamed the Green Bay
& Minnesota in light of the fact that the tracks never went to Lake
- Green Bay & Minnesota Rail Road (GB&M)
- Realizing that Lake Pepin was a misnomer, the Green Bay
& Lake Pepin was renamed the GB&M in 1873. The cost to build the
Green Bay Route about twice what was originally estimated, however, and the
GB&M fell into receivership January 23, 1878. The Green
Bay, Winona & Saint Paul, organized by bondholders of the GB&M,
acquired the property on August 30, 1881 and took over operations of the
line on October 14, 1881 (some sources report the date as September 13,
- Green Bay & Western Railroad (GB&W)
- The GB&W was incorporated on June 3, 1896 and purchased the bankrupt Green
Bay, Winona, & Saint Paul and Green Bay, Stevens
Point & Northern for $1,000,000. It began operations on June 10,
1896. It operated successfully for almost one hundred years before being
purchased by the Wisconsin Central and merged into its Fox
Valley & Western subsidiary on August 28, 1993.
- Green Bay, Minneapolis & St. Paul Railway
- This was the one railroad in the Green Bay Route which was never built.
The GBM&StP was incorporated on August 9, 1892 by several members of the
GBW&StP board of directors with the plan to
connect Merrillan with St. Paul, Minnesota. The plan was shelved during the
Panic of '93 and soon the bankruptcy of the GW&StP
put the plan to rest for good.
- Green Bay, Stevens Point & Northern Railroad
- The GBStP&N was incorporated on August 6, 1881 to connect Stevens
Point with the Green Bay, Winona & St. Paul at
Plover. Regular service began the following January, and in August of that
year the line was leased in perpetuity by the GBW&StP.
The GBStP&N went into bankruptcy in 1896 along with its parent road, and
the line was purchased by the newly-organized Green Bay &
Western on June 5, 1896 and operated as a profitable branch line from
that point on.
- Green Bay, Winona, & Saint Paul Railroad
- The GBW&StP was incorporated on May 16, 1881. It purchased the
bankrupt Green Bay & Minnesota for $2,000,000 and
took over operations on October 14, 1881. High operating costs kept the
railroad in financial difficulties. The only new construction done was a
2.23-mile spur line from Wisconsin Rapids to Biron. However, the directors
of the railroad were involved in several rail lines which eventually became
part of the Green Bay Route, including the
- Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western, Green
Bay, Stevens Point & Northern, Iola & Northern,
and the never-built Green Bay, Minneapolis & St. Paul.
In 1883, the railroad became part owner of the Winona Bridge
Railway, giving the Green Bay Route access to Winona, Minnesota. The
railroad eventually went into bankruptcy and was sold at foreclosure in
- Iola & Northern Railroad (I&N) 1893-1914
- The Iola and Northern Railroad Company was planned as a 100 mile railroad,
linking the Green Bay, Winona, & Saint Paul at
Scandinavia with the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault
Ste. Marie near Prentice WI. The line was incorporated on May 9, 1893
and construction began in that year. Financial difficulties exacerbated by
the Panic of '93 resulted in only the first 4.7 miles of the line getting
built. The Green Bay & Western acquired all the stock
of the I&N in 1901, and on December 28, 1914 the railroad was merged
into the GB&W. It was operated as a branch line until
June 1, 1958 when it was abandoned.
- Jones Lumber & Mercantile Co. (JLMCo) ca. 1880s
- This spur was constructed in the mid to late 1880's for the Jones Lumber
and Mercantile Company of Black River Falls. It departed the main east-west
main line at a point approximately two and one-half miles west of the
village of Waterbury, Jackson County and ran in a south-southwesterly
direction to the Jones sawmill and planing mill. May not have been an
independent railroad, may have just been a spur of the GBWStP.
- Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western Railroad
- The KGB&W was incorporated on May 19,1890 to build eastward from Green
Bay to the Lake Michigan port of Kewaunee, in an attempt to gain a
year-round steamship connection. At first cargo was transferred break-bulk
between freight cars and steamships, but before long ferries began
transporting entire carloads across the lake to Frankfurt and Ludington,
Michigan. Train schedules were closely coordinated between the KGB&W and
the Green Bay & Western, which gained control of the
KGB&W on June 28, 1897 by ownership of 66% of the company's stock. The
KGB&W and its car ferry connections were crucial in transforming the
Green Bay Route from a sleepy Wisconsin short line into a Class I railroad
operating time freights between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The
Green Bay & Western fully merged the KGB&W on
June 1, 1969.
- Kewaunee, Green Bay & Winona Transport
- The KGB&WT was a trucking subsidiary organized by the Green Bay Route
after the railroad began its transformation to a high-speed bridge route.
The KGB&WT eventually acquired off-road maintenance equipment for the
GB&W, and became a wholly owned subsidiary in 1978.
- La Crosse & Southeastern (LC&SE)
- The LC&SE's 34-mile route extended from La Crosse to Viroqua. Access
to La Crosse was through trackage rights on the CB&Q.
Much of the line was abandoned on August 5, 1933, although a part remained
as a CMStP&P branch line until 1971.
- La Crosse, Trempealeau & Prescott Railroad
- The LT&P was incorporated in 1857, but never saw any construction. The
LT&P and the neighboring W&StP came under
control of eastern railroad interests who sold a majority stock holdings to
the C&NW in 1867. The C&NW used the LT&P
charter to construct a 29-mile line from Medary Junction (AKA Trempealeau
Junction, AKA Winona Junction) to the east banks of the Mississippi River
opposite the town of Winona, completed in December of 1870, at which time
the name was changed to the "Winona Eastern Connection", but was
commonly referred to as "The Cut Off." In May of 1871 the WEC (Cut
Off) and the W&StP were connected by a bridge system which had the wood
swing span collapse on the third day of use. It was replaced by an iron draw
bridge and reopened in January of 1872. For slightly more than a year
through train service was accomplished via the use of ferries and a winter
bridge. When the C&NW completed a line from Madison to Medary in
September of 1873 allowing for through C&NW train service to the east,
the "Winona Eastern Connection" name was dropped and replaced with
"C&NW". The GBW&StP used the
C&NW line and bridge from Marshland in order to get to Winona from 1874
to 1890 until they took partial ownership in the WBR and
built their own bridge over the Mississippi River in 1890.
- Lackawanna - Green Bay Line (LGB) 1899-
- After Lackawanna Transportation Company boat line
dissolved in 1899 the former manager of the line, Marcus Drake, started his
own company, the Green Bay - Lackawanna Line. He carried most of DL&W's
freight to 1905.
- Lackawanna Transportation Company (LTC) -1899
- The LTC was a boat line controlled by the Delaware,
Lackawanna & Western RR in the late 1800s. It transported freight
and passengers from the DL&W to the Green Bay, Winona,
& Saint Paul RR, also controlled by the same interests. It dissolved
and re-formed as the Lackawanna - Green Bay Line in 1899.
- Manitowoc, Green Bay & Western (MGB&W)
- In 1884 the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western proposed
extending their line north from Two Rivers through Ahnapee (Algoma) to
Sturgeon Bay. After the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western
and Ahnapee & Western were built in the early 1890s
the Green Bay Route considered an extension south to Manitowoc which never
- Marshfield & Texas Railroad (M&T, M&SE) 1887-1901
- Commonly referred to as the Marshfield and Southeastern Railroad, may have formally changed its name to M&SE at some point. Acquired the Port Edwards, Centralia and Northern in 1896. The M&T was owned by the Wisconsin Central and fully merged into the WC in 1901.
- Michigan Interstate Railway (MI) 1977-1988
- Formed after the AA entered reorganization in 1974, MI
began operating the line on October 1, 1977. The car ferry operation was
discontinued in April 1982 and in 1983 MI filed for reorganization. The line
was sold to a newly formed AA in October 1988.
- Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT)
- The MWT acquired the Chesapeake & Ohio carferry
operations in July 1983. In November 1990 MWT ceased operations, bringing a
halt to a century of car ferry service to Kewaunee.
- Milwaukee & Northern Railway Company (M&N)
- Construction of the M&N began in Milwaukee in 1870, and its Northern
Division was extended to Green Bay in 1873. An extension to the Michigan
state line was started in 1881 under the guise of the Wisconsin &
Michigan Railroad Company and took five years to complete. The M&N was
purchased by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul &
Pacific in 1893.
- Milwaukee, Dexterville, and Northern (MD&N)
- The MD&N was organized by lumber baron George Hiles and began
construction northwest from Dexterville in October 1887. It extended
approximately 20 miles to serve timber interests in the area. The railroad
used GBW&StP trackage rights for several miles out
of Dexterville. On June 30, 1891 the Chicago, Milwaukee
& Saint Paul acquired the line.
- Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway
- The Lake Shore, as it was commonly known, had been founded in 1872 with
the merger of several predecessor roads. The extension of additional track,
eventually extending to Ashland, reached the GB&W's interchange in New
London in 1876. It competed with the Wisconsin Central for
the lumber and mining trade in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.
and became a part of the Chicago & North Western in
- Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie
Railway (MStP&SSM) 1888-1961
- Commonly known as the Soo Line, the MSt.P&SSM was aligned with the
Canadian Pacific and merged with the original Wisconsin
Central to create the 'official' Soo Line in 1961.
- Port Edwards, Centralia and Northern Railway (PEC&N) 1890-1896
- Built in 1890-91 between Port Edwards and Marshfield, the PEC&N interchanged with the GBW&StP at Grand Rapids (present-day Wisconsin Rapids). The line was sold to the Marshfield & Texas Railroad on Feb. 6, 1896; the M&T was owned by the Wisconsin Central Railway but not officially merged into the WC until 1901.
- Pere Marquette (PM) 1900-1947
- Formed in 1900 with the merger of several small lines in Michigan, the PM
began carferry service between Ludington, Michigan and Kewaunee the
following year. On June 6, 1947 the PM was merged into the Chesapeake
- Soo Line (SOO) 1961-1990
- Formed in 1961 when the MSt.P&SSM (informally
known as the 'Soo Line') merged the original Wisconsin Central
line. After purchasing the CMStP&P in 1985, the
Soo Line preferred the newly acquired line between Chicago and the Twin
Cities and sold its Wisconsin lines to the newly formed Wisconsin
Central in 1987. Canadian Pacific became full owner of the Soo Line in
Soo Line Historical and
- Toledo, Ann Arbor, & Northern Michigan Railway
- The TAA&NM was formed in 1878 and in 1892 began operating the very
first Lake Michigan car ferry, Ann Arbor #1, between Frankfort, Michigan and
Kewaunee. The TAA&NM went bankrupt in 1893. The road was reorganized in
1895 as the Ann Arbor.
- Waupaca - Green Bay Railway (W-GB) 1907-1921
- After thirty years of unsuccessful attempts to get a second railroad line
to Waupaca and a nearby granite quarry, the W-GB was incorporated on January
14, 1907 by local businessmen. Service between Waupaca and Scandinavia
(junction with the Green Bay & Western and Iola
& Northern) began in January 1908. In 1913 the Waupaca end was
extended a mile east to service the potato warehouse district in an effort
to avoid the high switching rates of the Wisconsin Central
but the added indebtedness of the construction along with a poor potato crop
in 1917 forced the line into bankruptcy. The line became the Waupaca branch
of the Green Bay & Western on January 1, 1922 and was
abandoned in 1947.
- West Wisconsin Railroad (WW) 1873-1880
- Began in 1868, the WW followed the original land grant of the
never-constructed Tomah and Lake St. Croix RR. It reached Merrillan in 1869
and Saint Paul in 1872. The railroad merged into the Chicago,
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha in 1880.
- Western Refrigerator Line Company (WRX) 1929-
- The Western Refrigerator Line Company was organized in 1929 to operate a
fleet of 500 reefers for the Green Bay & Western.
Several of the top officers were also officers of Northwestern Refrigerator
Car Company (NWRX), which operated the Chicago & North
Western reefer fleet. Finances were handled by NWRX in Chicago, while
all other operations were handled by WRX out of Green Bay. In 1946 NWRX
becamse a division of North American Car Corporation and all of WRX's
operations were based in Green Bay. WRX's shop and headquarters were located
on the east end of Norwood Yard in Green Bay until the GB&W
bought out the property in the 1960s. In 1975 it was renamed Western
Refrigerator Line Company Terminal. By 1990 it was down to only 11
- Winona & Saint Peter Railroad (W&StP)
- In 1862, the W&StP was constructed west from Winona. The original
decision to terminate the Green Bay Route in East Winona was based on a hope
to link the railroad to the W&StP, which never happened after the
W&StP became part of the Chicago and North Western in
- Winona & Southwestern Railway (W&SW)
- The W&SW was organized to construct from Winona, Minnesota to the
general direction of Omaha, Nebraska. The city of Winona voted $150,000 in
bonds to aid the construction of the road, but later that year re-directed
$100,000 of the money to the Green Bay & Minnesota,
and nothing but surveys of the W&SW were completed. In 1887 Winona
bonded $100,000 to the railroad and it was constructed as far as Osage, Iowa
before it fell into receivership during the panic of 1893 and sold to the
successor Winona & Western.
- Winona & Western Railway (W&W) 1894-1901
- The W&W was the successor to the Winona &
Southwestern. Although the railroad had intentions to someday extend the
line westward, its first priority was improvements to the existing line. In
an ominous sign of the future, rails at the far end of the line were torn up
and used on the other improvements. The Chicago Great Western
acquired the W&W in late August 1901 and merged into the Wisconsin,
Minnesota, & Pacific, a subsidiary of the CGW,
and fully merged it in 1920.
- Winona Bridge Railway Company (WBR) 1890-1987
- The Green Bay Route owned one-third of the WBR, formed in 1890 to build
and operate a bridge over the Mississippi River from East Winona, Wisconsin
to the larger city of Winona, Minnesota. The line was 1.03 miles long and
opened for traffic on September 1, 1891. (Prior to the WBR, the Green Bay
Route had to interchange with the La Crosse,
Trempealeau & Prescott Railroad at Marshland, several miles east of
East Winona, to gain access across the Mississippi River.) With heavy
repairs needed on the trestle approach and an inability to handle 100-ton
cars, the bridge was closed to traffic in September 1985. The Burlington
Northern bought the Green Bay Route's share of the WBR in 1987 in an
ill-fated attempt to create a new rail subsidiary to compete for low-cost
intermodal service between Winona and Seattle. The bridge partially burned
on December 17, 1989 and was dismantled in the fall of 1990.
- Wisconsin & Michigan (W&M) 1881-1887
- The W&M was a subsidiary of the Milwaukee & Northern
which built a line north from Green Bay in 1881. In 1887 the M&N
acquired the W&M.
- Wisconsin & Northern (W&N) 1907-1921
- Construction of the W&N began in 1907 in Shawano to connect the
timberlands of northern Wisconsin with mills in the Fox River valley. By
1918 the line extended from Argonne in the north to Appleton on the other
end, with Soo Line connections at both ends. The
railroad became part of the Soo in 1921.
- Wisconsin Central (WC) -1961, 1987-2001
- The WC was incorporated in 1871 and began operations with service between
Menasha and Stevens Point; reached Ashland WI in 1877; St Paul MN in 1884;
Chicago IL in 1886; and Superior MN in 1908. Leased by Northern Pacific
1890-93. Leased in 1909 by Minneapolis, St. Paul &
Sault Ste. Marie - which gained access to Chicago, north-country ore
deposits, and Wisconsin's Fox River valley - until WC's 1944 bankruptcy,
after which MStP&SSM was WC's operating agent. WC
was folded into the Soo Line in the 1960 merger.
- A newly formed WC purchased the Lake States Transportation Division of the
Soo Line in 1987 and reused the name and emblem (which
dated from 1885) of the prior railroad. Wisconsin Central Ltd. ultimately
grew to a 3000-mile system, including FV&W, Algoma
Central, and Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Co. WC was acquired by Canadian
National on October 9, 2001, providing the missing link in CN's Y-shaped
- Wisconsin Valley Railroad (WV) 1856-1880
- The WV was incorporated in 1866 and built from Tomah to Wisconsin Rapids
in 1873. The line was eventually extended to Star Lake in northern
Wisconsin. It was sold to the Chicago Milwaukee & Saint
Paul in 1880.
- Wisconsin, Minnesota, & Pacific Railroad
- The WM&P was a subsidiary of the Chicago Great Western
consisting of its eastern Minnesota lines. It was fully merged into the CGW