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Flambeau 400
The Flambeau 400 was a streamlined passenger train operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway between Chicago, Illinois, and Ashland, Wisconsin, via Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was originally a special service in the summer time.

History
The Flambeau transported the new American middle class to their new leisure time in the North Woods of Wisconsin. Starting in 1935, the earlier trains were called the Flambeau, which operated on basically the same tracks as later trains did, except it skips Green Bay and runs through Hortonville to Eland, which by 1937 was switched to run through Green Bay. In July 1949 the Flambeau was inter-graded with the Shoreland 400 and the Valley 400 Between Chicago and Green Bay, past Green Bay they would be independent trains. Therefore the northbound trains would go via Fond du Lac, and southbound would go via Manitowoc.

Then Starting in 1950 It received the new name, Flambeau 400, The train drew its name from the C&NW's popular Twin Cities 400, so-named for making the 400-mile run from Chicago to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 400 minutes, and Flambeau, the French word for a torch. Later the Flambeau 400 and Peninsula 400 received bi-level equipment in 1958. Serving the north woods of Wisconsin it saw heavy tourist traffic, But by May 1968, it was losing thousands of dollars for the Northwestern, so in 1969 the Flambeau became an unnamed Chicago and Green Bay train with seasonal service to Ashland.

The last Flambeau rolled out of the North Woods on January 5, 1971, Amtrak did not include Green Bay and Ashland in its initial route structure and the service ended May 1, 1971.

Flambeau drumhead
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CNW Flambeau 400 arriving at Eland, WI in September of 1964. Photo by Roger Puta.
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CNW's Flambeau 400 arriving at Eland, WI in September of 1964.  Photo by Roger Puta.

Ink blotter advertising the Chicago and North Western Railway's Flambeau.
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Ink blotter advertising the Chicago and North Western Railway's Flambeau.

Brochure featuring the Flambeau 400 and Peninsula 400.

Brochure featuring the Flambeau 400 and Peninsula 400.

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Equipment
The consist varied over the years and by seasonal demand. The number of cars varied between ten and two. Trains may have had a coach-lounge instead of a diner, and some trains had neither. Until 1958 the train used heavy weight 56-seat single level coaches, when in 1958 the order of new gallery cars came. The train also feature a dining car that had a false top to match the gallery cars, the dining cars were dropped at Green Bay. The motive power in the early years by R-1 "Ten-wheeler"'s on the Watersmeet branch, and E-2-a Pacifics every where else. But by the early 50's late 40's it switch to E-8's and F-7's. Usually there would be two units, and at Green Bay, one would be dropped for the return Flambeau, along with the diner cars.

See also:

Twin Cities 400

C&NW