Soo Line Railroad
The Soo Line Railroad (reporting mark SOO) is the primary United States railroad subsidiary of the Class I Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), controlled through the Soo Line Corporation. The Soo Line was a Class I railroad under independent operation from 1961–2000, operating in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba. Although it is named for the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (MStP&SSM), which was commonly known as the Soo Line after the phonetic spelling of Sault, it was formed in 1961 by the consolidation of that company with two other CP subsidiaries, the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad and Wisconsin Central Railroad. It is also the successor to other Class I railroads, including the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway (acquired 1982) and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road, acquired at bankruptcy in 1985). On the other hand, a large amount of mileage was spun off in 1987 to Wisconsin Central Ltd., now part of the Canadian National Railway. The Soo Line and the Delaware and Hudson Railway, the CP's other major subsidiary (before the 2008 DM&E acquisition), presently do business as the Canadian Pacific Railway, and most equipment has been repainted into the CP's scheme, but the U.S. Surface Transportation Board groups all CP's U.S. subsidiaries under the Soo Line name for reporting purposes. Its headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The company's main line begins at Portal, North Dakota on the Canadian border, and extends southeast along former MStP&SSM trackage to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul). Ex-Milwaukee Road trackage takes the Soo Line from the Twin Cities to Chicago via Milwaukee. Between Chicago and Detroit, where the CP-owned Detroit River Tunnel connects back into Canada, the Soo Line has trackage rights over the Norfolk Southern Railway and haulage rights over CSX Transportation.
Major branches include a connection from the border at Noyes to Glenwood, Minnesota and, until it was sold to the Indiana Rail Road in 1983, a line from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky.
Through trackage rights over the BNSF Railway, the Soo Line also serves Duluth from the Twin Cities.
At the end of 1970, the railroad operated 4,693 miles of road on 6,104 miles of track; that year it reported 8,249 million ton-miles of revenue freight and no passengers.
Present Soo Line Railroad Company was actually incorporated October 19, 1949 in Minnesota as the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad, as part of the plan for reorganizing the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway and subsidiary Mineral Range Railroad. When CP consolidated several subsidiaries on January 1, 1961, it used this company to merge the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad and Wisconsin Central Railroad into, and renamed it to the present name, Soo Line Railroad. The Soo Line gained control of the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway (MN&S), a Twin Cities-area short line, in June 1982.
Passenger service was mostly eliminated by the 1961 merger, but several trains remained for a few more years. These were a Saint Paul to Duluth daytime train known only as Trains 62 and 63 (discontinued June 1961); the overnight Chicago to Duluth Laker and its Saint Paul connection (both discontinued January 15, 1965); the Twin Cities to Winnipeg Winnipeger (discontinued March 25, 1967); and the Saint Paul to Portal, North Dakota Soo-Dominion that during the summer, ran through to Vancouver via a connection with Canadian Pacific Railway's The Dominion at Moose Jaw. It was discontinued in December 1963, and the western Canada cars were handled on the Winnipeger for two more summers before they too were pulled. The Soo Line's last passenger train was the Copper Country Limited, a joint service with the Milwaukee Road inherited from the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic. This Chicago-Champion-Calumet service was discontinued May 8, 1968. In addition there were several mixed trains, with additional ones created to enable the discontinuance of the Saint Paul to Portal passenger train. Some mixed train services gained notoriety because passengers were conveyed in one direction only.
A Soo Line Slideshow.
Soo Line 2500 leads a streamliner special in Duluth, July 12, 2014.
By Keon McGarvey (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Some of the railroad's diesel locomotives have been preserved:
Soo 700, an EMD GP30, at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Duluth. Restored for use on their North Shore Scenic Railroad.
Soo 703, an EMD GP30, at the Colfax Railroad Museum, Colfax, Wisconsin.
Soo 715, an EMD GP30, is preserved at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin although it wears a Wisconsin Central paint scheme.
Soo 500, an EMD FP7, at Ladysmith, Wisconsin.
Soo 2500, an EMD FP7, at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Duluth. Also restored for use on their North Shore Scenic Railroad.
In addition, a number of the railroad's 145 steel cabooses have been preserved.
Use as a Trail
The Soo Line Trail was created from former pieces of the railroad which has extended down into the Lake Wobegon Trail. The trails are enjoyed by walkers, runners, and bikers in the area and prized for how flat they are.
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.