Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Co.
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Co.

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Co.

CM&StP Brochure
The Milwaukee & Waukesha Rail Road Co., founded in Wisconsin in 1847, soon became the Milwaukee & Mississippi; in the 1860s, it became part of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. In 1874, one year after it completed a new line between Milwaukee and Chicago, the railroad became known as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. Between 1874 and 1887, the amount of track owned by this road—which operated mainly in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, but eventually reached Seattle—grew from 1,400 miles to nearly 5,700 miles. Over the same period, annual revenues rose from $3 million to $10 million. The company's general offices moved to Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century. By 1919, the Milwaukee Road's track exceeded 10,000 miles. The following decades were difficult ones for the company, which entered bankruptcy both in 1925 and again during the Great Depression. By 1965, the company still owned more than 10,000 miles of road, employed over 16,000 people nationwide, and had nearly $250 million in annual revenues. By the mid-1970s, the road still employed about 3,500 people in the Chicago area. The company entered bankruptcy again in 1977, reorganized, and divested itself of two-thirds of its track. In 1985, the Soo Line purchased the Milwaukee Road. Five years later, the Canadian Pacific acquired the Soo Line.