Milwaukee Road 2017 Calendar
Chartered in 1849, the Milwaukee Road eventually extended its tracks across the northern tier of the United States to the Pacific Ocean. Noted for its innovative electric motive power and passenger service, the line’s successes were overshadowed by weak management and strong competition. By spring 1982, all Milwaukee lines from the West Coast to Minnesota had been abandoned, and in 1986 the remaining midwestern lines were absorbed into the Soo Line. Today CP Rail operates what remains, but the history of the Milwaukee Road lives on in historic photographs like those in this 2017 calendar.
Published by Tide-mark, the Milwaukee Road 2017 wall calendar opens to 13.25 x 20 inches.
Engines and trains featured in the 2017 calendar include:
Milwaukee Class EF-5 Motor, one of four EF-5 Unit Boxcab Motors, is at Othello, Washington, on the eastern end of the Pacific Division, adding some cars to westbound Time Freight #263 on December 22, 1957. The Rocky Mountain Division, 440 miles from Harlowton, MT to Avery, ID was electrified. The Idaho Division, 212 miles from Avery to Othello, WA was not electrified and operated with the prevailing conventional power. The Coast Division from Othello to Seattle and Tacoma, WA was electrified. Much consideration was given to electrifying the Idaho Division, but there was never enough business to justify the expense. In the end, on June 15, 1974 all electric operations ceased and Diesel power reigned supreme—for a while. Serious financial problems dogged the Milwaukee Road, and by the early 1980’s, the entire western portion of the railroad was abandoned. Then to add insult to injury, the remaining railroad was sold to the Soo Line in 1985. Milwaukee Road became only a memory.
Milwaukee Road 6-A, a Fairbanks-Morse Erie A, is on a westbound commuter train leaving Chicago’s Union Station in October 1956. Purchased as an A-B-A Set and delivered in early 1947 with several other similar sets intended for use between Chicago and Tacoma, WA on Trains 15 and 16, the flagship “Olympian Hiawatha.” Due to mechanical problems and several total engine failures, however, the Erie A’s were removed from that service and used on short haul trains, usually mixed with EMD power. They were also used in commuter service, where if there was a problem, help was not far away. In the mid-1950s, all were placed in the Chicago commuter pool, and by 1963 all were off the roster.
Milwaukee Road 1062, a Class B-4 Ten Wheeler, is on the point of a mixed train (hauling both passengers and freight) at the Mineral Point, WI depot in the summer of 1952. 1062 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and delivered in September of 1902. Milwaukee owned 508 assorted Ten Wheelers in about forty different classes. They were well suited for branch line and local trains. 1062 was a survivor, as it remained in service for over fifty years. By 1953, little 1062 had outlived its usefulness and it was stricken from the power roster.
Class EP-2 Bipolar Motor #E-1, resplendent in a fresh coat of paint, steam boiler cooking away, is at Deer Lodge, MT on April 29, 1958. Milwaukee Road had five Bipolars, the only ones ever built. They were made by General Electric and delivered in 1918 and 1919. Known for an almost amazing rate of acceleration, they were used primarily on passenger trains. All five were still in service and were regularly operated on the “Olympian Hiawatha” trains as late as 1958. But they were 40 years old, and their age was catching up with them. All were out of service by 1960. Of the original five, only one was saved, and it was donated to the St. Louis Museum of Transport, where it remains today.
Milwaukee Road 965 and three other rebuilt GP20’s are northbound with Time Freight #101 from Louisville, KY to Bensenville, IL, seen here coming through Bennettsville, IN on May 12, 1973. Milwaukee Road took a group of pretty worn out GP-9’s and rebuilt them to GP-20 specifications, increasing the horsepower per unit from 1,750 to 2,000. It also added new systems and components, so that the fifty-four units undergoing this transformation were “like new” at a fraction of the cost of new EMD GP-20s. These locomotives proved to be very dependable and most of them provided another decade of service.
Milwaukee Road 105-C and 95-C, both FP7 Units built by Electromotive, are in “push-pull” commuter service at Elgin, IL on June 19, 1966.
Milwaukee 106-A is leading three other units on an eastbound freight past the tower at Rondout, IL, where it crosses the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern on July 19, 1967. For reference, Chicago Union Station is a little more than 32 miles further east
Milwaukee Road 1251, a Class C-2 Consolidation, is in its last year of service, seen here on the business end of a work train at Milwaukee, WI on August 23, 1953. One of 248 Consolidations (2-8-0) in service on the Milwaukee Road at various times, 1251 was removed from service and sold for scrap on June 4, 1954.
Milwaukee Road 204, a Class S-2 Northern, is on the point of a freight arriving at Elm Grove, WI in October 1955. It was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and delivered to the Milwaukee in November of 1937. There were 52 of these 4-8-4’s in three different classes, but all were similar. They were excellent locomotives, at home leading both freight and passenger-mail-trains. 204 remained in service until the end of 1955; like much of the newer steam power on most railroads, it had a short life, displaced by diesel after only eighteen years. Two Northerns have survived. 263 is on display at the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, IL, and 261 has been restored by Railroading Heritage of Midwest America and operates occasional passenger specials.
Milwaukee Road 18A and 18B are on Train #5, the “Morning Hiawatha” coming through West Lake Forest, IL on October 20, 1946. These E7’s are really getting with it speedwise; it is non-stop, 75-mile trip from Chicago to Milwaukee, with a scheduled departure time of 10:30am from Chicago and an arrival time of 11:52am in Milwaukee; 75 miles in 82 minutes is stepping right along. In competition for the Chicago to Milwaukee passenger business, they held their own against the Burlington Zephyrs and Chicago and North Western’s 400’s.
Milwaukee Road 403, a Class L2-b Mikado, is at the Savanna, IL engine terminal on October 3, 1955. 403 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in September 1922; it was one of an even 500 Mikados operated by the Milwaukee. After 32 years of service, 403 was retired on December 31, 1955.
Milwaukee Road had a substantial commuter business from Chicago into the northwest suburbs. On December 28, 1961, 38C, an E9A, built by EMD, has a midday, single bi-level “push-pull” commuter car in tow as it makes a stop at the Franklin Park, IL depot.