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Divisions of the Soo Line

Mileposts Along the Soo Line

The Soo Line had Three Divisions in its system prior to the Milwaukee Road merger. 

The divisions were as follows: 

Western Division, which was composed of the lines west of Thief River Falls and Glenwood to Portal and Whitetail. It was contained  all the lines in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Western Minnesota.

The Subdivisions in the Western Division were as follows;

  • First Subdivision - Glenwood to Enderlin
  • First Subdivision  (Veblen Line) - Veblen Jct. to Grenville
  • Second Subdivision - Enderlin to Harvey
  • Third Subdivision - Harvey to Portal
  • Forth Subdivision - Thief River Falls to Drake
  • Fifth Subdivision - Fordville to Kenmare
  • Sixth Subdivision - Flaxton to Whitetail
  • Seventh Subdivision - Hankinson to Bismarck
  • Seventh Subdivision  (Pollock Line) - Wishek to Pollock
  • Eighth Subdivision - Bismarck to Drake
  • Eighth Subdivision (New Town Line) - Max to New Town

Enderlin was designated as the Division Headquarters for the Western Division.

Central Division - Basically all the lines located in Minnesota were included in the Central Division.  The lines west from Superior, Weyerhauser, and Chippewa Falls to Thief River Falls and Glenwood were included in the Cental Division. 

Subdivisions in the Central Division were;

  • First Subdivision - Railway Transfer, Minneapolis to Glenwood
  • Second Subdivision - Glenwood to Thief River Falls
  • Third Subdivision - Thief River Falls to Noyes
  • Fourth Subdivision - Federal Dam to Plummer
  • Fifth Subdivision - Junction 278 to Federal Dam
  • Fifth Subdivision  (Range line) - Aitkin to Oberg Mine
  • Fifth Subdivision  (Brooten Line) - Brooten to Moose Lake
  • Sixth Subdivision - Dresser to Duluth
  • Seventh Subdivision - Marshal St. to C.F. Yard
  • Seventh Subdivision  (Weyerhauser Line) Withrow to Weyerhauser
  • Seventh Subdivision  (Rice Lake Line) - Cameron to Rice Lake
  • Seventh Subdivision  (Ridgeland Line) - Barron to Ridgeland
  • Seventh Subdivision  (N. St Paul Line) - Trout Brook Jct to Carnelian Jct.
  • Seventh Subdivision  (St. Paul Line) - Cardigan Jct to St. Paul
  • Seventh Subdivision  (St. Paul Industrial Line) - Mississippi St, NP Yard to St. Paul Union Station.

Some more well known locations were, the trap rock facility in Dresser, WI; the large "Y" bridge at Camden Place, the Cuyuna Iron Ore Range and Shoreham were all part of this division.  The Division Headquarters for the Central Division was located in the Soo Line Building in Minneapolis.

Eastern Division - The Eastern Division contained the lines in Wisconsin and Michigan.  The lines west from Sault St. Marie, Manitowac, Milwaukee and Chicago to Superior, Weyerhauser and Chippewa Falls made up the Eastern Division.  Most of the original Wisconsin Central and all of the former DSS&A lines were contained in the Eastern Division. 

The Subdivision on the Eastern Division were;

  • First Subdivision - Shops Yard to Chicago
  • First Subdivision (Milwaukee Line) - Richfield to Shops Yard
  • Second Subdivision - Stevens Point to Shops Yard.
  • Second Subdivision (Manitowoc Line) - Neenah to Manitowoc
  • Third Subdivision - C.F. Yard to Stevens Point 
  • Third Subdivision (Eau Claire Line) C.F. Yard to Eau Claire
  • Third Subdivision (Greenwood Line) Marshfield to Greenwood
  • Third Subdivision (Nekoosa Line) - Marshfield to Nekoosa
  • Fourth Subdivision - Weyerhauser to Rhinelander
  • Fifth Subdivision - Owen to Superior
  • Sixth Subdivision - Spencer to Ashland
  • Sixth Subdivision (Athens Line) - Abbotsford to Athens
  • Sixth Subdivision (Bessemer Line) - Mellen to Wakefield Mine
  • Seventh Subdivision - Superior to Ewen
  • Seventh Subdivision (White Pine Line) - Bergland to White Pine
  • Eighth Subdivision - Ewen to Marquette Ore Docks
  • Eighth Subdivision (Calumet Line) Nestoria to Calumet
  • Eighth Subdivision (Lake Linden Line) - West End Bridge to Lake Linden
  • Ninth Subdivision - Marquette to St. Ignace
  • Ninth Subdivision (Raco Line) Raco Jct. to Raco
  • Tenth Subdivision - Gladstone to Sault St. Marie
  • Tenth Subdivision (Rapid River Line) Rapid River to Eben Jct.
  • Eleventh Subdivision - Rhinelander to Gladstone
  • Twelfth Subdivision - Argonne to Neenah

The well known locations on the Eastern Division were: Ladysmith, Marshfield, Stevens Point, Owen, Ashland, Neenah, N. Fon Du Lac, Gladstone, Trout Lake, St. Ignace, Marquette, Sault St. Marie, Milwaukee, Chicago (Schiller Park).  The Division Headquarters was located in Stevens Point.

As a note, as crew change points were changed, lines abandoned, and trains changed, the subdivisions were changed as well.   The original list of subdivisions listed here was taken from a 1970 Soo Line Station Manual, effective March 1, 1970.  Attempts will be taken to note changes to each subdivision as more information becomes available.

Shortly after the Milwaukee Merger, the Divisions disappeared into one system timetable.  The rails were arranged into subs instead of being a separate sub-division of a major division.

When Lake States was formed, there was one timetable issued, Lake States Transportation Division Timetable No 1, Effective 3:01am, Sunday, April 5, 1987..  It was in effect up to the end of Lake States and the sale to the Wisconsin Central Ltd.