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Mileposts Along the Soo Line


Mileposts Along the
Soo Line Railroad Company

Updates *NEW* January, 2018

(Time really flies as we get older and I am not immune to this for sure. Looking back on this site, it was over 10 years ago since it was created, but its still very relevant and there is a lot to talk about. Many good things have happened in those 10 years, more photos, rail upgrades, etc and we will look at that as well. I hope that interest will become a passion for people and we can create a whole new look at the Soo Line. Thanks for visiting, Mike.)

Come along with and explore this railroad from the rails that allowed it to transverse the territory it served. We will look at the various Divisions and Subdivisions of the Soo Line from the towns that it served, to the buildings, bridges, yards, locomotive and freight car facilities that lined it ROW.

The Soo Line started laying its rails in 1884 at Cameron, WI. From Cameron, it built lines east to Sault St. Marie, MI and west to St. Paul, MN. Through out the late 1800's and early 1900's it pushed as far west as Whitetail, MT. The Soo Line continued to grow as it leased the Wisconsin Central. In 1960, The Soo, Wisconsin Central, and Duluth South Shore & Atlantic merged into one railroad which was coined the "New Soo". In 1983 the Soo purchased the regional Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern, MNS, with the intent to extend its lines to Kansas City, KS with the purchase of the ex-Rock Island Spine Line. When this attempt was defeated by the Chicago & North Western purchase of the line, the Soo re-grouped and focused on the Milwaukee Road as it had a similar line to KC. In 1985, the Soo completed its purchase of the Milwaukee Road and fulfilled its goal of reaching the gateway of Kansas City. With the purchase of the Milwaukee Road, several of the original lines in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois were grouped under a newly formed subsidiary named "Lake States" in 1987. The Lake States unit operated for only a short time because the cost savings that were needed for the unit to survive were not realized and the lines were put up for sale. The sale of the lines in the Lake States subsidiary were completed on October 11, 1987 to the newly formed regional Wisconsin Central Ltd.

The Soo Line itself operated as an independent company until 1992 when the Canadian Pacific, long time majority shareholder, completed the purchase of outstanding shares and took control. The Soo Line was no more and was grouped under the Canadian Pacific renamed the CP Rail System.

The former lines belonging to the Wisconsin Central continued to thrive as the WC focused on Customer Service as its trademark. In 2002, the Wisconsin Central itself was taken over by the Canadian National and now is grouped under its Canadian parent.

The line to Kansas City that the Soo Line purchased in the 1985 Milwaukee Road merger has itself been sold off to different carriers as well as many of the grain lines in North Dakota with the CP wanting just a core system.

With all the changes to the map of the Soo Line through mergers, sales and takeovers, we will focus on the lines of the original Soo to start. These are the three original Divisions of the Soo prior to 1983. As time goes, and interest develops, we will look at adding lines of the former Milwaukee, and MNS.

I hope that you enjoy this site and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Soo 751, 761, & 377 bring train 909 through the beautiful northern Wisconsin near Prentice, WI.

A Soo Train marches up Byron Hill on the First Subdivision of the Eastern Division

Although this is an big goal to document the lines that made up the Soo, I hope that once you visit the site, you may have photos to add, or comments.

The purpose of the site is to aid people researching the history of the road, or those who just want to remember the glory days of the Soo and a look into the past of the once great railroad.

Enjoy and I hope to hear from those of have comments and additions.

Please send me your comments, questions or concerns to  Thanks!

This site is not affiliated with the Canadian Pacific Railroad or the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society. All images and photographs are used with permision when able and are owned by the photographer and copyright protected.