From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie
Railroad (reporting mark SOO) was
a Class I
railroad subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway in
the Midwest U.S. Commonly known as the
Soo Line after the phonetic spelling
of Sault, it was merged with several other major CP subsidiaries on
January 1, 1961 to form the Soo Line Railroad. As time passes,
more and more Soo Line equipment is being repainted into the
Canadian Pacific's current paint scheme, slowly erasing the Soo's
identity as a subsidiary railroad.
The Soo Line was never a major carrier of passenger traffic
since its route between Chicago and Minneapolis was much longer
than the competing Milwaukee
Road, Chicago and North Western and Chicago, Burlington
and Quincy Railroad railroads. The Soo Line also had no direct
access to Milwaukee.
The primary trains operated by the Soo were:
- The Laker which operated an overnight service from Chicago's Grand Central
Station to Duluth-Superior with a portion to Minneapolis-St. Paul. An additional portion
served Ashland, Wisconsin until January
1959. The Laker was discontinued completely on January 15,
Winnipeger which operated an overnight Minneapolis-St.
Paul to Winnipeg, Manitoba
service. It was discontinued in March 1967.
- A Minneapolis-St. Paul to western Canada service. During the 1920s and 1930s the
Soo Line operated the Soo-Pacific, a summer only Chicago
to Vancouver service
with the Canadian Pacific Railway. This
later became The Mountaineer, which was then reduced to
Minneapolis-St. Paul to Vancouver, before being discontinued in
early August 1960. The Mountaineer was a summer season only train,
that carried exclusively sleeping cars but no coaches.
During the non-summer months, the train ran as the
Soo-Dominion from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where it was
combined into Canadian Pacific Railway's
Dominion transcontinental passenger train. It was cut back
to a Saint Paul to Portal, North Dakota run after CP
discontinued passenger service to Portal at the end of 1960,
before being discontinued entirely in December 1963.
- A Minneapolis-St. Paul to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
overnight train. Discontinued March 1959.
Additionally, local trains served Chicago to Minneapolis-St.
Paul, Duluth-Superior to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth to Thief River Falls,
Minnesota, and some summer-only services which relieved The
Mountaineer of the local work along its route.
The Presidents of the Soo Line were:
- William D. Washburn,
- Thomas Lowry,
- F. N. Finney, 1890–1892.
- Edmund Pennington, 1909–1922.
- G. R. Huntingdon, 1922–1923.
- C. T. Jaffray, 1924–1937.
- G. W. Webster, 1937–1944.
- H. C. Grout, 1944–1949.
- G. Allen MacNamara, 1950–1960.
The Soo Line Building
in Minneapolis served as
company headquarters. It is still used by Canadian Pacific.
- September 29, 1883: A consortium of flour mill owners in Minneapolis form the Minneapolis,
Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railway to build a railroad
between its two namesake cities to avoid sending shipments through
- June 11, 1888: The Canadian Pacific Railway
acquires control of the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic
Railway, consolidating it with the Minneapolis and Pacific Railway,
Minneapolis and St. Croix Railway, and Aberdeen, Bismarck and North
Western Railway to form the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault
Ste. Marie Railway.
- 1904: The Soo Line acquires the Bismarck, Washburn and Great
- 1908: The Soo Line acquires a majority interest in the Wisconsin Central Railway, and obtains a
99-year lease of the property in 1909.
- 1910: The Soo line acquires the Cuyuna Iron Range Railway.
- 1913: The Soo Line acquires the Minnesota
Northwestern Electric Railway and the Fairmount and Veblen
- 1921: The Soo Line acquires the Wisconsin and Northern
- 1932: The Wisconsin Central Railway enters receivership.
- December 31, 1937: The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste.
Marie Railway files for bankruptcy.
- 1944: The Wisconsin Central Railway enters bankruptcy.
- September 1, 1944: The Soo Line reorganization takes effect,
emerging as the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie
- 1953: The Valley City Street and Interuban Railway is sold to
the Soo Line.
- 1954: The Wisconsin Central emerges from its bankruptcy as the
Wisconsin Central Railroad.
- January 1, 1961: The Soo Line Railroad is formed through a
merger of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad,
Wisconsin Central Railroad, and Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic
A number of the railroad's rolling stock has been preserved in
museums across America, some in operational condition.
Some of the more notable equipment is:
- Soo 500-A an EMD FP7
displayed at Ladysmith, Wisconsin
- Soo 2500-A an EMD FP-7, at the Lake Superior Railroad
Museum, Duluth, Minnesota. Restored for use
on their North Shore Scenic
- Soo 700, an EMD GP30,
at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Duluth, Minnesota. Restored
for use on their North Shore Scenic Railroad.
- Soo 703, an EMD GP30, at the Colfax Railroad Museum, Colfax,
This list is incomplete; you can
help by expanding it.
- Abbey, Wallace W (1984). The
Little Jewel. Pueblo, Colorado: Pinon Productions. LCCN 84-14873. ISBN
- Dorin, Patrick C (1979). The
Soo Line. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing Company. LCCN 79-12204. ISBN
- Gilchinski, Steve (February 1997). "Soo Line
2-8-2 back in steam". Trains magazine 57
- Gjevre, John A.
(1990) . Saga of the Soo, west from Shoreham (second
ed.). Morehead, Minnesota: Gjevre Books. LCCN 90-90283.