The series of Milwaukee Road posts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1980 closure of the western extension of one of North America’s major Class 1 systems – this entailed the shutdown of more than two thousand miles of railroad. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific is nowadays a ‘fallen flag’ – having ceased operations entirely in 1986 – most of its Pacific extension now forms part of biking or hiking trails.
The mountainous sections through the Rockies and Cascades were no doubt the most popular of the Milwaukee Road and are my favourite too. I did a number of special posts focusing on the longest section of electrified line between Harlowton and Avery.
One might wonder at the feature image I created for it shows a Bipolar locomotive in the context of the Rockies Mountain division when these locomotives were dedicated to the Cascades division. Yes this might be a scene near the Snoqualmie tunnel but its not widely known the Bipolars worked in the Rockies Mountain division from the late fifties until about 1961.
Electric Railroad through the Rockies (intro to the Milwaukee’s Rocky mountains division.)
The next four posts covered the 440 miles of route from Harlowton to Avery (including the Pipestone and St. Paul passes) with maps and different views of the line – including historic scenes and how the route looks today. The highest section of line was at 6347 feet and carried the Milwaukee Road across the continental divide.
Gradient profile of the Harlowton to Avery section.
Along the Milwaukee Road #1 (Harlowton to Butte)
Along the Milwaukee Road #2 (Butte to Missoula)
Along the Milwaukee Road #3 (Missoula to Saltese)
Along the Milwaukee Road #4 (Dominion to Avery)
The next is a new feature covering mostly unseen views of the Milwaukee’s Pacific Extension. There’s a bonus too – a feature on the western terminus of the line at Tacoma.
MILW Picture Gallery #1 (Harlowton to Deer Lodge)
MILW Picture Gallery #2 (Deer Lodge to Avery/Tacoma)