Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

The Milwaukee Road

The marker is located in the mezzanine of Union Station, 225 South Canal Street, Chicago.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Amtrak National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Milwaukee Road Historical Association, Tim O'Mahony, and The Illinois State Historical Society.

Marker Description:
The Milwaukee Road (Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) was one the three Railroads that built Chicago's Union station. In 1956, the Milwaukee road was the third largest railroad track mileage (15,846) and sixth largest in revenues ($254 million), and employed more than 27,400 people.

Famous Milwaukee trains included the Olympian Hiawatha and Columbian (Chicago to Seattle), Morning and Afternoon Hiawatha (Chicago to Minneapolis), Midwest Hiawatha (Chicago to Omaha), Southwest Limited (Milwaukee/Chicago/Kansas City) and the Copper Country Limited (Chicago to northwest Wisconsin/Michigan). The design and features of The Hiawatha trains made Milwaukee Road one of the few railroads to make a profit on passenger service during the 1930s. These same trains moved thousands of troops during World War II in the 1940s.

Autos, trucks, and airlines took away much of the passenger and freight service in the 1950s and 1960s, and by 1977 the railroad filed for bankruptcy. It was sold in 1985 to the Soo Line railroad and local lines to Metra. Metra's Milwaukee-North and Milwaukee-West commuter lines were once lines to the northwest and midwest. The Chicago Transit authority's Red line north of Wilson Avenue and Purple Line were also once a part of the Milwaukee Road.

Amtrak's Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago continues The Milwaukee Road's tradition of high speed train travel. This station is a reminder of this one great railroad's presence.

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