Milwaukee Road 1968 Timetable

The Milwaukee’s 40-page 1956 timetable was, by 1968, reduced to just four pages, no longer than the 1951 Pacific Northwest timetable. These four pages contain just eight tables of trains.


Click image to download a 2.8-MB PDF of this timetable.

These eight tables include:

  1. Chicago-Twin Cities, showing four westbound and five eastbound trains (as was the case in past timetables, the eastbound Fast Mail carried a coach, while the westbound one did not);
  2. Minneapolis-Aberdeen, with just one train;
  3. Chicago-Milwaukee, showing seven round trips per day;
  4. Chicago-Los Angeles;
  5. Chicago-Portland/Denver;
  6. Chicago-San Francisco;
  7. Chicago-Wausau, which was the Afternoon Hiawatha from Chicago to New Lisbon and then a coach train from there to Wausau;
  8. Chicago-Madison, a choice of two trains a day or a bus connection at Columbus from the Hiawathas; and
  9. Chicago-Walworth and Chicago-Elgin suburban tables, which (as in previous timetables) just list miles, not schedules as there were no doubt several trains a day.

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Milwaukee Road 1956 Timetable

Together with yesterday’s timetable, we have snapshots of Milwaukee Road passenger operations before and after Union Pacific transferred its trains from Chicago & North Western to the Milwaukee. The two timetables have the same number of pages even though this one devotes three pages to the new trains: one each for trains to Portland/Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


Click image to download a 25.6-MB PDF of this 40-page timetable.

The railroad fit the new pages in by reducing the four pages that the previous timetable had devoted to equipment listings for major trains to less than a page and by moving the equipment listings for some of the minor trains to the pages on which those train tables were located.

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Milwaukee Road 1955 Timetable

Train numbers 17 & 18 once denoted the Columbian, but by the time of this timetable they had lost the name, only operated as far as Marmarth, ND, and were merged with the Pioneer Limited east of Minneapolis.


Click image to download a 26.1-MB PDF of this 40-page timetable.

How did railroads come up with train numbers? The Pioneer Limited was trains 1 & 4. The Copper Country Limited was 2 & 9; I don’t see any sign of train 3. The Morning Hiawatha was 5 & 6, but the Afternoon Hiawatha was 100 and 101.

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Columbian Envelope

Though the Columbian only had a diner-lounge car to entertain passengers bored with their coach or sleeping car seats, it apparently was fancy enough to offer this stationery. It apparently wasn’t fancy enough for the stationery itself to be very fancy.


Click image to download a PDF of this envelope.

The Columbian began operating as the companion to the Olympian in 1911. As a secondary train, it was terminated, like so many other secondary trains, with the onset of the Depression in 1930. It was revived in 1947, when the new Olympian Hiawatha was inaugurated, with the Columbian using the Olympian‘s old equipment. The Milwaukee Road could not sustain two transcontinental trains, however, so the Columbian was phased out in 1955-1957, first going as far as Avery, Idaho, then cut back to Marmarth, ND, then Aberdeen, SD, then, in February 1957, Ortonville, MN, and finally, in April 1957, dropped entirely.

Milwaukee Pacific Northwest Timetable

This 1951 timetable focuses on the Olympian Hiawatha and Columbian. It also includes schedules for the Morning Hiawatha from Chicago to the Twin Cities, but for some reason not the Afternoon Hiawatha, even though that train continued to operate for another 19 years. The only other train on the timetable is one that terminates at Aberdeen; this one evidently connects with the Morning Hiawatha in Minneapolis, which must be why that train is on the timetable.


Click image to download a 2.7-MB PDF of this single-sheet (16″x9″–effectively four pages) timetable.

The equipment list shows that, in addition to coaches and sleeping cars, the Olympian Hiawatha had a diner, Skytop lounge car, and Tip-Top grill car all the way from Chicago to Tacoma, as well as a drawing room-parlor car from Chicago to the Twin Cities. The Columbian only had a diner-lounge car. This made it less attractive than, say, the Western Star, which had a diner, grill car, and observation lounge. The timetable describes the Olympian Hiawatha as “speedlined” while the Columbian was merely “electrified,” indicating that most if not all of its cars were heavyweights.

Yellowstone Via Gallatin Gateway

The Milwaukee Road did not have a great claim to have access to Yellowstone Park. Where the NP and UP went right to park entrances in Gardiner and West Yellowstone, Milwaukee’s closest approach to a park entrance was Gallatin Gateway, 76 miles from West Yellowstone. Even the Burlington, whose station at Cody was about 50 miles from the east entrance to the park, had a better position.


Click image to download a 25.9-MB PDF of this 32-page brochure. Note that the cover consists of mirror images of Old Faithful with superimposed horseback riders.

Gallatin Gateway wasn’t even on the Milwaukee’s main line, so cars full of passengers to Yellowstone would be detached from Milwaukee trains at Three Forks, Montana, and towed to the Gallatin Gateway Inn, which also served as the station. The Inn had a large dining room and several, but not a lot, of guest rooms. Buses to Yellowstone Park left the Inn after lunch.

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Olympian Hiawatha Brochure

This is a more plebeian version of the elegant color brochure issued about this train. Like the postcard, but unlike the color brochure, the black-and-white image on the cover of this brochure just has one train rather than two trains passing one another.


Click image to download a 4.8-MB PDF of this brochure, which unfolds to be 9″x24″.

Where the color brochure is dated May, 1947, a month before the train entered service, this black-and-white version is dated April 10, 1947. All of the illustrations in this one can be found in the much-longer (20 pp.) color one.

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Victory Vacations

This 76-page booklet says it was originally titled “Veterans Victory Vacations,” apparently in an attempt to justify recreational travel on the part of returning vets while World War II was still underway. This particular version, minus the “Veterans,” was published right after the war ended.


Click image to download a 40-MB PDF of this booklet.

The booklet has numerous black-and-white photos accompanied by silly comics showing men doing all kinds of manly things surrounded by scantily clad, admiring women–just what returning veterans no doubt hoped was waiting for them. One comic on page 23 would qualify as racist today, but even if you ignore the Sambo appearance of the waiter, just the fact that all the tourists are white while the servant was black was racist enough.

Milwaukee Road 1940 Timetable

The Milwaukee Road was a direct competitor over many of its routes with the Chicago & North Western. Both offered a dozen trains a day between Chicago and Milwaukee and several more trains a day to various cities in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Until 1955, the North Western had the advantage of being the favored partner with the Union Pacific for its trains to the West Coast. The Milwaukee had its own like to the West Coast which, unfortunately, was tertiary in importance after the GN and NP.


Click image to download a 36.1-MB PDF of this 48-page timetable.

For what it’s worth, the 1940 Milwaukee timetable was 20 pages shorter than the North Western’s 1939 timetable. Where the North Western had more than 120 tables (not counting connecting roads), the Milwaukee had 106.

C&NW 1962 Timetable

After the Union Pacific removed its City trains from the Chicago and North Western to the Milwaukee Road in 1956, C&NW passenger service rapidly declined. By 1962, when this timetable was produced, it had just five routes left:

  • Chicago-Twin Cities (with the once-a-day Twin Cities 400);
  • Chicago-Rochester-Mankato (the Rochester 400);
  • Chicago-Clinton, IA (the Kate Shelley 400);
  • Chicago-Ashland (the North Woods Fisherman and Flambeau 400, as well as the twice-a-day Green Bay 400s that only went as far as Green Bay); and
  • Chicago-Ishpeming, MI (the Peninsula 400 as well as the Sunday-only, northbound Valley 400 and companion southbound Shoreland 400 that only went as far as Menominee, MI).


Click image to download a 4.1-MB PDF of this three-panel (24″x9″) timetable.

Except for the Kate Shelley 400, most of these trains went through Milwaukee, thus providing seven trains a day between Milwaukee and Chicago, down from 13 in 1939. But only the Twin Cities 400 made it as far as Minneapolis, down from five in 1939. Trains to Omaha, Des Moines, Duluth, South Dakota, and Wyoming were long gone.

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