Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Postcards

In contrast with the cards shown a few days ago, these all have “Pacific” in the railroad name so are from after 1928. Also in contrast to some of the previous cards, these all appear to have been issued by the railroad.


Click any image to download a PDF of that postcard.

This brightly colored card shows the Pioneer Limited, Milwaukee’s premiere overnight train between Chicago and the Twin Cities. Inaugurated in 1898, replacing a train with no name, it was one of the first named trains in the country. Before coming out of bankruptcy, the St. Paul Road was one of the rare railroads that operated its own sleeping cars, but by the time this card was issued, Pullman would have taken over.

Milwaukee’s route through Sixteen Mile Canyon and the Eagle Nest Tunnel was one of the highlights of the journey. This card’s statement that the canyon is in the Bitterroot Mountains is in error; those mountains are about 200 miles west of the canyon.

The route through Sixteen Mile Canyon was pioneered by the Montana Railroad, which the Milwaukee purchased and rebuilt at a higher elevation to avoid flooding. The canyon was named after Sixteen Mile Creek, which flowed into the Missouri River 16 miles below the confluence of the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin rivers at Three Forks, Montana.

This linen postcard, probably from around 1940, shows Milwaukee’s depot in Austin, Minnesota. This was on a branch line, but Austin is the home of Hormel Foods (makers of Spam), so the railroad kept passenger service to Austin until 1953. Apparently, the art deco station still exists.


Leave a Reply