Great Northern 1944 Annual Report

The centerfold for the 1944 annual report is not as elaborate as in the previous two reports. Instead of a photo feature, it is simply a map of the GN system with little graphics showing the types of commodities carried by GN freight trains. More detailed tables indicate the railroad earned nearly a third of its 1944 freight revenues from agriculture, 18 percent from mining, 11 percent from lumber, 36 percent from “manufacturing and miscellaneous,” and a couple of percent from express and less-than-carload shipments.

Click image to download a 24.7-MB PDF of this 42-page report.

Regarding passenger, the report says, “Great Northern’s passenger revenue in 1944 of $20,816,206 was the largest in the Company’s history.” However, fares had dropped so that the company carried 80 percent more passenger miles than in 1920 “for practically the same revenue.” It adds that the company had ordered five new light-weight, 12-car passenger trains that, “while not uncomfortably fast,” would “save one night between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.”

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